Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Control: Willworld page 77

Judith Johnson's next component of illustration:
"Control of the medium: Finally, we discuss whether the illustrator demonstrated adequate control of the medium used. What is the level of their ability? Their virtuosity? If we look at two illustrations from two different periods of an illustrator’s career, can we see improvement or change in the rendering? Control of the medium is more subjective than content, composition and color. We can usually tell, however, if an artist has drawing skill. By just looking at the illustrations, we can gain a sense of visual mastery or lack thereof. Students become more adept at judging an artist’s control of the medium as they become more familiar with his or her work."

The more I study Seth's work in writing this blog, the more I am amazed at his control of the medium. He could draw anything and make it work. He could draw scenes of confusion and show clearly what the protagonist was doing and what was important. He could show the passage of time. He could show us without saying anything that it was a time of sadness, or terror, or delight. He was not afraid of the work it took to make the characters, the scenery, the buildings, the machinery, all the parts seem real and weighty.
Even though Willworld is early work, it is lush and realistic in its depiction of real world phenomena, though its subject matter is the subconscious. The scenery in the top frame is quite gorgeous, even with the monstrous threatening blob headed out from behind the cliffs. The pen and ink clouds read as clouds. He could draw a six-armed woman as comforting rather than just peculiar. The ragged snapshots at the bottom are completely understandable as flashbacks to Hal's childhood.
Tomorrow I'll post something from Big in Japan, which in comparison is a lot more clean and stylized than his earlier work.

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