Anxiety and Allure

This was a class assignment, we were required to select a subject to created an illustration in two complementary yet mostly opposing parts, the goal being to make this selected subject entirely appealing in one and appalling in the other. One illustration of the subject must make the viewer pleased, delighted, comforted, entertained, attracted, heart-warmed, overjoyed, and the second illustration of the same subject must make the viewer feel repulsed, disgusted, uncomfortable, empty, sad, hopeless. My project depicts two opposite emotion about growing fat. One shows anxiety while the other one shows allure.



At the first stage, I wrote down several subjects that cause opposite impact on me. Then I found the keyword “growing fat” was the most interesting one, thus I decided to play with it. During both of the process of line work and coloring, I started with the anxiety one. Although professor said we were allowed to use different media and style to finish the work, I thought the two pieces should be coordinated in the whole tone and style that show viewers a clear relationship between the two pieces. In order to achieve this effect, I tried to add some elements in the anxiety piece to the allure, such as the character, the foods and similar color. The challenge was how to make the two pieces looked anxious and pleasant besides of drawing facial expression of character. Finally, I came to the idea of using Effect patterns and expression techniques(the spots in the background of the anxiety piece and sea waves in the allure piece), which are common in Manga, to create the emotion.


Since I love both the convenience of digital painting and the texture of traditional drawing, I finally decided to make line work with watercolor brush and waterproof India ink on rough watercolor paper, when the brush turned a little bit dry, I swept it on the paper to create shadow. After finish the Line work, I scanned them and color with SAI.

Professor Ted was satisfied with this piece, he said it accurately captured the concept of this assignment. In addition, he said it was wise to use similar elements in both of the work, which highlight the contrast. Besides, I also got some feedback from classmates through critique. I remembered one of them said the woman‘s leg in the anxiety one is too short. My work still needs some improve.

Rui Qian

A Shanghainese
A graduate student of SCAD illustration department.