A story to go with an illustration prompt?

  • SVS OG

    I wonder how you come up with a story to go with your pictures...are they long stories? I don't really ever have a back story, I just think of something that might illustrate what the word means. Maybe it would improve my pictures if I did have a story. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Do you all have stories or are there others out there that just draw without really coming up with one? Thanks!

  • @marsha-kay-ottum-owen I think that's a big part of the new class they've got coming up. But this process has always worked for me:

    1. Idea generation. If I don't already have an idea, I'll make a brain-map- basically an old-school word web you sued to make in creative writing in elementary school.
    2. Thumbnails. These are tiny drawings, very loose, very fast, very sloppy. just to get the juices flowing and play with composition and concepts. I try to go 50 per project but sometimes I do 10 and sometimes I do 80... bleh.
    3. variations. take your favorite idea and do 3 different drawings of it. try different angles, compositions, lighting.... etc.
    4. Then you get to the final drawing!

  • SVS OG

    @withlinesofink Ah ha! I think I folow that process but need to do more variations in the thumbnail stage with lighting, etc. My process is pretty time consuming by the tme I'm done 🙂

  • @Marsha-Kay-Ottum-Owen In some cases, I have a storyline, first, that is a little continuous, where I might potentially get several pieces or illustrations out of it, but in other cases, I start with an illustration idea and add elements, characters and how they are reacting to the situation, setting, etc, so they ultimately will end up with a storyline eventually, also......then do all the thumb nailing, sketches, etc.


  • SVS OG

    @laurie Thanks for sharing your process. 😉

  • I think it's almost imperative to start with a story if you want to do a finish/portfolio illustration. If you listen to @will-terry @Lee-White and @Jake-Parker critique pieces, they always start by the story (or concept) and they always say that it's the most important part.

    That being said, you don't need to write a full book for every illustration 😉

    For example, the last one you posted for independance, you do have a story : A young boy, struggling to put his clothes on properly, but still proud of his attempts. Now you just have to work out how to communicate that story clearly to the viewer 🙂

  • SVS OG

    @nowayme Okay. That makes sense. So, did I portray it in a way that shows teh story?

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