Most of you know I’m hosting a giveaway for the Just in Time book series that came out last month. (Click here to enter!) One of the few ways to enter is comment on the blog post and ask an art question.
Tracy Asked this:
“I am having a steampunk wedding at the end of the month and your artwork reminds me of the look I am going for. Please tell me as an artist, what elements do you believe are the most important in creating a theme in an image?”
Here is my short reply
“That’s a hard question but I think the answer is research. If I’m creating an image with a theme that’s historical or fantastic in some way I do tons of detail gathering before I start and as I go. I use Pinterest a lot for this. For fun steampunk ideas I’d totally check out what is there. Here is a link to my steampunk board. http://www.pinterest.com/manelleo/i-made-a-steampunk-board/ Usually looking at all these pictures or reading about the subject or watching movies with that them while I am working on the project gives me lots of ideas that I can use.”
How to Create a Themed Illustration
The image above is a circus themed illustration I created recently. As you can see it’s not finished.
These movie scenes inspired the image. (Can you name the movies?) Both scenes have a fantastic vibe that pretty much transports me. I wanted to create an image with the same feel.
I did a lot of visual research. As usual, I gathered it all on my circus Pinterest board. Click here to check it out.
The images I gathered helped me create a theme, and gave me ideas for elements that are needed to get the right vibe. They also helped with technical things like how tall a person is compared to a circus tent.
Why haven’t I finished this image?
I worked on the image quite a bit but eventually decided the story doesn’t communicate the vibe that originally inspired me.
The moral is: Themed illustrations are fun but story trumps all.
At some point I may make another circus-themed attempt but I know I need to make sure the story is right before move forward. How do you guys create images with themes?