Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for October 19th, 2014

Drawing from the shoulder

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Drawing from Pink Floyd The Wall by Gerald Scarfe

The most important thing is to build up a mood, which is productive in liberating your imagination further. I fully believe in “attacking” the paper so that you can bring out what you are visualizing in your mind. I liken it to a dream—even as you are recalling it and attempting to tell someone about it, it starts to evaporate—and you cannot remember the end, so getting the “bare bones” down is crucial. Even three or four lines can work as a stimulus to develop the piece. Sometimes I am knee deep in paper trying to work an idea through, but it comes eventually…

I like to work “big.” I use paper that is a meter high, and I work from the shoulder, not the arm or wrist, so I can get the muscle into the drawing. I like the size and the vigor of the initial drawing, and certainly using pen and ink straight on to the paper. I have needed strong nibs to accommodate the enthusiasm of the approach. You have to draw “in the moment” to capture the impulsiveness of the invention, and to capture what you can. You can add the detail later, but that becomes clearer when you have got the essence of the image.

Gerald Scarfe, quoted in The Fundamentals of Animation by Paul Wells

Written by nevalalee

October 19, 2014 at 9:00 am

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