When it came to creating the finished comic I felt confident with drawing people however not so much drawing backgrounds. I took it upon myself to go out and simply study structures and environments that mimic what I wanted to depict within my project.
I have always had trouble drawing water to help with this I visited Plymouth Hoe To Photograph the water there. How water looks depends on the location, weather and what body of water it is. Because the water at the Hoe is ocean water it is the perfect reference for my project.
The unpredictability of water is what makes it so difficult to draw. Water has no consistent form which means there is no set way to draw it. For the sake of simplicity I want to try to break down the most basic design of water into three tones, these will be; white for highlights, grey as a midtone and them black to make up the shadows. Depending on lighting and a nature of the water will determine what quantity’s these different shades are used in.
The next location I wanted to study for this project was an abandoned greenhouse complex, the building has been left unused for years beyond my own time living in the area and has since been reclaimed by nature.
The way the wood and metal disintegrate over time through rust and rot is important to note. as these materials will both be depicted within my comic and to depict them realistically I must take inspiration from how they look in reality after years of unmanaged deterioration.
I found the foliage in the surrounding plane to be interesting as even decades after its use the soil has remained to be farming standard making the ground overrun with a variety of plants rather than places close by which are only covered in grass or the most pervasive of plants. I found this helpful for my project as it gives me insight into how long an area can take to change even a little. One of the plants I was surprised to see growing here was raspberries. raspberries need very nutritious soil so seeing them still growing there truly demonstrated how different this soil was from the surrounding area even though it hadn’t been cared for.
The final location I visited was an abandoned racecourse. the stand was built in 1950 and was used until 1960 for watching horse races that took (Ian S. 2016)
Since 1960 the stand has been left unattended and has been slowly deteriorating since and today is overgrown with elder trees and nettles. This location has highlighted the resilience of plants, no. matter the environment plants will grow and reclaim space given the chance.
Visiting this location that not only looks aged from deterioration but statistically has reminded me to make sure materials and architecture are periods accurate within my comic. because my comic is based in a future where due to a natural disaster there has not been developed in infrastructure in years any materials seen would be from our current era. Making sure this part of the background design is consistent will aid the reader in understanding the story behind the world that they are reading about.
I feel it is worth mentioning my photo editing process as for each of these individual photos I had to spend time editing colours and lighting to make each set of images more cohesive in style.
Seeing that all these photos were taken on a phone camera the in-camera options were very limited which often left colours looking either washed out or in direct contrast to this overly bright. For each series of images, I chose my favorite picture which I then studied the most intense colour which I would then exaggerate in the rest of the pictures of that series this ended up meaning the ocean photos became a dark grey-blue similarly the glasshouse photos became a dark green and blue theme which is closest to the colour theme I imagine for my comic. The final set of photos became cohesively surrounding yellow and warmer tones. In the case of the landscape photo of the structure, I drained the colour from the bright blue sky almost completely after trial and error of having this photo in particular looking unrelated.
I chose to take some time to make a photo bash of sorts using photos I have taken within Plymouth. I wanted to create a visual the kind of aesthetic I would be working towards in my comic.