Drawing Tips | The Story Elves - Help with writing, editing, illustrating and designing your own stories

- Tip -

How to make something look olde

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Sometimes finding something old in a story feels more exciting than finding something new.  But how do we make that something look old in a drawing?  That is the focus of the tip.

First, we begin with a rough sketch of the setting we want to look old.

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Although we have a little cobweb in the corner up above, the scene doesn’t yet look that old, so one of the writer elves suggested we add more cobwebs and just a general feeling of dustiness! I am also going to add a title to the main book in the sketch.  A detail like this can hint at the setting being of some age.

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Now it is starting to look like these objects have been sitting just as they are for quite some time!  However, the scene still feels a bit too bright, and we definitely need some life in there—a character!  So, I am going to tone down the light, which will make it feel more mysterious, as well as old and abandoned.

One of our small elves feels like a perfect character to discover this book of Olde Magic.  The elf adds contrast to the setting in two ways:  young elf and old book, and small elf and big book.

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Time for colors!  Colors will have a huge effect on the perception of age.  Just look at what happens to the scene if I add a lot of bright colors!  It looks almost ridiculous.

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To reinforce the idea of this being an old, dusty, out of the way place, we are going to go with more muted brown colors, except for the elf…

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And there you have it!  A corner full of cobwebs and a mysterious olde book!  Where the story goes now, I cannot say.

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The Story Elves - Help with writing, editing, illustrating and designing your own stories