Today’s Art (10th August 2017)

Today’s digitally-edited painting was something of an experimental painting. It mostly began as an attempt at using three-point perspective and then it somehow morphed into …a nostalgic painting about the 2000s.

Seriously, that decade isn’t old enough to get nostalgic about (and it isn’t as cool as the 1990s), yet I found my painting gradually including subtle allusions to early-mid 2000s music, technology, horror movies etc….

The perspective experiment failed (the wierd proportions in part of the painting are evidence of this). Likewise, taking a different approach to painting rain also failed slightly. Still, as bizarre as this painting was, it’s still probably the best painting I’ve made over the past few days.

As usual, this painting is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

“Festival Perspective 2004” By C. A. Brown

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A Short Ramble About Perspective Experiments (With Art Previews :) )

2017 Artwork perspective ramble article sketch

Whilst making a series of paintings (that are vaguely similar to the “awesome stuff” series that I posted here last year) that will be posted here later this month, I suddenly found that I’d started doing something slightly different with the perspective..

Here’s a reduced-size preview of a painting that I’ll be posting here on the 20th of this month:

The actual painting will be significantly larger.

The actual painting will be significantly larger.

Although I mostly tend to use one-point perspective in many of my paintings, I ended up putting a slightly different twist on it in several of these paintings.

If you don’t know what one-point perspective is, it’s where you draw a large “X” over the page in pencil and – everything closer to the centre of the “X” is smaller than anything closer to the edges of the page. Likewise, the lines of the “X” also serve as guidelines when working out the line angles when drawing 3D objects. It’s one of the most basic types of perspective, and it looks a bit like this:

Here's a very basic diagram that I made in about two minutes in MS Paint, showing flat forward-facing 2D shapes in one-point perspective.

Here’s a very basic diagram that I made in about two minutes in MS Paint, showing flat forward-facing 2D shapes in one-point perspective.

But, when I started making these paintings, I noticed that I was doing something very slightly different with the perspective. For a number of reasons, I was placing the centre of the “X” slightly to the left of the page. What this meant was that everything on the right side of the page was closer to the foreground, and most things on the left side of the page were in the background, kind of like this:

It's disguised slightly by the "metro" sign, but most of the foreground is on the right-hand side of the picture.

It’s disguised slightly by the “metro” sign, but most of the foreground is on the right-hand side of the picture.

The interesting thing about this type of perspective is that, when I was making these paintings, it made the picture feel wider than it actually is. Since I’d planned to cram a lot of detail (and several characters) into these paintings, this suddenly seemed like the simplest way to do it.

I suppose that one advantage of this technique is the fact that it means that a large part of the background (on the left-hand side of the page) is unobstructed by too many foreground details. This also helps to lend the picture a sense of scale that it might not have if I’d used a more traditional one-point perspective.

Here’s another small preview of a painting that uses this technique, although you’ll have to ignore the parrot in the foregound (which I instinctively added because leaving all of that blank space just seemed “unnatural” to me. Which may sound unusual, if anyone has seen any of my more minimalist paintings):

 If you ignore the parrot, you can see that the foreground is only on one side of the painting.

If you ignore the parrot, you can see that the foreground is only on one side of the painting.

This technique probably won’t work with every painting, but it can certainly be interesting to experiment with perspective sometimes.

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Sorry for the ridiculously short and rambling article, but I hope that it was useful 🙂

Don’t Be Afraid To Experiment Creatively

2013 Artwork Experiment Sketch

Well, after the first chapter of my “Stories” comic didn’t really turn out that well (narrative poetry comics are more difficult to write than I expected), I thought I’d write about creative experimentation. Because, as you are probably aware, it’s one of the really essential things when it comes to learning how to write fiction, draw art, create animations, make comics etc….

Since creativity often comes from combining random things in new ways, experimentation is a vital part of creatitivty in general. It’s possibly why artists, writers and musicians are often more open-minded than society in general. After all, if you just follow established ideas about things, then well….you’re not going to come up with anything truly innovative or interesting.

Why do you think that scientists are always experimenting with new things and ideas? It isn’t because they’re bored, it’s because their whole career and purpose depends on discovering new things about the universe and coming up with the basis for better technology and medicine. Yes, they do this in a much more objective and formal way than you should use for your creative experimentation (which should always be subjective and informal) – but the principle is still the same. If you want to create something new or learn something new, then you have to experiment.

This is probably something of a cliche, but every writer and artist is still learning. In fact, it’s pretty much an essential part of being creative and it is often one of the best ways of learning how to do things and what does and doesn’t work in creative terms. And, yes, you will fail every now and then. You’ll produce the occasional crappy story/comic/drawing, but even this isn’t always a total loss .

The thing is not to be afraid of failing every now and then. If you expect literally every piece of your work to be perfect, then you’ll either get writer’s block fairly quickly or just end up pretty much copying the best pieces of work you’ve already done. Eventually, even you will probably find this to be boring and probably get writer’s block.

Likewise, experimenting with new things can also be a very good way of getting past writer’s block too – in fact, in my article on the subject two of the points on the list of ways to get past creative blocks are “switch to another form of creativity” and “make something crappy”.

Remember, you don’t have to publish or even finish one of your creative experiments if it doesn’t work out as well as you hoped. The important thing is to at least try it – there isn’t really much of a risk here either (in fact, it’s probably the safest form of experimentation in the world). If you fail, if it doesn’t work out – then you can just either delete it or, even better, keep it for future reference – the only loss is your time and, even then, it hasn’t been completely wasted since you’ve learnt something new and created something new.

The real benefits of experimenting creatively come from the experience of actually making new things. They come from the trial and error, they come from the second you decide to follow a strange idea rather than a conventional one, they come from the practice you get when you’re making your experimental project, they come from all the research you do or don’t do when you’re working out how to make your experimental project and they come from “thinking on your feet” when you’re actually making it too.In short, the next time a strange creative idea pops into your mind (eg: something like “wouldn’t it be interesting to produce a story narrated in an unusual style” or something like that), don’t instantly dismiss it. It could be the beginnings of your best story/comic etc… or, at the very least, it’ll teach you a few things which might come in handy when you eventually produce your best story/comic.