Week 5: AI Helped Me Overcome My Greatest Weakness
(I wanted to use my illustration as the banner image but then I realized that would spoil it before you even had the chance to read the blog post so I’m just going to keep sharing my personal artwork up here)
It’s finally Week 5, and that means I have my first illustration done! First, I’ll give a bit of context about the scene. Then, I go into detail about my drawing process.
Jane’s Childhood Trauma
When Jane was a little girl, she lived with her widowed Aunt Reed at Gateshead Hall since her parents had passed away. Aunt Reed has a boy named John who is a tubby, spoiled, and insufferable maggot of a child. One day, he is picking on Jane when she snaps and begins hitting him, enraged, breaking his nose in the process.
As punishment, Aunt Reed locks Jane in the “Red Room” — the haunted bedroom that Uncle Reed died in. My first illustration depicts Jane in the Red Room.
And here it is!
The image res is pretty bad, so if you want to see it in it’s full glory (and check out my other drawings) click this link here: https://alisonding6.artstation.com/
Now, let me go through how I designed this piece.
Doing a Bit of Horror Movie Set Design
The Red Room is deeply unsettling for many reasons. Firstly, it’s filled with red-colored elements (as its name suggests), and red is the color we associate with blood and gore. Furthermore, Jane’s Uncle Reed died in the room. I’d probably die of fright if my bedroom looked like his did too.
To really draw out these creepy elements, I chose to use a fisheye lens view and a top-down viewing angle. The distortion of the room creates a feeling of unease, and the high angle gives a very clear view of Jane’s viscerally terrified expression. Overall, the angle and perspective create more visual interest than a straight-on shot.
After I got the layout down, it was all about adding details to bring the room to life. And it was at this stage that I tapped into the powers and capabilities of AI art to help me overcome one of my biggest weaknesses as an artist. Namely, that . . .
I Can’t Doodle
Not in the sense that I don’t draw on my homework papers in class. I do, but I’m not really DOODLING. I’m only ever drawing anatomical studies of hands or severed torsos — I’m talking about doodling, when you let your hand run wild and create beautiful page spreads of random swirls and floral patterns. Like madela-esqe designs and wallpaper patterns.
I really did try to improve my doodling skills. But every design I drew was as horrendous as the architecture and interior design in Atlanta. Basically, I’m awful at designing patterns.
Now, the problem is, a proper 1800s English mansion room isn’t complete without a fancy rug or intricate wallpaper. But I was severely below adequate in pattern design, and that’s putting it mildly.
Instead, I decided to explore DALL-E, the AI art generator, and created some designs. I discussed it with my mentor, Mr. Bucci, who agreed it would be alright to use them as inspiration for my piece. Then, I painted the patterns on the rug and the walls of my illustration. Having those AI-generated wallpapers was an absolute lifesaver. But that will be the extent of my use of AI art in this project. I personally don’t believe in using AI art since it’s trained on a huge database of artwork from many artists (including many of my mentor’s works) without the creator’s knowledge or consent.
That’s it for this week’s updates! See you next time with another illustration. And enjoy these progress shots!
Sources & References:
- Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. Signet Classics, 1962.
- Jane Eyre. Directed By Cary Fukunaga, Focus Features, 2011.
- Images Generated With Help Of OpenAI’s DALL·E