Friday, 24 March 2017

Adaptation B: Research - William Blake's Work

During the crit I was advised to take a closer look at William Blake's artwork, to make my work appear more as though I was working with the man himself. The main aspects of his work I want to look at are how he uses colour and the way he draws people, especially how he draws faces. 

Songs of Innocence Etching
William Blake used relief etching to produce most of his works, most notably his books, including Songs of Innocence and Songs of Experience. Blake would print the pages and then hand paint them with watercolours. These pieces are called illuminations.

Examples of Blake's poetry and illuminations.
Blake's artwork reflects something of Renaissance paintings, both the way he draws bodies and how he uses colour. His choice of colour changes the feel of his work dramatically; there is a certain softness to his happier, peaceful paintings, and an aggressiveness to his darker pieces. It will be interesting trying to recreate this, both when designing the environments and when texturing one of my characters in 3D.

Examples of Blake's artwork.
Human bodies in Blake's work range from muscular to soft depending on the subject, usually with women being the ones who are soft and rounded in their depictions. Blake also seems to use a light touch of blue when shading, sometimes adding shades of red and orange to show warmer areas. Though I always planned to use blue when creating the Lilly, I may incorporate some warmer tones, and some cooler tones for the Sun-flower and the Rose Tree.

Blake commonly draws faces with large eyes, small mouths and long, wide noses. Drawn this way, the faces resemble something of Greek statues. Blake also tends to give women very rounded faces, something I'll have to work on, as I tend to draw my characters with strong, straight jawlines and defined cheekbones. 

Close-ups of faces in Blake's work.

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