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Practice with unique characters and people

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aru

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So I've been thinking I need to work on some illustrations to get my feet wet and see what I'm capable of in terms of scenes and characters. Does anyone have suggestions for sample stories to draw from or is there some sort of generator that gives you prompts like... an animal (character), emotion, scene or object, and an action verb? I really hope that isn't too confusing. Basically I need some prompts to get me going and see what kinds of character development I can do without the pressure of an actual client.

I did try to look at old fairy tales but the bad side of those are that you've already seen multiple interpretations of characters and scenery so it's much more difficult to be "original". Kind of like taking music and remixing it instead of creating something from scratch.

*That said, if anyone has a kid's story I can look at and practice drawing for I'd be most grateful. Obviously I wouldn't be doing much with the art except for learning from it and posting it on the internet as examples.

"Help!"
#1 - September 25, 2013, 01:12 AM

I draw stuff for chocolates.
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There's Illustration Friday prompts, there's the Art Order Challenge (although that's SF&F not kids), there's Twoodles on Twitter. There's any new picture book story - develop your own interpretation from the text. There's fairy tales from other cultures. There's going to a park and watching the kids and parents interact and making up your own story. There's illustration of recipes on They Draw and Cook.

I used to "assign" myself a theme for my daily doodle challenge. Last one was the Daily Creature in which I tried to draw a new scary monster every morning. Also, on my blog, I have several portfolio prompts entries.

Write out a bunch of words for situations, actions and characters and put them in a hat and draw which ever ones you pull out.

Just draw.
#2 - September 25, 2013, 05:34 AM
patreon.com/wendymartin
Animal Totem Mandala 2016
The Story Circle 2016 (PiƱata)
Color and Conjure 2017 (Llewellyn)

aru

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Good ideas, thank you! I thought about the hat idea, but I may have to get several hats or jars; one for each type of prompt to get a good mix. Thank you!

I'm so used to just drawing for others because I did lots of small time commissions, and hardly anything for myself. I guess I need a kick to the backside to get me in gear again.
#3 - September 25, 2013, 11:43 AM

Rock of The Westies
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I did try to look at old fairy tales but the bad side of those are that you've already seen multiple interpretations of characters and scenery so it's much more difficult to be "original". Kind of like taking music and remixing it instead of creating something from scratch.

*That said, if anyone has a kid's story I can look at and practice drawing for I'd be most grateful. Obviously I wouldn't be doing much with the art except for learning from it and posting it on the internet as examples.

"Help!"


Cute image Aru!

I think taking an old fairy tale or something in public domain and making something original out of it is an excellent test.

When I approached the first workshop assignment on something like this, we had the choice between the "Wizard of OZ" and "Alice in Wonderland." Having never read the Wizard, I decided it was my responsibility as the illustrator to read the text and not go by influences of the movie.(Which is very different).  My personal take was that Dorothy is a bit of a whiner and the Scarecrow is a brain who doesn't know his own genius, fun loving and much more interesting. So, in my illos, he became my MC. It hadn't been seen before by the person conducting the workshop. For the next assignment along those lines, we were given another choice of some popular characters in older works. I took my human MC went anthropomorphic with her and had a great time.

Putting your own twist on the approach, as it isn't a book assignment, makes it all the more fun.

I've also heard that Illustration Friday, as Wendy mentioned, is a great venue for doing weekly challenges.

#4 - September 25, 2013, 12:10 PM
Fur Balls & Feathers & Fins, Oh My! Animals Are My Kind of People
 www.cynthiakremsner.com

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