Friday, April 18, 2014

Alien Abduction take II

...The cardinal rule of drawing: Your 1st pass is almost always never your last.

(Our chimera supermodel looks a bit more worried here, which is good I guess, since more emotion in an illustration is theoretically a plus, both from a design and a story angle. Our resident proletarian android also has a bit more bounce or action to his pose, if not less rendering. Again, which of the two is more important at this stage of drawing?... Exactly.)

The mysterious Erlenmeyer Flask continues to change hands. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Alien Abduction

...in reverse, as our favorite chimera lady's apparently stealing the infamous Erlenmeyer Flask from a genetics compound.

(...So food and beer with the coworkers, and now an illustration. Well... no, I've been tooling with it for the past few days. But as far as you know, I whipped this drawing out in 20 minutes after a pint. Have been hitting paintings with this greytone approach more often, since it pretty reliably establishes the values before doing a color pass. Saves alot of time.)

In any case, an ode to The X Files.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Color Storyboards/Vignettes

Some color vignettes that never saw the light of day; originally just plain boards.

 (I like how some of these quick characters turned out, esp. the design for the girl dancing on the far right.)

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Fraulein sketches, once again

Listening to some ridiculous Viking black metal while drawing these.
Not having a strong underdrawing for the faces really killed me on this one, especially for the foreground character. Took more time than was needed. So as punishment, I redrew her from scratch a few times to remind myself that Photoshop has layers and opacity settings for a reason. These are all purely digital on Cintiq, by the way:
 (You can spy the undersketch if you look closely enough. Having this solid first really pays; though I find myself drawing as much on this layer as I do just trying to lay down perspective and anatomy guidelines. This works, but it's partly what killed me on the first pass of the drawing, getting too caught up in details when I should've been more concerned with overall proportions and proper facial geometry.)

Don't be surprised if part of this post suddenly disappears at some point.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Comic Panel rough passes II

This panel, and the scanned image below, would have been just previous to the two-panel color image I uploaded last time - both in terms of narrative and when I actually drew them. The above is purely digital on Cintiq, while the one below is Colerase on a Post-it note, with a little bit of PS work on the highlights. I kind of like how it turned out, and it was minimal effort in comparison with the other digital pieces this post. I may take this route more often in the future:

Some other work from this week. Both purely digital, both being reduxes on previous comics or illustrations from a few years ago. Besides benchmarking where I'm at in terms of overall progress in drawing (composition, faces, whatever), is also a good way for me to feel out how I want to work on larger projects, be it one-off illos or illustrated stories:

(Reuploaded the last image. Am trying to figure out why it's as grey as it is in jpeg format. Weird.)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Comic Panel rough passes

Experimenting with both color and word bubbles. Ignore the text. Hopefully putting some of what Mr. Arenas spoke about at last week's CDA workshop to the test.

Have been trying to lay down a greytone pass first before doing color on an overlying multiply layer. Feels a bit too airbrushed. Need to find a simpler method that doesn't require a gang of colors, layers, and time to convey light and shadow.

Some sketches and rough 1st/2nd passes before hitting the above. His arm in the right sketch needs to be bent more at the wrist if he's placing some of his weight on it:

 (I like the top left drawing, and the middle bottom expression.)

(This one felt a bit more finalized. Would treat this as the panels before the above colored strip.)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

CDA Workshop: Manu Arenas, notes on comic book illustration

One day workshop featuring Manu Arenas (or Man Arenas, as he's known on the front cover of the first book of the Yaxin series, The Faun Gabriel). Hosted by Concept Design Academy.

(Though Sir Manu would probably prefer spotless whites for the negative space around the characters, I left it fairly dirty since this came out of a physical sketchbook. Besides the drawing of other folks that were in the room, the characters in image are copyright Manu Arenas.)

He had some of his comic images up on the projector while he spoke, which were (loosely on my part) sketched the meanwhile in between taking notes. Condensed the two pages into one, ditched my chicken scratch writing, and typed out whatever notes I thought were relevant. Some PS for color; otherwise (if  Mr. Arenas happens upon this) the linework is Colerase on paper. It physically exists somewhere sir, I can assure you.

Notes here are by no means exhaustive, since this was a 5 hour+ lecture. He covered some art history the first quarter, citing Bruegel and Bosch as influences growing up.

Great artist, good class.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Space Girl, plus some story detritus

Some stuff from about a sketchbook ago. Which is to say, several months to almost a year past. Feels like a bit of a cheat, posting one-off sketches and the like rather than anything story related:

Had someone ask me about a month ago how the comics were coming along. I forgot what I said, something like "Ah, work you know, paycheck, etc." But the reality is that most anything from the sketchbooks this past year just haven't been worth posting, much less the (several) abortive starts at comic work. Several things go into it, mostly just general technical drawing issues - consistency from one page to the next being a concern. But ultimately the big bugbear is, well, story. Not interested in wasting folks' time with a supposedly polished story on my part if it's going to be the narrative equivalent of a demo reel. That's fine for portfolio purposes - not for something published. Or more importantly, something that should aspire to be memorable, to the point that it can potentially define a certain place and time for the reader. Milestone - not a millstone - for both the reader and artist; take note...
 (A couple of characters - and a key moment - from Solzhenitsyn's Cancer Ward. )

That being said, I should start posting some of those aborted attempts at comic pages. There are several floating around the sketchbooks, fairly complete in terms of characters. Almost an entire moment even, with a beginning, middle, and end. Taking the trouble to scan them in may be the thing I need to take another look at the drawings and correct them, in effect doing another pass and pushing the shapes or poses as needed. If anything, it'll be cathartic to get the dirty laundry out of the washer after several months and into the dryer. Just like real life.

(If I remember correctly, had previously illustrated several pages of a retelling of the Nihongi - the Japanese Genesis, so to speak. Seems the main character here is retelling the part about the wild man, Susano-no-wo, near the end of the page. Pretty lady seems content with just enjoying her breakfast.)