Character design

Here is the more or less final character design for the protagonist in “The Island and the Plough.”  He is a father, but I want him to have a weathered and wise look, so the thick beard adds that I think; however, it is integral to the story that he learns and is not too wise, so I still want to maintain an innocence which I think can been achieved through the large simple eyes.

SketchbookJack The Island and the Plow Fiep Design

Character design for Fiep from “The Island and the Plough”

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Super Slow Motion

     Take a look at the wobble and jiggle in the nose and the ears, not to mention the entire face.  I bet you didn’t know your face was that rubbery.  Super slow motion is very revealing about what actually goes on in daily motion, it also might help explain why your face stings so much after being hit.


The Island and the Plough

Here is the very first image of my current project, “The Island and the Plough” or “The Island and the Plow” (I’ll have to decide on the spelling shortly.) done on a notepad as an expressive gesture drawing but turned out to say more than I thought it would.  The story revolves around this farm house built on an island where a small family lives.  I have begun writing the story; it will be told in a children’s fable style.

Fiep, a farmer and father lives, basically stranded, on an island where they have a large apple tree, their house, and a small farm.  The family lives quite happily there until the winter comes along and they realize this year’s harvest did not yield enough to get them through the winter.    I won’t reveal the rest of the story, but it involves Fiep getting off the island but in a very unusual and unexpected way.

I hope you will follow along as “The Island and the Plough” unfolds.  Cheers, Jack.

SketchbookJack The Island and the Plow

The very first gestural concept for "The Island and the Plough"

A Drawing

I sit back in my chair to look at my work and the tuner crackles slightly from my movement disrupting its signal, and my flow of work.  That fat of my lower palm and the rounds of my knuckles shimmer from a sheen from a coating of graphite.  The joints in my fingers sigh with relief as I let them from their crumpled, curled pose and the tip of my thumb throbs around an indentation left by a pen.

Although I deeply love my computer and the tools it has to offer, I can never seem to replace the raw energy it takes to create a drawing.  The computer is clean and precise, and allows for infinite error correction.  A master of perfection, a king of magic tools.  There is something; however, raw and unfettered, real and with personality about the physical medium.   It’s as if the thoughts flow out of the mind, through the nerves, out the fingers and directly through the pen.  Nothing is sacred, no line is perfect.  There is a bit of wobble in every stroke, an extra dot, too long of a line.  Nothing seems to look quite right until you pull back from the final stroke and it finally takes on the life you had hoped.   With the pencil or pen and paper at hand, comes a bit of uncertainty and acceptance.  You direct the drawing a little one way, and it directs you a little this way.  There is no undoing and no refining the line once it is on the paper.  You have to be willing to accept where the drawing takes you; it is a bit like a wave.  You direct the drawing a little one way, and it directs you a little this way.

Somehow in the end, it is never exactly what you wanted, but it is always exactly what you meant.