Friday, 26 August 2016

Painting Over

There recent was a news report that stated exactly how many years less one lives by engaging in "bad habits". Six. GROAN!! Upon hearing that "uplifting" information on a day when I was already feeling a bit low, I thought I/we needed a pick-me-up and "dashed off" this comic.

Pretty nice. I initially drew an old style (1040's) radio sitting on a table, but realised that might confuse the viewer as to what era we were in. Also, the dog was sitting with it's front paws down and was more in profile. I thought the dog could be funnier, so I drew it begging, widened the hips and voila, funnier dog. When I changed the radio to a transistor radio, I had to put it on something and then the idea of the exercise bike popped into my head. The only thing I should have tried was to draw dust heaped on and around the bike to suggest it hasn't been used in a long time.

I was planning on inking it as I have the Orchid Society cartoons, but I'd also started watching videos on digital painting and thought this would be a good piece to try painting. Once I started, I couldn't stop.

When I said I "dashed" it off, well... it took about a week. Not constant work, but if I did it day after day, hour after hour, I might have been able to do it in a day and a half or two days. Gotta work on that speed!

But honestly, I'm pretty pleased with the results. 

I like how you can "feel" the volumes, the guys arms, legs, body have roundness. I like how his bottom teeth are visible and following the arc of his lower jaw. I like the shading on the burger and it's clam-shell package. I really like the chair's painterly quality and how punished it looks. I really like the fur on the dog - it helps to describe his forms and volume.
I have an idea now how I could have painted the dust, and I next time I'll add texture to the chair and some to the guy so he doesn't look like he's rolled in a bowl of buttered popcorn. Anyway, not bad if I do say so myself!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Sci-Fi Hookah Pipe

Oh man, it has been SOOOOO long since I've posted a new entry, I almost forget how to do it.  Sorry to all my faithful visitors (Mr. Illustrated Ghost) for my absence.  I'll try to get back into doing this regular like.  I could give excuses, but that's boring and doesn't help anything.

So let's talk about this drawing.  Who is this guy? What's it about? Where'd it come from? I've been reading the Incal by Moebius and Jodorowsky. The drawings are of course, totally amazing. I love the clean lines and the imaginative places, spaces and costumes, and the characters, so I thought I'd dash something off that might fit in there somehow. 

I like this guy's posture - sort of slouchy and how he's got a bit of a gut and fatty neck. I also like the familiar things twisted a bit like the thing he's smoking. it's a bit like a hookah pipe but this one floats or hovers. I tried to draw the bottles below suspended under a 3 rotor copter. The guy's pants have different fabric or material sewn into the crotch area 'cause he's probably got an air-scooter just out around the corner and riding that for hours can chafe. I like his glasses too - huge ugly things that belong on Mrs. Doubtfire (remember her, Mr. Ghost?!) but maybe these ones have some heads up display projected into the glass and a larger surface is better.

I realised when doing this drawing that I like imagining these things that you don't necessarily see. It helps to make it more convincing, to add depth to the concept, but it also makes me want to explore that further, show more to the audience. If only I could do more, draw more, maybe tell a story with it or ... I dunno, turn it into something instead of it just being a one off, like a draw on a sci-fi hookah pipe!

Friday, 1 April 2016

Into The Grate Beyond

Ok, ok! Sheesh, can't a guy work two jobs in peace and quiet? I did this drawing a few weeks ago and should have posted it sooner and saved myself some harassment from you, yes, you, Mr. I. Ghost!  

But anyway... the idea for this one came from a poem by David Huebert entitled Grate, Dundas St. that won honourable mention in a local poetry contest (you read it here. I really like his imagining of going into a grate on the side walk and the world underneath. He mentioned "engines boring" and "wastelands of steam" and "black tears oozing slowly". All very evocative. I'm tempted to take another go at the machinery/underground city part of my drawing (the section right in the middle) because I didn't get anywhere close to what I was imagining based on the poem.

While I like drawing of the man before he falls into the grate, I was letting the pen take too much control, so he doesn't look enough like the other people to the right, and the while the last drawing of the man riding a busted wooden door on an subterranean river is also good, the proportions aren't quite right.

What I do like it the perspective, and I think I effectively showed movement into the underground. Looking at it now these three weeks later, I realize I could have drawn a rectangular light above the falling figure's feet to further indicate he's falling in. While the pen did take control, I like the line work which isn't fussy, but is sharp in clear. 

When I was drawing it I knew it was going to need to be severely rendered in black, but I wasn't comfortable doing that as I thought I might wreck it. I put the drawing shown below as an example of the marker rendering style I should use on this sort of piece. I hold the marker on like one does a piece of chalk which puts the side of the marker to the page, not the tip. You can get a nice scratchy texture and control the darkness far better than using the tip.

And yes, Mr. Illustrated Ghost... that's you! 

Monday, 1 February 2016

Striking the Match

As you know, I've been off the drawing wagon for a bit and am trying to get back on, but it's bigger than that. Lack of drawing is a symptom of feeling like I don't know what I should be creating and feeling a bit "aw what's the point, this project ain't going nowhere" sort of terrible attitude. It's a stupid, useless internal conversation that should just be circumvented with "if you want to draw, to create great. Do it. if you don't, don't. Whether it becomes something or goes anywhere is beside the point"  But I'm not doing either of those binaries, I'm going back to a different way that goes as follows: "You don't feel it now, just keep trying. Draw, think, remember, imagine and the fire might re-ignite, but also, try not to think this one to a final marketable product end goal.  Have fun".

So thing brings us to this page. Football players and bears, or rather, bears posed and built somewhat like football players. Without giving too much away, this is a character concept study where high-school/college students transform into various animals and a football player transforms into a bear.

But about this drawing, there are good strong poses, nice body forms, good lines of action but I really like the shapes of the bear. His arms, his feet, and how you can still see the bulk and how that bulk restricts his movement. You can also see the power it would have in his shoulders and to me I can also see how he might tower over others. 

What's that sound. Snick. Scrick. Sounds like a match being lit or something... Hmmm.


Thursday, 21 January 2016

Long Dry Spell

It's been a while since my last posting... aren't you supposed to say something like that at the start of confession?! Anyway, life changes got in the way. But here you go. Not a bad piece to mark my return to WoodPanels.

This was done at a poetry reading last night. I thought of filling a page with various lizards, but the idea or image in my head wasn't at all like this result. When I did the blue pencil sketch which filled the page pretty well, I forgot about doing a bunch of drawings and focused on this one. It took about an hour and a half, but as you might expect most of the time was spent shading.

What do I like about this one? I like pose, the "s" shape. Very sinuous and smooth. I like how you can see the form of the creature - it's roundness which is well described by the fine lines. I like the eyes, which I think are pretty convincing, especially the one on the left, how you can see through the cornea and see just the edge of the iris and pupil. I like the creature's proportions and anatomy - the extra long neck and his funny mouth that isn't happy or sad or any one thing. I like the different tonal bands that were done by shading some scales/ovals darker as opposed to drawing bands or rings around the body and then shading the whole section. That wouldn't have looked so subtle. I like the tiny horns for eyebrows, which, incidentally, are pretty much the only thing that came from my original mental image into the final piece.

The only thing I think would have made this one better would have been a bit of a shadow underneath the lizard, to place him on a ground plane. Other than that, not bad.

Thanks, Mr. I. Ghost for mentioning WoodPanels and my absence from it. I have been away from it too long and your words encouraged me to get back to it. I hope to post more and perhaps something more comic/sequential art related. 

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Follow the Squirrel

A bunch of us took a poem and did a "translation" or reworking or re-imagining of it.

This is my version. I hope you can see it/"read" it. I'll not say much about it because I think the fun of it is just trying to tease it apart, to grab a meaning out of it. I hope you can, but don't worry, I won't help you out if you can't!

What do I like about it? Lots of things but the most important thing is the line work (the scratchy black lines - the blue and purple lines are my roughs). Using a brush that looked (to my eye) like a pencil or crayon texture I was able to produce loose, easy lines. I consider that something of a breakthrough as (maybe you know) I find inking on a Cintiq rather hard. I think quality of line can make a drawing appealing or not and I've worked so hard to develop that and need to re-learn how to produce that on a Cintiq.

In the book "Through the Woods", Emily Carroll has produced interesting stories with excellent pacing and very little writing which I think helps the viewer to investigate the drawings more, to dig into them and not be distracted or pulled away from the drawings by the written words. With luck, My piece has done some of that.

The images above are nice, the flow is good and I think the pacing is good too. As the "reader" I think there is room to breathe and take it all in.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Whole Briefcase Full Of Versions

Hope you can see all the drawings above. But if you can't you probably can't see the first one very well, which is the worst!

So lookit this. Lots of versions. What's going on?

Number 1 was way off... I could tell the design was terrible and I needed to try again. I flipped the page over and did #2. I liked the fat gangster on the left ("Lefty"), wasn't sure about his action, but didn't like the one on the right ("Righty")- he didn't seem nearly tough enough. 

Version #3 was getting there. Lefty looks good, I liked his face and his body looks bulky enough. I got rid of the action of him buttoning up his jacket because I wasn't sure it was reading. Righty looks cool and handsome, which I really liked but knew he should be riffling the bills as was suggested (though poorly drawn) in version #2.

And then as the sun was going down, I decided I had to wrap it up and did version #5. I put the suit buttoning action back in on Lefty - it somehow felt right, like they're getting ready for business. I tried tilting Righty's head and put the riffling bills action on him. It took a few go-rounds before I got something that looked convincing and was read-able.

... and then the inking - version # 5. Not much different there. I returned Righty's head tilt and body shape/line of action back to how it was in version #3, and widened Lefty's body a bit.

It's all an effort to keep going till I get there, till it looks like I imagine and I think I did.