In a previous post I talked about models I make and use for reference when drawing Mouse Guard. This post I wanted to go into a bit about model building.
My models can be very simple or very complex depending on my needs. If the model is only for quick reference of shapes as they appear in multiple angles of perspective, I can make something very rough and dirty. This example is the Cistern seen in Issue #5 of Winter 1152. Concentric circles in perspective gets to be a tedious job (drawing square planes for each mortar line). Instead, I just took an 8.5" x 11" sheet of paper and layed out mortar lines. I then taped the long edges together and have a tall cylinder with mortar lines that are always in perspective.
Another method is to use printed designs and paste them to flat surfaces. In this example, the Lockhaven Library, I needed to get the general perspective of the arches and shelves and also the complex design of the stained glass window (based on artwork by Jane Irwin!!). I made the arches in photoshop using a line tool and then added photographs of bookcases and bricks. This trick is really handy when doing a repeating design. you can make 1 section and then copy/paste as many times as you need.
Measuring is important here, you need the walls to be the same height so everything lines up in the end. I printed out each 'wall' and mounted them to scraps of matboard using rubber cement. I cut out the openings with an xacto blade and taped the 3 walls together. To add some strength and to remind me where the ceiling structure was, I cut one ceiling arch from cardboard and notched it to sit over the brick posts of the side walls.
This last model is one of the more complex I have made. Gwendolyn's office is a room of Lockhaven that I hope to draw for a long long long time. Even if Gwendolyn is not the matriarch and I'm doing stories years before or after her term, this room will remain rather unchanged, so it makes sense to have a more detailed model of the space. The walls are made the same way the library model was done (design in photoshop, print, paste, cut). The ceiling however, was much trickier.
I have to admit, I should have made this model a long time ago...I was now having to reference my artwork for the details. I found that when I drew one end of the room, the ceiling was flat with exposed beams. The other end had an elevated pitched ceiling filled with wooden trusses. Looking at the exterior of Lockhaven I was able to find an excuse for this being the case (the roof seen above the windows of Gwendolyn's office) and I merged the designs. The roof beams on the model are all made of double thick (glued together) chipboard (the backs of drawing pads). This model is helpful for all the details of this room: the portrait, the mantel, the scroll cubbys, the roof beams, the doorway, etc.
I am also a bit ashamed to say that this is only Gwendolyn's office V2.0 (I had a quick/dirty version from the Fall series). My plans for V3.0 will be more 'real' in the sense that I want the materials to look like themselves, so the model will be made of wood and drywall mud and stone details, etc.
I hope everyone enjoyed this model post. If you use home-made models as reference, post a link to your models in the comment section!