Color is very important in our lives. It can determine our mood, whether we like something or not, and it can tell us a lot about a person, an object or, of course, an art piece. Color is personal and it’s something very cultural. Color can have a different meaning from person to person and especially when we look at it on a cultural level: It can be that your art comes across a lot different than you intended to. It’s important to understand what you mean to get across to which people, especially when your color is more than just something in a whole.
When you work on a design, you will want to spend your time communicating something that makes sense. This could be an iconic bulky warrior or a design for a creature that’s not what it seems like. Either way: You won’t be doing something random as that’s just a waste of your time. Understanding what shapes communicate is one of the most basic skills you need to have, especially when it comes to creature designs.
Shape language, you probably heard about that before. Shapes can communicate something to the onlooker. It sets a mood or tells something about a character. We especially see this in comic styles where shapes are a lot more telling than in daily life. Traditional movies apply it too, and we even do so in our own households. In this article we specifically look at the basics of shape language when applied to characters and creatures, and what they communicate.
The micro-cosmos, a world we only truly started to explore in the past few decades. If you’re looking for complexity in simplicity, you’re in the right place. So, there are way more shapes out there, and I mean, WAY more. In this top 10, I just picked a scope for you to get a good idea. In some other articles, we will dig deeper into the different shapes we can find when we have a powerful microscope.
But what is the use for artists, you may wonder? I think we can take two lessons out of it. 1: Less really is more, and 2: just look at the complexity of these very simple organisms that stand at the very base of our food chain. It’s a source of inspiration and something to fall back on when you want to create something really special with your art.
We people are quite privileged with our ability to see color. Our sight is our main sense, unlike that of many animals. Color to us tends to be a matter of taste, but for animals color is a matter of life or death. So what can animals see? And what does color mean to them? And what do their colors and color patterns tell us about them? Come have a stroll with me for a glimpse at mother nature and what she can tell us about color and learn how to use color in your creature designs on the fly!