Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Different Devils I Have Drawn

Well.  I've completely abandoned my original intent of posting 'retro' pictures, for now at least.  I've enough newer items that it might be worth looking at them rather than putting up stuff that, at best, is a throwback to the days when I drew almost every day.

I did this... oh, about a week ago.  The original pencil work, at least.  I know, it's another Daredevil drawing, how original.  But, there's a reasonably good reason for it.  I was sitting at the drawing table, and I was completely without ideas.  Like normal.  I wanted to draw, but no ideas were coming to me.  So, I thought about what Joey has repeatedly told me: look back at the old drawings and draw them again, using what I've learned (assuming I've learned) since then.  Since I'd posted so many DD drawings in the recent past, I thought maybe I'd take a look at those and try my hand at them. 

I was originally looking at the one I posted with him doing a handstand on the corner of a building- I would redo that, with some hopefully better results.  It only took a minute for me to realize that wouldn't work.  I couldn't figure out how or why he would be in such a position if he were leaping off a building (yeah really- realism in a blind guy jumping off a building to fight crime.  Don't judge me too harshly), so I took another thought at the idea of him leaping off a building, and arrived at Parkour, of course.  Parkour, to sum up (no wait, there is too much) is basically a method of moving from one place to another in the coolest means possible.  Check out the opening sequence of Casino Royale or the entirety of District B-13.

Scouring the internet for some good inspiration, I found this nice one of a guy backflipping off a building.  Seemed like something DD would do, so I took a stab at it.  I was going for that more loosey-goosey style I came up with last time, but just couldn't do it- DD decided to stay a traditional-looking hero.  I kind of dug the picture, but realized it was just too close, physically, to the real-world inspiration (for clarity's sake, please note that the DD picture was drawn completely freehand; I used photo reference the same way most artists do- for inspiration).  And so it sat on the desk.

Until today.  I scanned in a few things and decided I was going to go to town in Photoshop on one of them, or draw something completely from scratch in PS.  I came across this one and realized I could do some of both in this one.  Two hours later, and it was all done.  It's basically all layers above and below the original pencil drawing, with some effects thrown in.  And then, once I was done, I realized I forgot to turn DD a bit for a more dynamic pose.  So, a bit more thinking and tinkering, and here you go.

Speaking of layers, I realized partway through that I'd shaded/colored enough of the picture that it looked pretty okay without the pencils (I did this to a lesser extent on the Christmas picture as well), so I've posted the 'original' picture without the pencils (check out the tilt of DD's body).

Okay.  There you go.  Time for me to go eat dinner.  Plus, it's so cold in here I can't feel my fingers.  Thanks for visit, and please stop back again.
Music: "I and Love and You"- the Avett Brothers

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sketchbook Am

What the hell- something new(ish). When it comes to drawing, I really don't have a 'style' per se (some might argue I have no style, let alone 'a' style). I find that I tend to draw according to what the idea or drawing dictates. If I have a very firm idea of what the picture or character should look like, I tend to draw in a somewhat cartoony fashion- or at least pretty stylized.  A lot of that comes from me visualizing characters as shapes rather than as people- which is why I can sometimes draw a pretty good rendition of a person, but other times, not so much.  I can see the figure as a whole, as shapes, but not how the anatomy actually works together.  If I don't have a good idea, or I'm trying to find the image I want to draw, I tend to draw very loose, sketchy forms- far too many lines for a cartoon.  A lot of that leads to me 'finding' the drawing in those lines- I will see the finished form somewhere in all those lines. And often, I don't try to bring that out in the final picture; I kind of like the looseness of the figures. 

As an indicator of why I draw like this, two of my favorite artists are Sean Phillips and Mike Wieringo.  Pretty much at opposite ends of the spectrum, Phillips uses a loose, naturalistic style with liberal inks- and no worries if every line matches up just so.  Wieringo, on the other hand, drew in a very cartoony, animated style- lots of clean lines, suggesting rather than actively rendering a lot of detail.  However, I love both their styles.

So I wondered, can I draw in a cartoony, yet sketchy/scratchy/realistic(ish) style?  I've pondered this for quite some time, and in the interim, a number of artists have come along who do just that- chief among them Skottie Young.  To me, he's the very definition of the style I'm trying for.  For a long time, his art was so clean it could've been animated- now he's taken that exaggerated style and bent and stretched it into this loose, scratchy, yet still cartoony style.  It's just amazing to see.  Well here- go look for yourself.

Anyway, one night this popped into my head, pretty much as you see it.  It's more along the lines of what I've been thinking of- a bit cartoony, a bit sketchy.  It'll never be mistaken for Young's or Phillips' art, but I kind of like it.  I like the exaggerated, cartoony faces and heads, but I'll always tend towards drawing a more 'realistic' body- so trying to drag the two together is something I struggle with a lot.  This wasn't much more than an exercise to see how the picture in my head would turn out, and I'm pretty pleased with the result.  Just for kicks, I gave it a bit of color, also in a mostly 'sketchy' fashion.  If I were to take a more serious stab at drawing a picture in this fashion, I would approach the colors in a very different fashion- much more like my holidays post (here) than this. 

So, hope you liked this bit of newness and look into what I'm trying to achieve when I draw.

Music:  "Brick by Boring Brick" - Paramore

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Are you SURE you want a new post?

Seriously, I had NO intention of making a Twilight post.  Really.  But, my good buddy Joey has been politely suggesting I post new art instead of the decade old junk I have been posting (my words, not his).  And believe it or not, I actually do have a few new things to post- but they're not really at any stage at which I'd like to present them.  So, I'm left with this.  God help me. 

These actually came first.  As you can see by the dates, they were done on New Year's Eve/Day- so if I were a smart man, I'd chalk it up to the alcohol.  Except I wasn't drinking.  Nope, my usual NYE tradition is to sit down with a bunch of movies and watch them till I fall asleep, then wake up and keep watching.  This year, for a number of reasons, I wasn't really feeling the desire to watch movies- the ones I picked weren't catching my attention, my mind was distracted, I was just pissed at something, take your pick.  But weirdly enough, though I was all over the place and in a not-good mood, I did feel like drawing.  Except for the fact that I had no idea what to draw.  As usual.  What to draw, what to draw...

I borrowed Twilight from my niece because I figured if I was going to keep hating on it, I should at least try to watch it first.  Then go on with hating, but informed hating.  Hating out of ignorance is so gauche.  'Hate out of knowledge', that's my motto (well, that and 'not in the face!' but that's another story).  I didn't watch it then- what are you, crazy? the night was already sucking- but it was lying there in my line of sight.  I saw the cover of the dvd case and thought to myself- 'dude, his face would be SO EASY to caricature.'  So, struck by the urge to draw ANYTHING, I took a stab at it.  And, honestly, I kind of like it.  Silly, not terribly accurate (I'll leave that to many other more talented people), but I thought it worked.  So, drunk on my 'success', I decided to try to draw poor Bella.  That one didn't turn out quite so successful as Edward- her face is just too boring to really sink my artistic teeth into (though she's certainly a pretty girl in real life, just not a very striking face to parody).  She did have those nice gothy eyes, so I tried to give them a little life.  Overall, I did get a kick out of it, and was surprised by how well it worked, even as an exercise in drawing something I had no interest in- except to HATE!

Cut to This past Sunday.  Bored.  Boredboredbored.  What to watch?  No fresh netflix, and not ready to dive in to the last season of The Sandbaggers just yet.  Hmm... LotR?  Too long, too late... Hitchhiker's Guide?  Nah, not feeling the humor.  Well not that kind of humor.  Hmm... Jeez- There's friggin' Twilight.  I should probably get this over with.  So, I sat down and watched it. 

And you know what?  It was actually pretty go----  HAH!  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  LIKE I'D ACTUALLY SAY IT WAS PRETTY GOOD!  Please.

It didn't suck as badly as I thought.  Make no mistake, it wasn't all that great- the acting was... uneven, the effects very low-grade (when I heard ILM worked on this I nearly spit out my beverage), and the story... well, I know it's not written for me, but neither was Harry Potter but I can still get something meaningful out of that.  What meaning I get out of this was, 'I'll never be able to predict what's popular.'  But for all that, it wasn't terrible.  There were some amusing moments in there (like the random synaptic firings of someone remembering they'd once been told a story of a trip to a theater where they showed a really bad copy of a John Hughes teen movie) and I really did get a kick out of VAMPIRE BASEBALL.  I also liked Alice- she strikes me as batsh!t crazy. 

As I've described it, It's a SciFi Saturday movie as produced by the Lifetime Network.

And all things being equal, from what I've heard, I'd rather watch this a dozen times than read the book once. 

And that, my friends, is why you've got this as your new art.

Oh, and one last Twilight observation.  The soundtracks for both of the movies are actually really good.  The music is easily superior to the films, and the lead tracks ('Decode' by Paramore for Twilight and 'Meet Me on the Equinox' by Death Cab for Cutie for New Moon) are both do a fantastic job of conveying the emotions I think the films are trying (and failing) to get across.  If you want a good summary of the movies, watch the videos.  Shorter, and better.

Okay, one more thing.  Sorry for any inadvertent puns in the above- it was how my mind processed this stuff.


Music: 'Meet Me on the Equinox'- Death Cab for Cutie (It's a really good, dark song- honest!)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

From the Crypt v.2, Item 13: Daring Devil


Yet another DD picture.  Don't know what to say- he was one of my favorite characters at the time.  This is just him in his 'new' suit (the 90's were all about recostuming heroes- I think every major superhero went through at least one costume change back then), balancing on a building corner.  This was a fun draw- you can tell I wasn't too concerned with every last detail, which is a lot how I sketch nowadays- and I enjoyed putting him in a different pose from normal.  That's all I have to say about that.

And for you long-time readers (all two or three of you), you'll notice no 'year-in-review' this time around.  I was kicking around a couple ideas for something to post, but figured honestly, it doesn't matter.  Suffice to say that this year was better than some, worse than others, and I expect 2010 to be more of the same.  Take that how you will.  Hopefully I'll continue to post art on here throughout the year, maybe even some new stuff.  I accuse myself of living in the past too much as it is; all of this old art probably isn't helping.  I'm feeling pretty directionless with the blog right now, so I'm not terribly motivated to do one thing or another.  Anyway- if there's something you'd like to see on here- more writing, more new art, more retro art, whatever- please let me know.  Feedback is always welcome.

Next: probably more old art ;) 

Thanks as always to you two or three long-time readers for sticking around.  I don't hear from you, but I know you're out there. 

Music: "The First Noel/Mary Mary" - Sarah McLachlan (sure, x-mas is over, but this was SUCH a great song)