My grandpa passed away last October. About a week before he passed away, he took his watch off and left it off. I remember this specific detail, because he always wore his watch for as long as I can remember. He was 98 years old, and I guess this was his way of acknowledging that his time on earth was almost spent. His watch was originally my grandma’s and when she passed away in 2011, he switched the band and used it for himself. It is an inexpensive, old fashioned watch, but its value resides in its history. There are a lot of new, trendy watches out there, but I wanted to create something with personal meaning. My goal for this project was to create a photo-realistic version of my grandpa’s timepiece.
When working with a reference image, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish what my brain wants me to think I am seeing versus what I really am seeing. Sketching really helps me to isolate the actual shapes that make up an object, and to remove the visual shortcuts that my brain takes. My initial sketches are very basic, but succeed in breaking down my objectives.
Below are my first and second drafts. My goal with these was to get all of my shapes solidified. I had to struggle with a lot of shapes that didn’t work before I was happy with the ones that did. One of the things that I learned was to go with more simplified shapes and to let blending, highlights, and shadows create the definition.
The advise that helped me the most was not to rely on one shape to do everything. I was lacking a lot of depth with my drafts because the majority of my shapes were single layers. By looking at each piece of the watch and dissecting how to build it, I was able to add more realism to my graphic.
Time – that’s what this project required. I spent countless hours creating, deleting, re-creating, and tweaking. My struggles were worth it though as my result is a timepiece that my Grandpa would have recognized as his own.