Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Angry Girlfriend!

Here's a little drawing exercise I give out in my first week of teaching just to see what all of my 2nd Year students are currently capable of. They have to illustrate the following two character scenario:

A teen boy shows up late for a date with his girlfriend.

I tell them that I want to see an emphasis on good clear poses stressing line of action that would also read well in silhouette. I want them to devise entertaining expressions and body language that show what the characters are feeling, all of which should result in a clear visual statement in a single drawing that communicates to the viewer what's going on in the scene. And they have about 20 - 25 minutes to do it before I collect them up and then show them all on the overhead projector in a quick, lighthearted critique.

Since I can't let my students have all the fun, I also draw out the scenario myself during the same timeframe. Here are a couple of different possible approaches I came up with:

In this first sketch, the girl is looking quite defiant with arms folded and back turned on her hapless boyfriend who's trying desperately to plead his case. I like her withering glare!

In this second variation, the girl has taken a more aggressive stance, moving toward the poor guy who's backing away as she's really ripping into him.

In both drawings, I also took a number of quick glances toward my students who were busily producing their own variations, taking note of clothing, hairstyles and facial types that I could incorporate into my sketches. This is something I explained to them afterward, suggesting that they too should develop the good habit of taking visual notes in their sketchbooks on all that they see around them. Building up a reference library of character types, face shapes, fashion, etc, etc., will always result in much richer character designs in future assignments!