Mak­ing ref­er­ence ma­que­ttes

James Gur­ney rec­om­mends con­struct­ing a ref­er­ence ma­que­tte to push your im­age to a higher level of re­al­ism, what­ever medium you’re work­ing in

ImagineFX - - In Depth Focus On The Face -

Whether it’s an epic panorama or a rush job, I al­ways build a ref­er­ence ma­que­tte to help vi­su­alise imag­i­nary ve­hi­cles, crea­tures or ar­chi­tec­ture. Why? Well, for me the an­swer’s pretty ob­vi­ous: the ex­tra work saves me time in the long run by clear­ing away uncer­tain­ties.

A hand-made ma­que­tte yields sur­pris­ing in­sights that my imag­i­na­tion would never have dreamed up, be­cause

Take the sketches as far as you can

my imag­i­na­tion, like ev­ery­one else’s, is shack­led by habit and con­ven­tion. As the great French film­maker, poet and nov­el­ist Jean Cocteau put it: “True re­al­ism con­sists in re­veal­ing the sur­pris­ing things which habit keeps cov­ered and pre­vents us from see­ing.”

The in­sights re­vealed by ma­que­ttes in­clude over­lap­ping, fore­short­en­ing, cast shad­ows, sec­ondary light sources and nu­ances of or­ganic tex­tures used in its con­struc­tion. Nat­u­ral light­ing ef­fects are es­pe­cially im­por­tant, be­cause con­vinc­ing

I’m asked to do the poster for Utopi­ales, a fan­tasy, comics and sci-fi fes­ti­val that takes place in Nantes, France, the birth­place of Jules Verne. I flash on the idea of a huge in­sect air­craft de­part­ing the town, set at the time of Verne. I work up three colour sketches in oil, work­ing from my imag­i­na­tion. light­ing is the key to re­al­ism. With­out a ma­que­tte, I’m hes­i­tant to com­mit to def­i­nite light and shadow, which in na­ture are vividly con­trasted.

This ar­ti­cle, the first in a se­ries, presents a case study, show­ing how the ma­que­tte pushed the fin­ish beyond the sketch.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.