Last night I had another illustration class, and it was great. We reviewed the principles of perspective and composition. I know these things, it's old hat stuff that kind of lingers in the back of my mind. The thing is, sometimes I forget to bring these guys out from the back of my mind, and onto my paper. The lesson invigorated me, and helped me to realize what was bugging me about some of my portfolio pieces. Almost all of my pieces have the subjects located smack dab in the center of the page. How boring is that?
Mark also discussed "essence of duck." (Bet you were wondering when I would get to that-huh?) He talked about the classic children's book: "Make Way for Ducklings" by Robert McCloskey and what he did to be able to capture the essence of duck. He visited the Smithsonian, sketching stuffed ducks; went to parks and watched ducks in action; he even purchased live ducks and lived with them in his studio apartment. Pretty neat, don't you think? Anyway, the point was that he researched every possible way to be able to capture the essence of duck- to communicate to the viewer "duck" without it necessarily looking like a realistic photograph of one. Our jobs as artists is to capture "the essence of duck" as well as possible.
Right now, I need to go figure out how to capture the essence of cow.