Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Day 27 Norman Rockwell

After working from comics for the last few weeks, it was a nice change of pace to work from a true master - Norman Rockwell. I also loved working bigger. As with the drawings from Marvel Previews, I was able to focus on one image per page here - which made things much easier.

What I love most about his work is all the little details that he puts into an image. Every item is a story point, and nothing is extra. He also captures great expressions (body and facial) in his characters. The costumes with worn shoes and soiled clothes finish off the images to create a warm fuzzy fealing. Yeah - he drew propoganda, but he was good at it.

One of the things I started trying to do a bit more today (in the 2nd drawing) -was to block the heads in as cubes rather than simply spheres or egg shapes. Basically I am trying to add front, side and top planes to the head to help me place features. Still a long way to go, but it's a start.

In the drawing with the plumbers - I drew the character's heads as 2 dimensional shapes, rather than volumes. This seemed to work well in this case because the characters were drawn from the side/profile views. The 2nd drawing had a lot more angles, so using cubes felt better. Even still, I wasn't completely satisfied with the results.

Both images above were completed in about 1 hour total. There wasn't enough time to do the backgrounds, or really polish anything, but after looking at the results tonight I already have some things to think about for tomorrow.

I know that some of you folks out there looking at this blog do a lot of drawing each day, while others almost none. If not, it's worth asking yourself 'do I want to draw more?' -not 'why am I not drawing more?" because really its all about wanting to do it and not looking for excuses why you can't do it. It doesn't have to be book sketching, but if it is - I know you will have fun!

I recently heard an interview on CBC radio with a man who did a survey of some of the most successfull people in their professions across the USA and the number one factor of success was ...

not talent.
not luck.
just plain old 'stick-to-it-ness'

those who were successful, worked at their professions for a long time, and reached the top, as many others dropped out.

If you want to be good at anything, you got to keep at it -but that means, you also got to get started. If you keep putting off what you really want to do - you will be succesful at not accomplishing it. See, the same rule that helps you reach success, can help you not reach it too -if you are persistant at avoiding that which you wish to accomplish.

remember - the more you don't do, the better you will be at not doing it. You will be a success at avoiding reaching your goals. It doesn't matter what your goal is - you get to decide.

Just decide what it is, and start taking steps, even baby steps are good. As long as you are moving towards your goals.

sorry for being so preachy. sheesh.

Day 26 - Still in Danger

Have you had enough of the Danger-themed post titles? I have. ha ha.

Tomorrow will start with something else.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Day 25 : Danger in the snow

Another day with stage 1 not shown. As I mentioned yesturday, I did stage one the other day when the camera went missing. At any rate, hopefully tonight is the last late night drawing session in a while. My hope is to go back to earlier hours in the day. Working when you're tired doesn't yield the happiest results.

Having said that - I am still jazzed about drawing from this book, so expect a few more pages to come.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day 24

I started this page yesturday - but didn't have the camera handy at the time, so step 1 (gesture) is covered up by stage 2 above the volumes stage. In order not to cover up the volumes stage without getting a picture, I left it to be finished today (stage 3) and repeated the process for another page which I will post tomorrow. When you see it tomorrow, it will also be missing stage 1 for the same reason.

Overall -still having a great time drawing from this book - hopefully next week I will be able to work on book sketching at normal (earlier) hours so I am not as tired. I think the tiredness is really affecting the final drawing stage.

If you're new to this blog - I urge you to check out the Introduction and method section -found in the links on the right side of this page. In it I describe what I am doing, how I am doing it and what is the purpose of it all.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day 23 - Danger Danger

Another day, another Danger Girl page.. and still so much fun. Today felt like a backward step again, as I try and adapt to J Scott Campbell's style. One thing I really want to work on going forward is the way he does lips - he uses a nice combination of straights and curves (lines) that I don't think I succeeded copying too well tonight.

On the flip side, I am discovering that I don't much fancy the way he draws ears -but really, who am I to judge. ha ha.

His drawing of hair on the other hand is fantastic -and when I eventually reach the rendering stage in a few months - I hope start figuring out exactly how he applies the blacks to make it look so great.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

day 21 & 22: Danger Girl

Today I am posting 2 days worth of drawing since last night I was just too dead to finish the first page. I did about half an hour last night -and so today I finished off that page and did the 2ND day of Danger Girl.

I also want to apologize for the fuzzy images. Something is up with my camera - and I haven't had time to work it out, but rest assured it's bothering me so I will eventually fix it.

I hate to say it -but out of all the comics I drew from so far, this one is hands down the most fun. I think the campy nature of it has a lot to do with it.

One of the many challenges I found working here was trying to deal with the stylized proportions. These girls have crazy hips and legs. The Anatomy may not be accurate, but it is fun to draw. I also love the way Campbell draws noses, eyes and eyebrows. He does fantastic hair too -and hopefully as I explore Danger Girl more - I can discover some tricks in these areas and pick up on the design specifics.

For these two pages, I stayed loose with the hair - not trying to match exactly, but tomorrow I will try and pay more attention. One thing that I did try and do was break up the hair into a few chunks, rather than focus on each strand of hair individually. I know I didn't succeed 100%, but I feel that I am on the right track with that.

Another thing I discovered while working on these pages is the use of the right tools. For stage 1 I used an 'H' pencil. For those that don't know - H - is a hard lead, so that you get a very light line. It allowed me to draw forcefully without worrying that my drawing would become to dark. In areas of stage 2 where there was overlap - It did get a bit messy, but I tried to focus on one form at a time to overcome this.

You can see what I am talking about in the 2ND page - 1st panel where the girls left arm comes out of the side of her shoulder. I used a cube for the chest/back and cylinders for the arms. the arm cylinder overlaps the cube which makes it kind of messy - but this is ultimately solved in stage 3 when i cleaned it up.

When I got to stage 3, I switched to an Ebony pencil (that's a brand name) that is much softer (perhaps the equivalent of a 2b or 6b pencil) which meant that I was able to get a much darker line that easily stood out above the H pencil drawing underneath.

A final problem I had tonight was with the shape of the girl's face in the 2ND page - especially the proportion of the jaw. This is something I hope to work out better in stage 2 tomorrow.

See ya tomorrow with more Danger Girl.

Friday, September 18, 2009

day 20 - fantastic four

Tonight I did the 1 hour spread out over the whole day. Somewhere in there - I forgot to photograph stage two (volumes). It's been a busy day to say the least. Next few weeks will be equally crazy, so keeping up with this will be a serious challenge.

In the final stage I started drawing with the ebony pencil -but as you can see in the photo (last photo top left corner) -its quite tiny now and I was losing grip. ha ha. So I decided to go back to the brush -and am very glad I did.

Mike Wieringo's work continues to challenge me. I may try and sketch from it again next week -but it's too soon to know for sure.

With every new artist that I work from, I feel like I am starting from scratch again. Especially at stage 3 and it leads me to doubt if I am getting anywhere. Still, I know this is part of the learning process, and if it was easy, there would be almost no point doing it. For those who don't know my personal drawing style -its waaay more caroony. Far less super-hero-y. So Drawing from comics is really exciting, even though I have a lot to learn still.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Day 19 - Fantastic Four Mike Wieringo

Mike Wieringo is hands down one of my favourite artists. I got to meet him at a few conventions and the man was a truly nice person. His work continues to blow me away, and in trying to copy from it - I realize I have a truly long way to go.

Drawing the Fantastic Four felt great. The drawings didn't turn out that great, but it was a lot of fun having panels with more than 1 character in them. Mike also likes to overlap a lot; something that didn't happen as much in the Spider-Man pages I did.

Earlier today I spoke with someone at the shop about this blog. He mentioned that he didn't feel the method I am using would work for a beginner. Furthermore, he said that it was was working for me since I already knew how to draw.

I don't really agree with this. I think this method can work for anyone at any level. The only difference is the speed at which a person goes will be determined by how much practice they put in. Remember, the purpose of this blog is to get a lot of drawing done in a relatively short amount of time, by copying.

If you are just starting out, you should spend all your time on stage 1 - gestures. Copy just gestures - don't move on to stage 2 until this becomes 2ND nature or at least much easier for you. In my case, I still have a lot to learn in stages 2 and 3 -which is why I am dedicating myself to doing this. I am not going to move on to stage 4 (rendering) until I feel comfortable with these earlier stages.

Once you feel comfortable with stage 1 - start doing stage 1 and 2, but with a focus on stage 2. Do this until you feel you got a grasp of it. Don't move to stage 3 until then. Again - copying to do any of these stages, will help you get a lot of drawings done faster, which in my opinion is the key to succeeding.

Remember back in school when you first learned to read/write - you wrote out each letter over and over on a page. Sometimes you traced the letters out on a pre-printed pad that had the letters as dotted lines. In both cases, repetition in doing the alphabet helped you absorb that information into your system. It's the same thing here. Just more fun -because at the end you have a picture of the Fantastic Four or some other character instead of the letter 'a'.

Anyhow, this is just my 2 cents. If you disagree or have any other tips you want to share, please feel free to comment.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

day 18 : more Spider-Man

This first part is a drawing from the cover. See the original in the previous post.

the next section is an interior page. I think I need to slow down when I get to drawing the final details on the faces in stage 3. Will keep that in mind as I move forward. Also got to work on Petey's hair more. ha ha. Design wise, what I really am loving is the thick eyebrows on all the characters.