Wednesday, October 21, 2009
The original image is from the upcoming cover to uncanny Xmen 518 by Terry Dodson. Terry is a remarkable artist, as his figures are so damn solid. I don't think I pulled it off too well, but I am glad I gave it a shot.
When I first looked at this image, I was really scared. I thought to myself ' why put yourself through this? its just too complex.' Then I decided to try it.
First off the gesture image is a real mess. I approached this image the same way I approach all the images -which is to gesture all of it first, then build the shapes in the 2ND stage. The result was that stage 1 was a real jumble. The only advantage of it was that I knew it would all fit on the page. I wonder how Terry did it?
Probably the next time I come to doing an image like this, I will try and go back and forth. Gesture out 2 characters, then block in forms, then gesture the next character and so forth. I think this will help me with the relative proportions and also allow me to keep the page cleaner as I go through the process.
A reminder about the bounding box I use on each of these pages. I draw the box in, to give myself a false end of the page which forces me to fit the image on the paper. If you find you are drawing off the page try adding the bounding box and drawing within it. It really helps. If you find you still go off the page, draw the box even smaller and try and draw within that. That way, if you do go out of the box, hopefully you are still on the paper. ha ha.
When I got to sage 3 (the details), I realized that I was off in quite a few places in my compostion, in terms of placing the characters relative to one another. A clear example is the girl with the mohawk at the top. I drew her too high up compared to the original.
A note about construction.
The other day, a young lady stopped in the shop and showed me a drawing she did of a statue at the ROM or AGO in her sketchbook. She was very proud of it, and it really wasn't bad, but some of her proportions were off. I suggested trying construction but she was adamant that it wouldn't work for her. I didn't have time to discuss it further with her, as the group she came with was heading out, but what I would say to her is - you need to practice it to get it working for you. She admitted she had trouble working from her imagination, but even still - can you imagine working on a drawing like the one above by Dodson and not use construction. Figuring it all out would be much tougher.
By approaching it step by step, I was able to work through it in a relatively reasonable amount of time without completely wanting to kill myself. ha ha.
Finally a note about the materials. As you may have noticed, I am using a pencil for stage 1, blue pencil for stage two and a brush marker in stage 3. I am really enjoying this combination as it allowes me to work in layers (one on top of the other) and still be able to see all the steps. When I was using all pencil, or pencil for stage 1 and 2, I was losing the early stages when I got to the end.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tonight I drew steps 1 and 2 together. As a result there's less process shown in the photos. Basically, I gestured out the poses and then immediately added volumes, panel by panel. This worked to speed things up and felt very comfortable.
Overall, I will need to think about solidifying the forms more tomorrow before going to stage 3 the detail stage. I think this will help me separate out the figures from each other. This seems especially relevant given the level of hatching/rendering that is happening on these pages.
Monday, October 12, 2009
just wanted to say sorry -but the stage 1 image came out so light, there was no point posting it. I only realized after posting, and since I draw overtop the same paper - the first stage is now hidden undeneath the last two stages.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I took a photo of 2 pages tonight. the 2nd page (the one on the right) I didn't draw, but I included it because I had mentioned yesturday Springer's technique of cutting of characters. This page really demonstrates that, and helps create the mood. Last night, I was planning to draw this page (and I still might) but in the end I went for the page on the left.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
After 3 days on this book, I have to say I am super impressed by the way the artist (Benoit Springer) lays out a page. He sets up scenes in a location, and then proceeds to move the camera around that location, much the way a camera man might. Each angle hooks up to the next, in terms of object placements and character placements. I wouldn't be surprised if he maps out each location in advance.
The locations aren't super complicated, but he manages to maintain a consistent location regardless of the angle he uses.
Another observation worth noting is the way he likes to cut off characters. Look at the 2ND row -3rd panel. In the actual comic page -he cuts off a characters face with a word balloon. This is intentional. You can see there is room to move the word balloon over -but he purposely put it over top the characters face. I drew it in (since I don't put the balloons in.) Note - in French comics, the artist draws in the balloons on the actual art. It's not added in at a later stage the way its done on American comics.
You will see this occur again in tomorrows page. Although I haven't done it yet - I picked out the next page to draw and you will see he employs this technique again.
Besides consistency, I am also enjoying the amazing compositions Springer uses in each panel. The focus in each panel is always clear. His cutting off of characters works to support the focus of each 'shot'.
see you tomorrow.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Missed quite a few days this week. My 3rd son was born this past week, and things have been busy to say the least.
Tonight I have started on a new book - Volunteer featuring the art of Benoit Springer. He's truly a great artist, and it was a great amount of fun to draw from.
the photos continue to be blurry -but I found out the reason is that my camera was dropped a few weeks ago. Hopefully, I can get it fixed or find a new one soon. thanks for baring with me.