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Helen Capewell
OCA Learning Log
Student Number: 522802
Degree: Illustration
Current Level: 2

Exercise 4.4

Using Basic Narrative Structure

I chose one of my more favourable sketches from the book to begin with. A simple landscape drawing of a garden I was sitting in before visiting a museum. I decided to change the time of day in each version, making the light change depending on the sun position.

I began by working very quickly in Photoshop as a way to block grey tones in larger areas. As this was mostly focusing on the light, I didn't need to go into too much detail, just needed a rough idea of how the light might behave in this scene at different times of the day.

To move this image further, I thought using the pigeons to suggest different times of day would also be effective.

Once I had established the three stages, I decided to go back to the sketchbook and redraw the scene three times. I also wanted to introduce colour, another element that could help determine different times during the day!

I realise I focused the 3 stages around one day. To take this further and perhaps make it more interesting, I could extend time by focusing on different seasons.

The next part of the exercise asks you to imagine a different possibility for the shape or form from one of your earlier sketches. I decided to stick with the same scene, I had this moment of imagining the centre tree changing form as our attention had been put on the birds to the right or the position of the sun, it felt a deceiving and unexpected for this to suddenly wake up.

It was lost in the colouring, something that I think could be on purpose. A mystical bird blending in, using a disguise during the day, comes alive at night and wanders the streets.

Feeling quite inspired by this one change in the scene, I think it will be used in the final assignment for this part. Watch this space, the bird has a story!


This exercise was a surprise. It was such a simple task and an effective one for building a story. I loved how it turned out, and the technique of building from just one image was especially fun. This is certainly something I would try in the future for a quick story building activity.


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