In the ACX Teens course Concept Design Basics, taught by alumnus Robert Sherrill (BFA 90 Illustration), students learn how to bring their characters, environments, props and storyboards to life.
They explore light and shade, perspective, color theory and basic design techniques, and learn how to take two dimensional line drawings and process them into tones for a lifelike result.
“Before we begin our lessons, we do warmups to get our minds relaxed and flowing,” says Sherrill. “I believe in abstract scribbling first to communicate with lines alone the emotion and drama of a scene or character. To create a relaxing scene, we may use curved flowing lines. To communicate uneasiness, we may use pointed shapes and lines.”
Students then create a character, and make a background, building a world that the character exists in, says Sherrill. Arranging shapes, values, colors and edges are explored in interesting ways to create images that hold the viewer’s attention. Pattern and texture are incorporated.
Not only will students’ characters look more dimensional, but the environments and objects they create will also be more believable.
“Using many of the fundamental ideas taught in the class, students are freed up to make expressive characters, backgrounds and props, creating a cohesive theme,” Sherrill says.