i've always been interested in landscapes, and felt that the time was right to incorporate them into my uni work. here are a couple of my landscape drawings created prior to this project.
i began my project focused on producing illustrations for a book called, brother in the land.
the story is about a post apocalyptic earth and the challenges humans face in these conditions. i really liked the idea of drawing a world where everything was fucked up, where there was burnt down buildings, death and decay.
a few of my initial doodles/ interpretations of the book:
Although i was enjoying 'brother in the lands' descriptive qualities i felt that GOING BIGGER was the way forward. so the book illustration idea soon transformed into producing a large post apocolyptic landscape, on a roll of paper, using similar techniques to recent pieces i had completed. It gave me more scope with what i could draw and i was not restricted by text or characters. it also tied in nicely with my personal work of space and landscapes.
these are some of my pre project sci-fi drawings.
now with a general idea of my projects theme and style i began my research into post apocalypses by referring to real life disasters , eg Hiroshima and tsunami devastation. i watched documentaries and animations on Hiroshima, to try and contemplate the destruction and how i could portray that within my drawings.
One of the most influential films i watched, was a film called, the road, in which a father and his son are left fending for themselves when the world begins to die. The setting is very cold, dark and filled with ash, and the land is devoid of living animals and vegetation. There is frequent rain or gray snow, and occasional electrical storms. The sheer scale of destruction and desolation was staggering and from the images i got the impression of isolation and how demeaning the natural world becomes when normal civilization is disrupted. I felt that i could translate this into my own work through the use of space and depth. by giving varied perspectives i could enhance the sense of scale of the foreground images.
After gathering some research i started sketching buildings and landscapes, to get a better understanding of how to draw them so during my project i would have a good set of visual references.
After making some preliminary sketches i began drawing up ideas for the length of paper, i wanted to get a general idea of what i was going to draw, but didn't want to make it too detailed as i knew i'd change my mind through out the project.
After being satisfied with my ideas i started to think about begining the main project, it was a daunting thought and at the start i was having trouble with putting pen to paper in the fear i'd ruin the whole thing (i got over it eventually). so to loosen up and regain my confidence with line drawing i embarked on a mini project, i bought a canvas, scribbled all over it with pencil and procceeded to find faces, characters and animals within the scribbles. took about 3 evenings and a couple of sharpies.
After my canvas i felt confident enough to start my project. As i was using glossy paper i found it really hard to draw on with normal pencils, so i ended up using a thick 6b stub of lead. Using pencil to create the initial outlines and landscape i then went over in marker pens. you can see a big differenrence between my line quality at the start and the finish, mainly because my confidence grew as i progressed, but also because half way through i found a pen that you could rub out. goodbye pencil. hello no mistakes.
this pen allowed me too draw ultra fine detail, helping create depth, shadows and textures that could not be achieved with sharpies or Bics.
mainly used to colour in the sky and outline, must have gone through atleast 25 of these bad boys
the first part of my drawing, without sky mountains or detail, it didn't take me long to get into the flow.
i would draw the landscape in sections, going on my personal vibes as to what should come next and how it would flow. When the drawing starting getting large i would sprawl it over my friends kitchen floor so i could see how the landscape developed and to help me draw long lines. I would colour in the stars with each section; this was mainly because if i left it all to the end i would die of boredom and it also began to bring the whole picture together, eg i could use planets i'd drawn as light sources, making shadows easier to add on.
although my landscape was focused on a post apocalypse i did not want to make a general statement as to who had caused the destruction (and i wanted to have some fun). that was the reason i decided to add some sci-fi imagery into the drawing. the sci-fi element allowed me to have fun adding in weird shapes, ships and buildings to help break up the landscape. I used previous art work produced by myself to help influence my science fiction style objects, keeping it orginal but not rushing into designs.
Overall i am extremely pleased with my final outcome. It was the first project i felt fully connected with, i had the freedom i enjoy in my personal work but also had meaning behind it all. At the end i felt a huge sense of accomplishment; although i had to leave a couple of places unfinished due to time restraints i am really proud that i managed to produce such a large picture in 3 and a half weeks, as it was a pretty hard project to know exactly how long it would take. My drawing techniques have improved throughout the project as well as my confidence. i feel the picture shows a unique interpretation of post apocalyptic landscapes, not restrained by a narrative and capable of letting the viewer create their own.
(Didn't get a chance to take a picture of the final piece before the hand in, but here's some of my unrelated drawings i did during the project to keep myself sane)
acrylic sea painting