Recently I took a short course at Cenrtal Saint Martin's brand new campus in King Cross, London. The course was called Enhanced Illustration and billed as a combination of hand made drawings and computer skills. In general the idea of short courses are something I find so beneficial with having a haphazard schedule there is comfort in using the time you have put aside entirely for the course, to improve skills or just to enthuse genuine creativity. As I have been producing work for exhibition and sale for the last 3 years I have been playing with a few styles and here on the blog I have shown a range of computer generated work (iPad, sketchbook pro) and my hand drawn ink style. Don't get me wrong each piece I have managed to sell has been Indian ink on cartridge paper but the original image or sketch may have been produced on computer software.
My aim for this course was to learn how to get the best from both worlds, generally for illustrations to use in a portfolio for editorial/publicated works but also to see what photoshop (in particular) had to offer for experimentation.
The benefits of what we would be learning were evident on the first day, although a keen student I do not learn via online tutorial or just having a go. To have an instructor to take you through the simplest of pathways from problem to solving it was fantastic. Before lunch I had the answers for How To questions from weeks of trying to figure it out. The broad range of people on the course both in diversity of culture and occupation was very interesting. Each had personal goals for the course and throughout the week I think most were met.
So first day, nervous, choice of beaded skirt, impressive building and sunny sunny day.
Queuing up, introductions, talking through objectives, and we begin.
The first task was very simple - draw, with a solid line, objects from either kitchen, make up table or workspace. Then use image reference to draw different objects, finally trace directly from photographs of objects, people and words.
With the black lined drawings we scanned and applied the techniques or brightening, adding contrast and cutting out the individual shapes.
Well, we are then asked to use the shapes to create an image on a template on either kitchen madness, workspace madness or make up madness.
So, it took some getting used to and the drawings I did were a bit soulless and not in my usual style. I think I was so worried about the photoshop part that I wanted to simplify the images to make is easier. So the end of day one, with a few tricks up our sleeve about colour we all went home to practice.
After one day I could generate a new style of image, scan, manipulate and colour it.
It was so exciting and I couldn't wait to go back.