Making props

  • Hi, as I'm new to illustrating I just wondered how you go about formulating your composition? Although I can see the idea clearly in my head I can't always get it down on paper if I don't have reference in front of me. I was struggling with Santa's sleigh as it needs to be used in various angles so I made a quick prop from a box, carboard tube and sticky-back plastic (very Blue Peter!) I think this will make things much easier. So then I decided on my idea for the March competition - a greenhouse with a massive plant bursting out of it and I made another quick prop - is this normal behaviour?? 😁 IMG_9172.JPG IMG_9185.JPG

  • SVS OG

    I have a lot of problems turning things around in my head and remember one SVSer saying she took an entire course at her art school on how to make scenes using boxes and other things. After that, I started making simple clay models when I was really stuck and I have also photographed myself tipping tables or chairs or various objects to figure out what it would look like. I wish I had your skills at creating though. Your props are way better than mine.

  • @Lisa-Pickard said in Making props:

    is this normal behaviour??

    Absolutely not. You have signs of Obsessive Illustration Fixation. Continuing without treatment will result in the creation of yet more props followed by a lighting system with full photo backdrop. You will from there continue either to stage design or miniature tabletop gaming. 😉

    I think there's actually a class in the subscription for mocking up models for reference. I recently bought some sculpy and a bunch of styrofoam shapes (though I haven't used them yet)

    As for how I figure out shapes in space I'll find a bunch of different reference, break it down into SUPER simple shapes and then try and figure it out. Making little models is probably easier 🙂

  • @Braden-Hallett Ha, ha thanks for that - you've brightened up my boring afternoon (at work). I will have a look for that class. And book in for therapy.

  • @demotlj Aw thanks for your input - I've always loved crafting too so that helps. Started to get my family to stand/sit in various poses now whilst I use them as reference 😧

  • Very cool. Never was much for making models myself, but I super-admire people who do! And yours ... well, they're just good. That sleigh--Picasso could've sold it.

  • Wow! That sled is so cool looking! I think @chrisaakins mice would have a field day with it. 😜

    I don't do this often, but every once in a while! I had to do some tricking lighting for a house, and after trying and failing to mock it up in SketchUp, I mocked one out of paper and shone a flashlight down on it. It was for this one:


    In Jame's Gurney's Book "Imaginative Realism" he has quite a few examples of making models for his paintings.

    On a similar note, I love doing still life studies for similar reasons. So much construction, lighting, and material knowledge gets transferred over to my personal work!

  • @Lisa-Pickard I use plasticine occasionally when I am trying figure out lighting especially on faces.

  • @TessaW Thanks for the info - had a look at James Guerney's website - lots of interesting articles on there.

  • These are awesome - I love the sleigh!!!

    I love making props! I actually fantasize frequently about becoming a puppet maker for stop motion.

    Definitely keep it up! It is such a benefit to understand things in the 3D space (also how fun is it to play with them?)


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