Part 4: Genres & Styles

Exercise: Future Worlds


Here are a set of key phrases:

  • Barbarian World
  • Science City
  • Lost Civilisation
  • Alien Encounter

Choose one of the phrases and create a large drawing with as much detail as possible. Make your finished drawing on an A3 sheet of paper or bigger.

It can be in any style and it can be drawn in black and white or colour, but the important thing is to be as original as possible. Your drawing does not have to be realistic like a grimly dark computer game, it can be cartoony, surreal or even naturalistic. The image content should be inventive, and the visual style entirely your choice.

Research/Initial Thoughts

I chose to complete the Research Task: Comic Visionaries before starting this exercise as I was really unsure where to start. Although it was helpful in terms of seeing examples of some inspiring artwork, it was also quite intimidating as I had no idea how I was going to produce anything worthwhile!

For some reason I have always tended to avoid drawing very interesting landscapes/worlds in which characters exist, which I realise is not ideal and so is an area I definitely need to improve on.

I had a complete mind-blank in terms of ideas and I tried to produce mind-maps and sketches, as I have previously done in other exercises, but did not get very far.

In the end I decided to take a completely different approach in this exercise and just start drawing on some paper to see what developed.

Developing the Final Piece

As I began to draw, a concept gradually started to form in my mind in which it would be futuristic world, location unknown, which would focus on an intergalactic delivery service. This would be based on an idea influenced by the recent space travel endeavours of Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos. I wanted to include the dubiously shaped Blue Origin spaceship and placed it at the back of the drawing. I also thought about how to create a logo that would be similar to the Amazon one, but refer to the space aspect, so I incorporated a star.

Pencil drawing of Future World (click on image for larger version, opens in new tab)

Once I had created the pencil version, I went over the lines with a black fineliner.

Pen drawing of Future World (click on image for larger version, opens in new tab)

I was quite pleased that I had managed to get something down on paper, but when I flipped the page over on the light-box I noticed how ‘wonky’, uneven and skewed most of my lines/objects were!

Initially I tried to rectify this using a ruler and pencil, but it started to look too ‘clinical’ as I quite liked the effect of the fineliner freehand as above, but it just needed to be more controlled.

Experimenting with ruler (click on image for larger version, opens in new tab)

Instead I decided to scan the initial pen draft into Illustrator and drew out the main lines/shapes.

Illustrator version (click on image for larger version, opens in new tab)

I was tempted to carry on working in Illustrator to create the final piece, but sticking to my plan for this unit to work mostly analogue, I printed the drawing and used it a guide with a light-box and a 0.1 fineliner (over which lines I used a 0.5 fineliner to create bolder outlines).

Using a combination of the Illustrator version and my initial pen sketch, I managed to create a final piece as below, which when I tested on the light-box had far less wonky lines.

Final Pen Version (click on image for larger version, opens in new tab)

Final Thoughts

I found this exercise to be one of the most challenging in the unit so far. Several times I felt like moving onto the next exercise and hopefully returning at a later date.

It demonstrated to me that sometimes it is more productive to just start drawing and ‘go with the flow’ rather than putting too much focus on planning – I quite liked the freedom of this method. I also used Illustrator as a tool rather than for creating a piece of artwork, which is something I intend to incorporate into future work.

In terms of relating to the brief, I decide my final piece could possibly be linked to three of the phrases:

  • Science City – leaning more to to the technological/futuristic aspects of science fiction in terms of design.
  • Lost Civilisation – where are the people in the final piece – is every task being carried out by robots/technology. What has happened to planet Earth?
  • Alien Encounter – is it happening on Earth or another planet?

The style of the final piece is cartoony and, if I’d had more time, I would like to experiment with adding tone and potentially colour, which could add more depth and highlight certain objects, making it easier to read as an image.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *