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

Sketchbook Assignment 2

Happy Accidents

Having already made some progress in pushing the faces seen in the mundane to characters, I felt I was already on the way to progressing them, and placing them in a scene that suited. I created ideas for characters based on what I could see in the objects, not really based on what the objects are, or the mechanism of the objects. I felt a little lost when comparing my trail of thought to the exercise checklist, but wanted to go down the route that felt natural in its progression.

Wanting to avoid the computer for the duration of the Sketchbook course, I slipped into old habits when developing ideas bas on the previous exercise. It helped to quickly extend on the sketchbook page with different variations of character based on what I had already created. Feeling guilty for using the computer, I quickly returned to the sketchbook to make a (somewhat) finished character I was happy to produce backgrounds for.

Given that the original source for this character is a light switch, I liked the idea of including a bulb within the design. I indeed experienced a lightbulb moment with this idea and so it felt fitting for the character to also reflect the eureka moment we sometimes experience when in deep thought.

When looking back through the sketchbook, I struggled to find inspiration for the next steps of this exercise. Instead, of work I had made, I decided to look back on a few photos I had taken during the walks through exercise 2.5 and 2.6 and wondered if either of the above characters could fit a scenario. A simple effect, but one I actually love.

In photoshop I cut my character out and placed it on top of the photo. Using a masking technique, I added blocks of shadows on the character to try and mimic the lighting of the photo, and as a result the 2D character almost belonged in the scene.

Whilst placing the sketch in the photo, it reminded me of an old episode of Spongebob Squarepants which included the Doodlebob! The combination of pencil sketch being alive in a different realm to which it would typically belong in. With Spongebob being completely 2D animation, the sketch might be considered part of the environment, however mixing the two styles had the doodle feel like the photo above; simple in a complex surrounding.

To take it further, I decided to tidy the sketch up by bringing in colour and defining the shadows some more.

Using colours found within the original photo, I was able to create a character with a limited colour palette, in doing so I was able to set the character back without looking too out of place. like the original sketch.

Turning a light switch in to the above image seemed distant idea, yet the results are better than I had imagined.


This wasn't as experimental as I would have hoped, but at the same time I found it difficult to bring in a more experimental approach to this process. I enjoyed creating a character from objects, and I also enjoyed putting the character in to a real life situation. Adding a simple gesture with the hands helped bring the elements together, and as a result I do feel the two worked well.

In all I felt really stiff during this assignment, and actually throughout this entire section of the course. I found this part to be extremely challenging, yet almost too simple at the same time. I learned different steps in how I could generate inspiration, some of which I will continue to use - blind drawing for example!

With regards to the Pareidolia, as something you can see almost everyday, pursuing the faces to create characters was a really great process that I did find useful. It's one of those that I imagine drawing what I see but feel the imagination is more effective than the reality of what you see, by this I mean, it doesn't always translate how you hoped when outlining. Never the less, it was a pleasant surprise!



bottom of page