As I do these cards I often get to draw characters I've never drawn before -- or even thought of drawing before. Despite his really weird color scheme, The Vision is a character I think I could really enjoy drawing.
So, last week I really had a blast participating in the Hawkeye redesign thread over at Bendis' board. This week they decided to redesign Aquaman. Ugh. As far as comic book lords of the deep, I skew towards favouring Namor over the scaly orange and green third tier DC character, but I tried anyway. . . . I ran into a bit of a wall when I decided I didn't really like my original idea and wasn't having fun executing it. When something like this happens these little side exercises become like work, and, since I ain't getting paid in anything other than fun, that's where I stopped. I've had that happen with a number of the Remake/Remodel characters offered up at Warren Ellis' Whitechapel forum so I'm not a regular participant in 'em. Love to see what everyone does, though.
But I hate quitting and I really didn't want to stop participating as quickly as started, so I came up with a whole new take on Aquaman:
I usually miss out on things like this at Bendis' board or Warren Ellis' Remake/Remodel thread, but I felt ambitious late last night and just started drawing.
Gave him a helmet and some padding -- being a non-powered Avenger has got to be hard on a body, so I thought this appropriate. Thought a hand crossbow would be neat -- may not always be enough room to swing a bow around.
I decided to go solid black with the body and instantly regretted it. Was probably too tired to really be working on it at that point. . . .
At that point, I figured "what the hell" and just kept going. I hadn't coloured anything traditional comics style in years, so i used it as an excuse to remind myself about the process. Obviously nothing fancy, just setting up layers and flats properly in photoshop.
I was suprised how much I actually forgot.
This isn't really how I'd redesign Hawkeye if really given the task, it was just the first idea that popped into my head.
Always loved the mythological characters. Thor and Hercules would be a blast to draw on an ongoing basis, not just they're fun characters on their own, but their villians are often just freaky montrous things to draw.
Gonna make a special offer for people who open these cards at the end of this entry.
As promised, here are the sketchcards I think are more than a little embarrasing. Posting these, I'm thinking I'm actually allowed to reject them on my own (just run a massive red X over them and return with the others). I with I thought of that.
Thinking about the few times when I just couldn't get a con sketch right or done in time where I gave the money back makes me think differently about these. Not so much badly done as sloppy and rushed. I generally did these as warm-ups before starting on my main assignments for the day, so sometimes I was pretty groggy while drawing or inking ' em. Here, I think I used a brush marker for the hair and just forgot to even try to get a sense of hair. I recall a recent Marvel comic where Namor looked far less like Namor than this, but that doesn't excuse what I did.
I have a tendancy to drop the eyes too low on the head when I draw 3/4 upshots like this. I know I do it, I try to compensate for it, but it still happens. I also think Thor looks like he's surfing porn with that expression on his face.
Spider-Woman having a bad hair day. And a lopsided jawline day. And a not-enough chin day.
Sometimes, as an artist, there are certain things you find yourself doing when a drawing goes wrong, like rendering more than you should to distract from things like the strangely long neck or weird shoulder. . . .
It's the Hulk. I love drawing the Hulk. Sometimes love can go wrong.
Ms. Marvel, as portrayed by Anthony Michael Hall -- the actor best known for playing Dexter.
When I draw hair for my larger assignments, I actually plan it out more sculpturally and only really draw the shadowed portions of the hair. For some reason, probably laziness, I didn't do that here. So I get brush strokes that don't look like hair surrounding a mask that doesn't look like a mask --or symmetrical. Yeah, I saved the worst for last today.
So, my offer.
If you open one of these cards you can do one of two things; you can show up at a comics con I'm appearing at and use it as payment for a bust drawing of the character of your choice, or you can contact me through this blog and we'll make arrangements for an exchange of your card for a drawing.
When, or if I get them all back, I might do some experimenting with them to see how much correctional abuse these cards can take.
Whoa -- Iron Man is now looking down and to his right! Do I know how to change things up or what?!
Yup -- pretty much a pile of head shots of a guy in a helmet so far.
Tomorrow, I post the last Iron Man drawing.
Monday, being Family Day here in Ontario, I'm going to post the worst of the rest all in one go. The idea being that I messed those cards up so badly only people in my family would say they like them. I might even go on a bit about screwing up when drawing.
I think I was getting comfortable drawing 'Ol Shell Head here -- not that this is a particularly strong drawing, but that I started knowing where to plop down all the parts in the necessary spots.
When drawing a character I find it takes a dozen or two sketches to feel comfortable with the features and/or design. There's only a few more before I break from the Iron Man sketches and just start drawing whatever marvel character came to mind when I lifted my pencil.
This one's sort of a riff on the old Iron Man armor -- obviously done without looking at any reference for the old IM armor.
Marvel approved it, so I guess this was close enough to some sort of Iron Man related character. I'm actually reasonably satisfied with it, too. I like the ridges on the helmet that cross over the eyes and mouth -- might do something with that idea in the future on some other character.
As promised I'm running a few of the weaker IM2 sketch cards I did. The one above looks like the eyeholes and mouth on Iron Man's mask started sliding down on his face.
If this was for print there would have been a number of ways to fix this, but, as these cards need to be stuffed into card packs most of them automatically go out the window. Other options would require I have more confidence and experience with the card stock I'm working with. The last consideration is that I'm receiving a token payment per card and spending too much time on any one of these can really mess with the deadlines for the work that actually pays bills.
However, I think I'm covered by the con-sketch policy; it's an honest effort, all things considered, and I gotta start working on the next one.
Anyway -- with the magic of Photoshop and a couple of extra minutes with the lasso tool I can tweak the image to look a little more like I would have preferred.
I was browsing through a local BMV (for Books, Music, Video -- sells used and remaindered as well as a large selection of comics back issues) and I saw the Many Armors of Iron Man trade collection a short time before getting to draw these. I almost biught it, but opted for a few art books instead.
Of course, in hindsight, I wish I bought it. There's a number of times where I'm just riffing on my memory of what Iron Man looks like -- like the one above. A book full of old helmets would have been welcome.
A card I will be sharing later could, at best, be described as inspired by an armor Iron Man might have worn at some point, just not in any of his comics, TV shows or movies. . . .