by Citrus0418, July 11th 2021 © 2021 Citrus0418

Background drawing. What are your ideas for expressing more contrast?

Aunt Herbert

Hmm, don't know whether it expresses contrast, but when doing urban sketching I grew very fond of street lamps. They are very easy simple forms, very easy to read for everybody who has ever been near a road, and they are an incredible shortcut to indicate the precise depth of a road that leads towards the horizon, without even having to include the road itself in the painting.

A contrast could be modern machines (cranes) and scaffolding on a construction site with historical buildings. Or just cranes and an airplane visible over the roofs and chimneys.

One contrast that I often use is, when I draw a principally chaotic structure, like a bush/tree or clouds, I am generally fond of including man-made objects in the same image, to provide scale and a sense of grittyness. I discovered it when I tried to paint the leaves of a tree at night, illuminated by a street lantern. Several people saw the yellow pattern on black and started wild guesses about what I was painting (a dragon, a face, a witch were all mentioned). When I added the straight lines of the lamp post and a silhouette of a car that was also lit by the lamp, everybody would immediately see the tree for what it was, without even guessing for a second.


Hi, these look cool. For contrast practice, maybe you could try painting these instead of drawing them. No color, no lines, just build your initial thumbnail image with chunks of darks and lights. That way you can tell whether the contrast and composition work before you start adding in the details. Altering the contrast and overall composition is much harder later on, better get that right in the beginning. Good luck!

Polyvios Animations

Nicer work on your scene and environment sketches, citrus0418. Very greater job on your lines of action with the compositional thumbnail sketches. Very dynamic compositions expressively done with as fewer lines as possible.

If I was to give you my sincerer criticism, it could be that the sketches of these scenes above this photo are looking too much like it's done with more than ten lines. Would you kindly be able to go ahead with 1 hour of 29 second quick layout drawings of the scenes????? (3600/29=124 quick background thumbnails) And while you're at it, please look up some background shots from your favorite animated DVDs and Blu-Rays or laserdiscs or Vhs' for BG sequences??????

The reason why you could and should do this is because, of two things: First of all, take it with a grain of salt, for I really haven't done this yet. And second, to help you think the most visually with your perspectives and compositions with quick sketchings and blind contours in mind.

My hat's off to you, Citrus, and I hope these've helped.


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