In Depth Post 5 – Backgrounds in Digital Art

What kinds of learning opportunities does the mentor provide to expose you to new learning?

Since the start of In-Depth, my mentor Sarina has been sending me extra resources to give me a deeper perspective of my learning. These have been videos and images about brushes, ambient occlusion, colour theory, composition, etc. and they have been a great refresher for our lessons. 

What kinds of learning opportunities exist to reinforce new learning?

These past few weeks have been quite busy, so I have not had much time to practice backgrounds for In-Depth. However, I have found myself using strategies I learned from my mentor in completely unrelated art. An example of this is when I created two pieces of art for my friend’s birthdays.  

I did not design these with In-Depth in mind, but I soon realized that I was subconsciously implementing what I learned. For example, I used the rule of thirds in the penguin drawing. The rule of thirds is when lines split the canvas up into thirds, and it is used to make art appear balanced. The object of focus is usually on one of the intersecting lines.

Another example is my use of foreground, midground, and background in the red panda drawing. The blurred leaves are the foreground, the red panda is in the midground, and the far-away trees are the background. I also used contrasting colours to make the red panda stand out from the green background. These concepts make my art more professional and pleasing to the eye. 

I have also found myself spotting and analyzing uses of colour theory all around me. I have come to realize that most products, whether they are food packaging, cleaning supplies, or advertisements, implement it to be appealing to customers. This has given me ideas for my own colour palettes. 

What kinds of opportunities exist that might accelerate learning?

Learning about art outside of In-Depth helps accelerate learning. I discovered that recently when I joined a new Multiple Animator Project (MAP) that had very strict shading guides. I had to use blending modes called overlay and multiply. I had never tried using them before and didn’t even know they existed in my art program, Procreate! However, they proved extremely useful and made my shading a thousand times more beautiful. Below is the first image that I tried these blending modes on. I also used them on my friend’s birthday drawings. 

When you get together what do you talk about?

My meetings with Sarina are usually structured like so: 

Say hi and catch up with each other. I show Sarina my newest art and explain what strategies I implemented in it. 

Sarina teaches me a lesson, using visual and verbal examples. I take notes.

I ask any remaining questions and we say goodbye. Sometimes I show her my cat, Amy. 

I am very happy with our lesson structure and I think it gives us the optimal opportunity for learning and teaching. Our meetings usually last about one or two hours. 

What is going particularly well in your mentoring relationship right now?

During our last meeting, I got the chance to ask Sarina a question about colour theory. I think this was the first time I came to my mentor with a big question. I have been struggling with the final two colour palettes for my PMV, and I asked Sarina if she had any pointers. We discussed what I wanted the first pallet to represent and how I could use colours to achieve this. Unfortunately, we did not come to a concrete conclusion, but I did get lots of ideas and I think I will be able to figure out the rest on my own. 

What are you learning about one another?

I have been learning an incredible amount about art, but I have also been getting to know my mentor even better. As I mentioned before, we were friends before the project, but this was the first time we had talked in years. This meant we have gotten many chances to reconnect. For example, Sarina once came to see my cat, Amy, and I learned that she loves cats. We decided to go to a cat café together because of this, and it was tons of fun. I cannot wait to continue connecting with my mentor and improving my artistic skills.