Wednesday 19 August 2009

Tuesday 18 August 2009

Hey, Conan!

A little while ago I accepted a commision to do a couple of Conan sketch cards. I'm not really a fan of the little 2x3" things outside of a convention, so I drew them around 6x8". Sketch post-cards, I guess. . . .

Here's the first one:
When drawing two of anything I try to have some variety -- so this one is the "battle-crazy" look. I'll share the other version tomorrow.

Monday 17 August 2009

New Painting Project -- progress 1

Last couple of weeks ended up being turned upside down as far as my schedule, so this evening was the first real time I've even had to touch this.
I just started playing with values -- I'm thinking about what colours I'll be dropping in later -- Karu-Sil has a dark magenta-toned skin and her "dogs" are energy beings of yellow light, so I'll be dealing with a fairly limited initial palette of yellow/yellow-orange light with some purples and touches of other colour in the shadows.
I'm certain saved iterative steps and ctrl-Z will allow me to be more experimental than I would be were I using traditional media.

Books You Should Have II

Drawing the Head and Figure
By Jack Hamm

This is a book I really wish I bought back when I started drawing seriously. There’s likely a great many reasons why I kept overlooking this old gem during my many, many trips browsing through the art section of every bookstore I wandered into in my teens. It might be the poorly designed brown and yellow cover or the overwhelmingly “old” feeling the book gives off or something else, but when I finally picked it up and flipped through it I felt like a moron for waiting so long.

This is probably the best all-round book for beginning imaginative figure drawing I’ve ever seen. I include Loomis’s great books; Fun With a Pencil and Figure Drawing. As valuable to the artist as all Loomis’s books are Jack Hamm covers all the basics for the young artist clearly, succinctly and affordably – I recently picked up a new copy cover-priced at 11.95 U.S.

Starting with a fine construction method for the head, Hamm emphasizes proportion throughout the book. Page 39 has a nifty illustration of the human proportions based on heads that always reminds me of something Grant Morrison could have done in his Doom patrol era.

One of the nicer aspects of this book is its section about clothing and folds. Too many aspiring comics artists just have no idea how to draw clothing on the moving figure and this would truly help them a great deal. The clothes are dated – no runners, sweats or other, more contemporary costume options are explored, but the basics are covered enough to allow the beginning artist to understand folds.

The best way to work with Hamm’s book is to copy his construction examples until you’re familiar with them, then find photos from life and extrapolate the construction on top of them. I’d suggest using tracing paper over magazine pictures or a fine permanent maker on the picture itself while having the book open to the relevant section you’re studying.

There are more thorough and more advanced imaginative drawing books out there, but I think this one is arguably the best to start with.

Sunday 2 August 2009

New Painting Project

I think I posted this some time ago, but I've decided to take the next two days to paint the thing:
I've always intended to turn it into a painting, but wrapping my head around the colour, lighting and values in this piece was too much to plan out with all the other things on my plate. The family is away for the next couple of days, so I think I'll take a stab at it.
I actually drew this in Photoshop in five transparent layers. When I was reasonably happy with the drawing I compressed things down to the foreground, mid and background.
I'll be dropping in values on subsequent layers matching up with these three. The plan is to craft a simplified grey underpainting. The tricky part here is that the ugly monster things are yellow energy constructs -- something that's quite easily dealt with in traditional comics ink drawing, but will present some interesting challenges as a painter. Dealing with Karu-Sil's odd alien skin tone while suffused with golden light will also be something to think about.
I'll update tomorrow. . . .