Emma Russell

Emma Russell's illustration blog

Narrative, 4 images, a tv and a tree

I watch TV all day, positioning it by the door so that I can sit under the tree in the garden

Another brief from the workshop.  A narrative illustration composed of 4 individual images for “I watch TV all day, positioning it by the door so that I can sit under the tree in the garden”.  I wanted to show an atmosphere of stillness.  I imagined the character isn’t someone who watches tv all day everyday.  There’s something particular, he’s waiting.  Instead of trying to show all the details, I would show the changes in the light across the garden and the house.   Here’s version one of the finished work.





I love making things from paper,  so I worked this through as a physical object on which I could change the lighting.  I wanted the paper to look… papery, not like an architect’s model or a model village.  I used heavy white cartridge to make flat models of everything except the tv in the foreground which I made 3D to pull it forward a little.  I lit my tiny film set varying the colour and angle of the lights to show the light moving throughout the day.

I am also going to make a 2D version, monoprinting or cutting stencils as I think it might fit the mood quite nicely.

There’s a gallery of basic sketches working through camera angles and planning the print version below.

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More from the workshop, I had a great morning on the Southbank drawing, followed by an afternoon working up the drawings into complete illustrations.

Line drawing and collage

Here’s a couple of the very quick sketches from the morning.  In trying to not make anyone feel awkward I found I’d mostly drawn people from behind or the side!

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I went to an illustration workshop at St Martins a week or so ago.  It was a fantastically intensive run of briefs, deadlines and drawing exercises all flying at a huge rate of knots.  I loved every second!  So some work from it follows.

Brief to illustrate a quote  “the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing”

Line drawing and collage

The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing

Some development doodles from my sketchbook, below.

I often find it interesting to draw from imagination first then look to reference material.  The way your brain tells you something looks is kind of strange!  I preferred my imagined, exaggeratedly pointy fox to those I drew from photos or watching my local ones play in the street, even though they were less accurate they felt really foxy to me.  The hedgehog improved with a good look through some reference material. The lower two sketches are from when I centred on the idea i wanted to use to illustrate the quote (the hedgepig with a class of foxes) and the final composition after some experiments changing scale and viewpoint.

foxier than fox