Objective 1: Finding_Your_Why_+_Art Direction Secrets

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All right, today we're going to start talking about objective. And we're going to move from drawing techniques, per se, to content. And if you're drawing your portraits, you're a storyteller whether you know it or not. So you're communicating by visual means. And if you want your portraits to really start standing out, you know, as much fun as it is to just jump in and start drawing thought that excitement. And as good as that is, it's important to do that.

It's also important to start becoming a little more thoughtful up front and do some planning. And it takes a little bit of discipline, and the learning never stops. Okay, so let me just tell you that there's always more. So let's dive into this. And basically, what we want is people to look at our work. You know, we want to engage the audience and draw them into So I work with storytelling, camera work and composition, drawing techniques, let those things start to do the work for you.

And this drawing below here's when I was 10 years old. And you can go from something like this to something like this, which is a little more recent. Now, what's the problem? Basically, the problem is we need eyes on our work and social media, in the gallery, or in publication. And so we're trying to draw or paint something that we and others really want to look at. Right?

That's the big thing. And Or another way to say it, we can't get or keep our viewers attention. So this is a problem. And how are we going to solve that? Well, we're going to find ways to engage viewers and keep them looking and coming back by creating empathy with characters with our portraits with our drawings, somehow engaging the audience. So we need a procedure for that.

And I call this orchestrating your portraits. So imagine that you're a conductor, or imagine what a conductor does. They stand in the front, and they conduct each section of the orchestra, and telling each section when to play, when to stop playing, how loud to play, how soft to play, and they're doing this all by auditory means, you're going to do the same thing, only using visual means. You're the art director, that's the corollary to the conductor. In the symphony, you're the art director, and that's your job. So there's four main ways I'd like to suggest to draw the audience in.

So if you imagine your portrait In the center here, represented by these puzzle pieces, each puzzle piece making up that silhouette of a head is one of these four ways that we're going to look at. The first one is to know your why. And you could say, maybe that's 40% of what you need to consider. It varies, but we'll just go with 40%. Number two is art direction. And where are you going to use camera angle and composition techniques to do the work for you?

Then there's drawing techniques, maybe that's 20%. And the final one is posing. Maybe 10%. It's using body language to convey your message is essentially what that is. Alright, so let's dive into these a little more deeply. Okay, number one, finding your why to set things up for you.

You're going to start asking questions to yourself at the beginning, like what's my objective? What's my reason for doing this? Whatever I want to say, what's my message? Is it just pure enjoyment? If sitting down just drawn, loving it? Okay, that's fine.

That's valid. Is it study? You're taking something like color, anatomy or composition and focusing on that on this particular drawing? That's also fine and valid and necessary. Is it a professional commission? Is it work right?

Is it something you need to do for someone else in exchange for money also needed an essential? Is it a portrait for a loved one, right? It's a gift. It's a card. It's something that is close to your heart closer than let's say a professional commissioned piece. Could be just pure creative exploration.

All these things are really important in something to consider and each one has a different objective. And depending on what that is, You'll be able to achieve that objective a little bit better. Okay, so if we're visual storytellers, we have to tackle this question, what story Am I trying to tell? The first thing you got to do is create a backstory and narrative. You probably heard of some of these words maybe like backstory, it doesn't have to be anything big, like writing a novel, but it's just some things that you can use for yourself to springboard off of, to start creating, and being creative with your portraits. So asking who, what, where, when, and why, or just Who is this character?

What's, what does this character like? What's their personality, right? And where are they? What are they wearing, what's the environment that they're in because your portrait will have some kind of background, and you can give a hint of that. And, mind you a lot of these things. They they're for creative artists as well.

Concept artists doing character design. So this can be good for just straight up traditional portraiture or something like concept art. You can add accessories and props. So for example, you know, you might have your traditional painting there, something looks very traditional, and you added a sci fi helmet to it and give it a twist and give it some interest. So something like a helmet, a gun, an earring, a scarf, a scar, just adding props can start to engage the audience in a meaningful way. Hopefully.

Okay, art direction. What do I mean by this? Well, your paintings not an animation or a movie. But if you start using things that movie directors use animation directors use like camera angle, company. position, lighting, focal point. It's like a hierarchy of needs, adding accessories and props like we just went over.

These things will do the work for you. It's not about detail. And overloading the viewer with detail. It's more about being smart with some of these kind of design basics. coming at it from an art direction point of view is really powerful. So that you're not just copying from a photo and saying, Well, how can I make this better?

I just have to do more photorealistic details. hyperreal. There's other options. So for example, let's look at the first one camera angles. If I use a high camera angle or bird's eye view, right? If we look at this shot from Citizen Kane, you get the feeling that the character as we're looking down on her she's vulnerable.

Right, she looks small. So you start to use camera angle to manipulate emotion, low camera angle, that's a worm's eye view, looking up, and it kind of tends to make the character look heroic, or even evil, right? They look powerful. They look for boating. And you get that just by changing the angle of the cat of the camera. Just neutral camera angle, right?

Just every day. That's how we view people 99% of the time or 99 90% of the time in our daily life, so you're just looking at someone straight on. And that's probably you'll do this camera angle for your portraits most of the time. But in case you want to inject some creativity there, there's a story, a narrative, then you can start messing around with the camera angles. All right, let's look at the outline. elements of composition, which is another great, powerful tool to help you.

Unity do all the parts feel as if they belong together. So all these things are the principles of design. I'll just go over them real quick balance, this symmetrical arrangement that adds a sense of calm. While a summit asymmetry in the composition creates a sense of unease. You've got movement, rhythm and flow. And those techniques serve to move the viewers eye around the canvas, right.

You've got contrast, contrast of light and dark, big and small, warm and cool. You can use edges and proportion in your compositions to again, create dynamic movement. focus and emphasis right there's got to be a payoff in all of this. Otherwise Everything is equally represented in your picture and no one knows where to look. And your job is to really lead the eye direct the viewers eye through your piece, leading them to what you want to see first. So that focal point is kind of where the eye will land first, usually, and it's the main actor on the stage, so to speak, it'll usually will have visual appeal and be interesting or compelling and content.

Right, so those are the elements of composition. And now we're going to go to the rules of composition. So there's no rules, just tools. Okay. So basically, if you divide up your cat Canvas, with four lines to vertical to horizontal, and it divides the piece up into nine, basically squares, and wherever those horizontal and vertical lines cross, you basically Put your centers of interest there, okay, where those lines intersect, you don't want to put it in the middle because that's dead center, right? It's dead in the middle because it's equal.

The negative space is equal all the way around. And so it's just too balanced. So generally, you want to position your focal point along a rule of thirds line, like one of these green or yellow lines. Ideally, you'll place the most interesting or important feature near one of the four intersections created by those rule of thirds lines. So basically, here's how a viewers attention looks. Now this is for Western people.

Generally, I don't know how it is for Eastern because they read. Traditionally they read from right to left, and up and down, and we read left to right and side to side, but the upper left quadrant there 41% of users focus here first For the longest some to know, this is interesting data. And then if we drop down to the bottom left 25% of attention goes there. And then upper right 20 and then descending from there, lower right 14%. So the takeaway here is if you want to catch someone's attention, put something in that upper left quadrant, somebody will usually see that first in the West. Of course, you can break this rule, but it's just a guide.

This is how the rules of thirds will look, you'll put someone's face right there where the lines intersect, and it's along one of the vertical lines. Perfect. Okay. There's another one guy's face is there on the intersection and his hand is there on another intersection? Great. So you'll look there and then you'll look at the background and you'll look at the hay and all that other stuff later.

Okay the golden section also known as that defined proportion, or the golden means, and that was a number found, when ratios of distances in simple geometric figures such as the Pentagon, pentagram and deca gun were studied and observed in nature. And so they planned buildings, especially the Greeks did around this sort of divine proportion or ratio. And you can see it in some famous artwork like Michelangelo's creation and the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Some other places in nature. You can see it in the way a rose petal unfold or conch on the left there, that shell It's amazing. It's so mathematical.

There's so many patterns in nature. And then Hoku side the Japanese would cut wave there seems to be planned aloneness proportions. as well. So you can see there's that nice line that gestural lines swooping through the golden mean. Here's some more examples where you play someone right along the vertical, put their face, just right in that focal point, and put the eye there. And these are just some of the ways you can set it up.

You can use it vertical, you could use it horizontal, and you can use it diagonal, any way that you want. It's really helpful to see this, to know how to organize your composition, and where to put your center of interest, where to put your figure and all that stuff. All right triangles. They're derived from the golden section. Interesting. So on the left, we have three triangles derived from the golden section.

So it's the same proportion as the golden section and we just divided it from corner to corner, and then drew a perpendicular to that line, coming up with three triangles, and then you can continue to subdivide and come up with these other triangles. Here's some great ways that we can call out how people like Rembrandt used the triangles to organize compensation. So you've got kind of a semi circle surrounding that triangle. It's a great organizational tool. You can take groups of people and organize them around this triangle idea, or these triangles. Okay, some classical paintings here.

So you'll have to forgive me, I don't know the name of some of these paintings, but we'll just keep going. Okay. Another great way of organizing a group of three people putting each person at one of the corners of this equal lateral triangle And there we have it in, even in Star Wars movie poster, using this to organize the complexity of all the characters, and the action, and so on. And finally, even just in your photography, or in posing for your drawing, look at all these triangles from the orange to the yellow to the light yellow, that you can find all these triangles inside the human figure. And inside a group of figures this it's really very helpful I found to look for triangles, simple geometric shapes, especially triangles, but you can look for circles and squares. You can use these to measure and check your drawing just by finding angles, right and corners.

So just be aware of this stuff and start using it because these organizing principles the way that these tools work they have a way of simplifying things and then it makes your drawing statement that much more clear and much more powerful on the page, and that's what you want to go for. Okay. Okay, I'll see you in the next lesson where we will talk about creating a focal point. It's so powerful, you won't want to miss it and see you there.

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