Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sketch A Day #12 - Adam Hughes Tonal Study

Found a great Captain Marvel piece by Adam Hughes on the web, and wanted to do a version with some of the similar tones on the toned paper to see how it would work. This uses both cool grey Copic markers and warm grey Copic markers on tonal paper with pencil, india ink and PH Martins white ink. While not entirely successful, this was an interesting experiment. thanks Adam for all the advice on working wet on wet with the Copic markers.

And please note that I believe Adam's piece to be infinitely better than mine, in both design and execution. He's a master at this stuff, so its just nice to have someone so solid in this type of work to look after for some ideas.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Sketch A Day #11 - Nude Figure Study

another figure sketch on the toned paper. still working out ways to play with the midtones, but I've not really done one to my satisfaction yet. Second half of this sketch done with my cat Voldemort curled up on my lap and occasionally pawing at the sketchbook.

I do NOT recommend this for beginners.

toned paper, Mirado Black Warrior HB, Generals White Charcoal pencil

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sketch A Day #9 - Miscellaneous Stuff

... drawn in a car while waiting for my daughter. Drawing by car light and with a steering wheel in the way is harder than i thought!

Thursday, January 09, 2014

In Which I Describe the Comics Business

I had to try to describe the comics business to someone today, to someone who was a fan, but was not an artist, who had no inclinations to be an artist, and would likely never have to work with an editor. And it was difficult. Not because he wasn’t an intelligent individual, but because almost didn’t want to disabuse him of the notion of how comics were created.

I almost wanted to enable him to live in the fantasy.

After all that’s why we read comics, right? To be able to live in the fantasy world for a while, to imagine that we’re Iron Man or Captain Marvel or Thor or whoever, and try to make the same good choices that they’ve made.

In the end, however, I asked him what he did for a living. He was a chemist he said. I asked him if, once he got in the job, it was filled with the same stupid office politics that all jobs had. He shook his head yes. And I replied, yeah, comics are like that too.

And it makes me sad, to see how many people of my generation have been hurt by comics, by a business that spits people out like a meat grinder on “high”. I’m thinking of multiple suicides over the last decade, so many lost along the highway, and all for a four color printed fantasy that seems to take over our minds somehow when we’re young and won’t release us as we get older.            

I used to feel sad when I realized that the vast majority of the people around me didn’t know what they wanted to do when they “grew up”. How could they not have the interest, the passion in something? How could the not be consumed by the overwhelming love of something, that something that they could carry forward into the world, into their life in a way? Do what you love the money will come is the bumper stick philosophy, but sometimes trite becomes true.

Now I wonder if I had it backwards. If that passion is an addiction or an obsession that rules us, making us make choices against our best judgment. After all, no one would trust a drug addict to make that best choices in their own lives, perhaps its time to admit that we dreamers (as Will Eisner called us) live for too long with our head in the clouds, and that we’re not always the best advocates for being released on our own recognizance.

I’ve been reading  “Woodwork”, the hardcover Wally Wood exhibition book that does such a brilliant job of showcasing the work of one of the most brilliant shooting stars in American illustration of the last century, and making the case that we simply don’t, in any way, value the work, dedication, vision that it takes to produce work of that quality. And so, it asks us, in its own between the lines kind of way, why would any of us want to dedicate ourselves to that sort of life? To learning that kind of skill and spending the hours that it would take to perfect that level of craft? Because it seems, when all is said and done (and there has been a lot of ink spilled over the rise and fall of comics prodigal son, a man of such skill in every area that he, like Jack Cole, could excel in literally every arena in which he was asked to work) that there is little or no reward until you’re over the rainbow. Woody would never see it in his lifetime. And yet, the work endures. People who see it full size continue to be blown away by what Wally did with a brush and some duo-tone board.

Is the work enough?

For the vast majority of us, yes, the work has to be enough. 

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Sketch A Day #7 - Stuff on a Legal Pad

... drawn with a dull number #2 pencil that i found in someone's misc drawer.

Sketchs drawn out in Bolinas Ca, while visiting friends and hanging around the living room as the sun set over the water. Found a legal pad and an ancient Ticonderoga pencil and drew a bit. Then is was time for artichoke pasta and salad. Lovely evening.

And, again, is there anything here that i love? No, but then i promised to show the good with the bad, and this is bad. so be it, on to others.