SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Blocking/character interaction

Discussion started on

Administrator
Poster Plus
  • ****
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region dakotas
My official hat is writer, just so you know. :) But I draw every day, wherever I am, lots of live sketches, and I think I'm sort of doing a home school or DIY illustration program. Or something. Anyway, I was looking at a book about people drawing and it had a brief section on things like blocking and character interaction (things like point of focus and angles and the direction characters face and lean as they interact with each other). I realized that I have never really thought about this. O Great Illustrators, what do you study to get better at this? It seems like it's pretty important in anything that uses storyboarding (illustration/comics/filmmaking). Any particular resources I should be studying? I thought of paying particular attention to interactions instead of just focusing on solitary people while I'm drawing out "in the wild." I also thought of even drawing a particularly well-filmed movie or scene, just to feel how it's set up. But is this a thing that people formally study? And if so, are there any good books on it that you could recommend?

*retreats into a corner now and waits for someone to say, you don't learn to fly a broomstick by reading books!*
#1 - August 28, 2013, 06:22 PM

Official Shenaniganizer
Emeritus
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region canadawest
Try Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud. In both the illustator and graphi  novel stickies there are lists of awesome craft books. I think the gn ones in particular would address this.

I'd paste the links but I'm on my tablet and am being a bit lazy,  :whistle
#2 - August 28, 2013, 06:50 PM
THIS LITTLE PIGGY (AN OWNER'S MANUAL), Aladdin PIX June 2017 :pigsnort
KUNG POW CHICKEN 1-4, Scholastic 2014 :chicken

http://cyndimarko.com
@cynmarko

Creator of Mootastic Art and Children's Books
Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region nymetro
I don't study this exactly how you described, but I do notice in graphic novels, comic strips, picture books, movies, etc, how characters interact. And I will do research into characters in scenes if I'm having an issue or trying to figure out the best way to show something. If it's not working, I'll re-draw from a different angle or change the poses, or do research, or whatever until it does work. Also, the old cartoons, like Bugs Bunny are great for composition, movement, and character interaction.

As for books, I don't know any that are specifically about this, but many touch on the subject. Here are three I really like and learned a lot from:

1. If I remember right, Writing With Pictures by Uri Shulevitz talks about composition and characters. Excellent resource for illustrators, especially picture book illustrators.

2. A book I'd highly recommend for story and comics (though can't remember if blocking & character interaction is specifically referenced) is: Drawing Words and Writing Pictures by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden. (I actually like it a lot better than the Scott McCloud books. The lettering is a lot easier to read too.)

3. Another book that might be really interesting for what you're studying is: 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style by Matt Madden. He tells the same story visually 99 different ways, so you can see the effect that different visual changes have on story telling. It's a bit mind-boggling to imagine doing that as an art project.

Good luck!
#3 - August 28, 2013, 10:12 PM
« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 10:17 PM by Stephanie Ruble »
Site - http://sruble.com
Twitter - http://twitter.com/StephanieRuble

picture book: EWE AND AYE (now available as an ebook!)

I draw stuff for chocolates.
Member
Poster Plus
A great book that talks about picture book cinematic framing is "Picture This: How Pictures Work" http://www.amazon.com/Picture-This-How-Pictures-Work/dp/1587170302/ref=pd_sim_b_13

I also follow http://muddycolors.blogspot.com/ - while the focus is sf&f art a lot of the advice and theories work for any art with story telling focus. Several of the contributors have had children's work published as well.

You can also read books on movie making scene set up. Books on the history of Walt Disney's full length cartoon features may also be of interest.
#4 - August 29, 2013, 05:42 AM
patreon.com/wendymartin
Animal Totem Mandala 2016
The Story Circle 2016 (Piñata)
Color and Conjure 2017 (Llewellyn)

Creator of Mootastic Art and Children's Books
Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region nymetro
Seconding Wendy's suggestion for Picture This by Molly Bang. I forgot about it last night. Some nice things about it are that is uses a really familiar story (Red Riding Hood), simple geometric shapes, and only a few bold colors. Makes it easy to see what she's talking about.
#5 - August 29, 2013, 06:46 AM
Site - http://sruble.com
Twitter - http://twitter.com/StephanieRuble

picture book: EWE AND AYE (now available as an ebook!)

Administrator
Poster Plus
  • ****
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region dakotas
These are great. I know some of these resources but not others. I knew I could count on the Blueboards! :)
#6 - August 29, 2013, 07:49 AM

I'd like to add something but everyone sent you in the right way,the only thing I can add, look for illustrators and try to assimilate everything you can. You have only to exercice and excercise...
#7 - August 29, 2013, 09:07 AM

I draw stuff for chocolates.
Member
Poster Plus
I forgot to mention - any of the books on drawing and art by Andrew Loomis!
#8 - August 29, 2013, 10:54 AM
patreon.com/wendymartin
Animal Totem Mandala 2016
The Story Circle 2016 (Piñata)
Color and Conjure 2017 (Llewellyn)

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.