Dune – Visualising and Drawing

Dune - Hardback
I decided to finally read the classic sci-fi novel Dune and try visualising and drawing some scenes from the book.

Dune is a science fiction classic. However, having started to read it once when I was younger, something didn’t click. So I ignored it for many years.

After watching the Documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune, I went on a journey down the rabbit hole exploring things mentioned in and related to that film. I decided it was time to give it another shot, and I honestly don’t know how it didn’t grab me before!

The opening chapter of the book is one of the best opening scenes of any book I’ve ever read. It completely sucked me in and I was along for the ride.

I was having a discussion with a few people about visualising stories as they read books.

Weirdly I’d never really thought about it before. As an artist my training has been very animation focused rather than illustrative. So this is not something I’ve ever tried to do. However I really see the value in practicing this to train your visual imagination through drawing. 

I’ve come to the conclusion that I do sort of visualise what I’m reading, but it is quite vague. When I start drawing I am exploring with shapes and visual language. I’m not just translating a vivid picture in my head onto the page. For this reason, I will usually go through several rough iterations of drawing before I find something that actually reflects what I imagine. 

It is a very good exercise and one that I think would develop an artist’s drawing skills quite a bit.

I would think the more you practice this, the clearer your imagination would become and you would arrive quicker at a good illustration.

I started doing all this before I realised there is a new Dune film in production. I think that is the other challenge here is finding reading material that has no visual associations for you. I’d never seen any Dune related art or film except a few book covers maybe.

I have to admit it’s not the most relaxing way to read a book but if you’re looking for ways to push your creativity, visualising and drawing skills it is worth a try.

Dune Artwork - Doug Wilson

An interesting post about Dune book covers HERE