Artist Spotlight: Simon Gane
Simon Gane is a French comic book artist and illustrator whose work is defined by, among other things, a great understanding in depicting the world around his characters; there is an abundance of detail in his art that betrays his obvious love for architecture and the natural world. Buildings and plant life do not simply serve as backgrounds in Gane’s work.
The two images above are filled with detail; individual leaves, grass, branches, rocks and mushrooms have been rendered with careful consideration. Gane considers these elements to be just as important as the characters depicted in the drawings.
Gane has built up his skill in depicting the world around his characters by keeping countless sketchbooks that he has filled with observational drawings of the world around him:
An olympic athlete does not just show up one day to run the 50 meter race and collect their gold medal; the bulk of that athlete’s time is spent in training. An artist like Simon Gane does not just show up to the drawing board one day to produce finished comics pages and illustrations; his training involves carrying sketchbooks with him everywhere in his travels and taking the time to sit down and draw the world around him. These pencil miles add up and an artist gains skill and confidence in rendering the scenes they see in front of them. Later, when they sit down to draw in their studio, they can call upon that skill and memory to illustrate made up worlds of their own creation.
We’ll be keeping an in-class sketch journal starting this year. With the longer class periods we have now that we’ve moved to a six period day, I would like to carve out a little more time for this type of work. However, in addition to your classroom sketch journal, I would highly recommend keeping several personal sketchbooks to record observational drawings of the world around you – just like Simon Gane.