Overall I have thoroughly enjoyed this project. During Visual Authorship and Space I have developed my digital skills greatly. Before this project I had never properly worked with digital before. However, this project inspired me to take myself out of my comfort zone, and modernise my skills. I found it hard to get to grips with working with Photoshop. Furthermore I had to get used to looking at a screen whilst drawing on a small tablet.
Another aspect that I worked really hard on was the perspective of my drawing. It specifically said in the brief that the outcome must not be a ‘freeze frame’ of the film but a different perspective. I thought hard about what scenes were particularly iconic/dramatic and what would be the best point of view to draw from. I decided to focus on creating one piece of work from Klaatu’s perspective (when he is looking up at Gort from the floor) and one from Gort’s perspective (from inside the spacecraft). This allowed me to exercise my interest in both of these characters as I really connected with their plots whilst watching The Day The Earth Stood Still. Working with Photoshop meant that I had to try hard to create shadow and tone, otherwise my drawing would look extremely flat. I experimented with different brushes and worked with different shades of the same colours in order to create this.
Looking at Tim Doyle’s work was beneficial to my practice during this project, as in particular his Reservoir Dogs piece made me think about negative space. The image I created of Gort I used a lot of negative space to create ambiguity. This is due to the fact that the scene that I took this drawing from is extremely intense, with the huge crowd surrounding the spacecraft. By showing Gort on his own it creates interest to the viewer as they cannot see what he is facing. Roy Litchenstein’s work inspired me to experiment with bold shadows and dotted line work.
After creating this work it inspired me to try out digital for another project in this unit. I feel that it is an important skill to be able to work digitally in the 21st century. Working on photoshop allowed me to draw the required sizes easily (30 x 30 cm and 30 x 60 cm).
Whilst exhibiting my work I realised the importance of paper, as the paper my work was printed on was glossy. This changed the whole feel of the artwork and I feel that this elevated my drawings.
12th January 2020
Here are my final pieces for my art from The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951). I am quite proud of these pieces as they are the first digital drawings I have ever drawn. I started from scratch using a wacom tablet. I did find it hard to work with but I definitely now see the benefits of digital drawing, as you can work into things and change things easily. I experimented with gradient and different types of brushes to try and create variety in my work.
I am proud of this piece the most. I think the gradient works well to create a sense of atmosphere. I decided to portray Gort as isolated, with the viewer not being able to see who he is shooting. The image is from Klaatu’s perspective, looking up at Gort shooting the soldiers. I like how mysterious it is, as this is such a tense scene, yet the viewer does not know what is going on.
This piece is Gort’s view from the ship. I tried to imagine what he saw when he was behind Klaatu. I worked with different brushes in order to create variety in my work. I was inspired by Lichtenstein to work with dotted brushes.
23rd December 2019
Before working on my final pieces I decided that I needed to create a rough plan for each piece. By brainstorming my ideas using lists and mind maps I already have a good idea of what I want each piece to look like. By visualising these ideas I will be able to consider my drawings.
Gort out of the spaceship:
I decided to go with this specific scene as it portrays the tense scene between Gort and the soldiers/crowd surrounding the space ship. I will work mainly in black and white, using tones of grey etc. Inspired me Tim Doyle I plan to use a pink colour for the sky to add depth and mood to the piece.
Klaatu outside the spaceship
This rough sketch is an idea of what I want my piece to be. I have decided to again use the same colour scheme as I feel that it will be successful. I plan to use solid brushes on photoshop to create a clean fine liner feel.
23rd December 2019
Trying out a digital piece. During the brief for this project it was mentioned that we could create a digital piece. After sketching using a pen in my sketchbook I decided to try out creating a digital piece. I looked at Tim Doyle’s pieces and was inspired to try out a sketch that was digital.
To try this I took a sketch that I created using pen, and drew on top. I quite like the effect that it has, I think that the shading of the grey works well. However I do not think that the sketchy lines work particularly well, as I think that they could be a bit over powering.
21st December 2019
Picking Perspectives for potential illustrations:
After working out what scenes I wanted to do I needed to work out what perspectives I could do for the illustration, and what would be the specific focus.
Klaatu – holding up his hand:
- Perspective of the back of his head with him holding his hand out – with the rest of the crowd illustrated, portraying their reactions to his speech.
- Side angle of him holding up his hand.
- Low angle perspective of him holding up his hand.
- Gort’s perspective from the ship – the opening of the ship in the scene with Klaatu on the platform holding out his hand.
- Klaatu’s perspective of the audience – his perspective of everyones reaction to him.
Gort shooting the laser:
- Two sided perspective of the tank’s nose vs Gort’s laser beam.
- Klaatu’s perspective from the floor – the back of his head and shoulders and a low angle shot of Gort shooting the laser.
- End of the tank’s nose and Gort shooting the laser.
- Gort over the shoulder shot – his beam vs the tank.
Helen vs Gort:
- Helen’s scared face – with Gort’s reflection in her eyes.
- His shoulder and head with her looking scared – his shadow over her.
- Her screaming face with his reflection in her eyes.
I decided not to include the final scene, as I like the suspense and dramatic scenes better.
Here I am trying to work out what scenes would fit the sizes that I have to create illustrations in. One size is 30 by 60cm and one is 30 by 30cm. I feel that Helen’s face (with Gort’s reflection in her eyes) would be better suited to a smaller sized piece. Gort’s view from inside the ship would most likely be better suited to the larger size, so that I could include more detail in the piece. The back of Klaatu and a low angle shot of Gort would most likely be better off as a larger size so again I had more space to fit a detailed scene. However, inspired by Tim Doyle, I might have to crop an image in order to portray a more interesting image.
20th December 2019
Narrowing down what scenes I want to illustrate:
After watching the film I had to narrow down which scenes I thought would be the best to illustrate. I created a mind map of my ideas so I could see which scenes I thought would be the best to draw. Once I had created my mind map I realised that I had focused on two main parts of the film; the start and the end of the film. Whilst creating my mind map I thought about the most iconic and important scenes of the film. I thought that the choice that the soldier makes to shoot Klaatu when he tries to offer a present to the earthlings is a crucial scene. This is followed by when Gort emerges from the ship and dis arms the soldiers. This is when the humans make up their mind that the aliens are dangerous, and assume Gort is out to get them. I also wrote down the end scenes, where Helen screams when Gort approaches her and he picks her up. I feel that Helen is an important character as she is one of the only people who gives the aliens a chance and does not think the worst of them (even when she had not met them). Klaatu’s final speech is also a key scene as he delivers the message that humans will be obliterated if they carry on the way they are going with nuclear weapons.
I managed to refine my ideas to four key scenes:
Klaatu reaching out to the humans and saying that they come in peace
Klaatu offering his gift to the humans and being shot by the soldier
Gort shoots his laser beam at the soldiers
Helen and Gort meet
I picked these scenes as I think that they are important to the film and they are instantly recognisable to fans.
18th December 2019
After drawing Gort and Klaatu I decided to draw other people who were featured in the key opening scene of The Day The Earth Stood Still. Therefore I decided to draw the soldiers who are surrounding the spacecraft. I did this because they are important to the scene. A nervous soldier shoots Klaatu and causes him to fall, which provokes Gort to come out and scare the soldiers further when he takes away their weapons. The army are responsible for causing the conflict between the earthlings and the aliens. The ironic part about this is that Klaatu has come to warn the earthlings about their activities with war and nuclear weapons (echoing what was actually happening with the cold war in the 1950s). Before he even gets a word in edgeways about their violence he is already part of their violence when he gets shot down by the soldier.
I think that I managed to capture their expressions well; watching intently/with worry. Again I used fine liner for this sketch. I think that I will need to use more block colours when I draw a scene, so that the eye has a break. If I use too much detail for an entire scene it might not leave room for a focus. I think that I am starting to get a feel for what I want to draw when it comes to my final piece.
After having drawn out characters and a scene or two from the film, I feel that I have got a feel for the film and started to think about the sort of textures that I want to use in the pieces that I make.
18th December 2019
Gort is another interesting character from The Day The Earth Stood Still. He is an eight foot tall robot. He is from a ‘race of robots’ that keep the aliens in check, Klaatu compares them to the police force on earth. The humans perceive Gort as evil and as a monster, when in fact they do not know that he is there to enforce peace. The interesting thing about his character is the irony he evokes – the humans think he will be violent so they act violently towards him, but in fact he is there to prevent such things. Also Klaatu never gets a chance to explain Gort’s purpose until the end of the film, after he is captured, shot and killed and saved by Gort. I thought he was a key character with a great presence and outfit. I decided to sketch Gort to get a feel for his character.
I drew a close up of his head using a fineliner. This is from the scene where he emerges after Klaatu is shot, and he disarms the soldiers using a laser beam. It is a very tense scene as it is ambiguos when he lifts the lid of his visor as to whether or not he will kill the soldiers, or what he will do with his laser. After using the fineliner I feel that a thicker line would work better in order to create a bolder image.
Next I drew a complete full profile shot of Gort. I enjoyed drawing his figure, as his shiny metallic outfit has lots of interesting shadows. Again I feel that I want to experiment more with a thicker line in order to create a bolder image. After looking at Tim Doyle’s work he uses spot colours and block colours, perhaps this is something to try.
17th December 2019
After watching The Day The Earth Stood Still, I decided that I wanted to use it for my final pieces. In order to get a feel for the movies and the characters, I decided to carry out some sketches of the characters in order to visualise what they look like.
Klaatu is the most important character in the whole film. He is the alien who lands on earth to deliver a message to its inhabitants. I really liked this first scene where he tries to peacefully approach the humans. His outfit is particularly interesting and it was really enjoyable to draw. I picked this scene because I thought that the scene was really intense due to the suspense between the earthlings and Klaatu when he emerges from the ship. It is the focal and turning point in the film – if the earthlings were kind to Klaatu and did not shoot him their meeting would be far more pleasant. In this drawing he is holding the device he was going to offer as a gift to the humans, but they mistook it for a weapon.
I used fineliner on top of a rough pencil outline I had drawn.
This is another sketch of Klaatu from the same part of the film. This scene is iconic, as again it is the turning point of the film where things turn sour and the humans are violent towards the aliens. Klaatu’s outfit is great to draw as his costume has interesting textures and has lots of wrinkles to draw. This means there are shadows and lights and darks to draw. This scene is particularly dramatic, and would be fun to draw.