Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Do You Mean Something Like This?; or, the Loneliness of Command

I forget when I drew this; a few months ago, probably. My niece, Emily, was trying to draw something. She asked me about drawing someone in a military uniform, with his hands behind his back. She draws like I do when I first started drawing: try to draw the finished picture all at once. As a result, things weren't working too well for her. So, once I thought I understood her meaning, I threw this together quickly- as you can see. I hadn't given it any conscious thought at the time, but looking at the picture, it seems to me like this poor fellow has the weight of the world on his shoulders. Certainly not intended, but kind of interesting.

Not sure if she ever did anything with the picture or not. Hope so.

Something more later.

Music: "Feel Good Drag" - Anberlin

Thursday, June 4, 2009

"Fat, Drunk, and Using Adamantium Claws is No Way to Go Through Life, Son."

The Art Club got together a while back, as we occasionally do, and were trying to come up with things to draw. I don't remember why we decided what we did (pretty sure Sean had nothing to do with it), but we opted to draw Wolverine. I think we were talking about either artists or the movie or- oh wait, it was the new Wolverine comic that had recently come out (now like 8 or 9 monthlies, including at least 4 team books- pretty impressive for a loner).

So we talked about interpretations we liked, and naturally drifted to an old favorite of mine and Joe's, Havok/Wolverine: Meltdown. This came out in the early 90's, and was distinctive for two reasons: 1) it was published by Epic Comics, Marvel's "mature" imprint, so it had cussing in it, and more importantly 2) it was painted by two different artists, Jon J. Muth and Kent Williams. Each artist painted one set of characters; Muth painted Havok, Williams painted Wolverine. We loved this series.

Williams's take on Logan was like nothing we'd seen before. Gone was the ripped superhero with slick, yet pointy, hair. In his place, a pale, potbellied runt with broken capillaries (how much drinking does it take for a man who heals to get those?) and hair that looked more like a pelt than anything human. He painted him with these two wild tufts of hair that streamed out behind him, almost like antenna.

It was awesome.

So it was, as we sat down and started drawing, that I decided to go with this Williams-inspired look. To be perfectly honest, all the smoother, animated-style, cartoony work I put up isn't really how I draw. What's above is really how I draw, when I'm just throwing something down without worrying every little thing. It really lent to this version of Logan, as Williams's style is much rougher (though still magnificent) than many painters today. I had a blast drawing like this, as it indulged my comic geek side, while letting me stretch my artistic muscles somewhat.

By the end of the night, there were three Wolverines in the basement: my rough and drunk Logan, Joe's masked Wolverine (with Williams-inspired long pointy mask), and Sean's Hugh Jackman-styled Logan (no mask). It was a lot of fun to see how all three of us took the same idea and went running off in totally different directions.

I wasn't done, of course. Once I finished the drawing, I decided to take it a bit further and try to color it along the lines of Williams's fantastic watercolors. Doing subdued coloring in Photoshop is a lot harder than I would've imagined. As you can see from my past coloring efforts, loud primary colors are a lot easier to do than subtle variations- at least for me. I've seen other digital artists whose work made me want to cry. In time, perhaps... but I'm pleased with the result, though as always I'd like to change things here and there.

Thanks to Dean Wormer for the quote.


Welcome back. Sorry it's taken so long to get this post up. Getting the picture to the point where I wanted to post it took longer than I expected, as well as life getting in the way. All's good, though.

See you next week.

Music: "Friends in Low Places" - Garth Brooks