in Assignment 1 – Research & Process

I had a speed bump during my illustration process, and so had to go back and revise the way I render my figures.

I tried rendering in an even more detailed way, which was sadly not adding value to the composition. It was too refined and too ‘shiny’ for the raw ugly (in a funny way) desire and ridiculous petty greed that exist in the composition.

What I added (and later took away):

  1. Fingerprints to signify the pressing against the glass
  2. Different nose shape and detailed dots acting as pores
  3. Texture to the hair and hands
  4. White blobs to signify the pressing against the glass

As rendered and detailed as these feel, I did not feel that it was appropriate for the self-portrait. It was too polished and shiny like an advertisement- which has its charms, but I ultimately decided that it should be ‘uglier’.

Artist reference:

Karolina Koryn

What was so inspiring about her drawings is that they were rather ugly, but ugly in a beautiful way. She does not use color but rather uses lines to create value through blocking of shapes or texture. I find this fascinating as I had a lot of problem with over-rendering my illustration. Koryn draws the eye through lines of action and white space as well.

Fig. 1, “Sunday Feeling”, is a paragon of exaggeration, in my opinion. It is neither conventionally pretty nor anatomically correct, but the shifting of proportions and the placement of the head embodies the lazy, sleepy feeling that the figure conveys. More than beautiful paintings, it speaks to me and feels relatable.

Fig. 2 is also beautiful in the linework- the hair and shoes feels heavy due to the thick lines. As a result, the figure feels weighed down and the ‘lazy’ or ‘lethargic’ mood.

Lastly, Fig. 3 Leaves a white space only filled with white lines in the middle of the composition. It causes the eyes’ gaze to speed up downward and adds to the vertical energy of the composition. The medium of pen and ink is simple and the line widths seem to be mostly similar, but the way the artist creates value through the subtle thick and thins (hands, skirt) and overlaying of lines (at the hair) adds a dynamic energy to an otherwise textureless image.


I stuck to linework this time around, trying different weights that may feel suitable for different objects. The hand was quite tricky to get right as it was distorted in a nice way, but rendering it with lineworks sometimes feels flat without details. In the final version, I added small lines to complete the gesture and add a sense of structure and anatomy to the otherwise shapeless hands.

The blush is also a nice addition to this rendering, signaling the flushed face and hence the wanting. I also tried blocking out the lips using all-black value, but it attracted too much attention and I decided to use lines to create texture to make it a grey value instead of stark black.

I also finally decided to let go of the photomontage idea as the perspectives did not quite work out with the composition. However, I have kept it around for the craziness of the eyes and the dilated pupils- I decided to illustrate it in a way that renders the face even exaggeratedly crazier and more wide-eyed than the scanned one.

Finally, I added in the reflection of supermarket shelves/fridges using white lines as it will draw attention to the eyes and feel more like a reflection. (Also, added the drool.)