Friday, June 11, 2010

I'm Not Fearless

I'm not fearless. You know the type of artist I'm talking about. The kind that takes to the bristol and starts drawing with nary a sketch or thumbnail to guide them. I've always been a little envious of that ability. Just doesn't work for me. I literally have to work out all the kinks before I really commit to good paper. I guess I'm a control freak, and that characteristic shines through even when I draw. Sigh.

Perhaps that's why I enjoy sketching initially in ballpoint pen on plain old printing paper. It's probably when I'm most free... unafraid to make a "mistake". I don't really care about correct [or even stylized anatomy for that matter] at that point. I'm just trying to get the "gesture" or the "feel" of the drawing. After that, I break out the tracing paper and start refining. What I sometimes lose in spontaneity I make up for in polishing the final product before I EVER commit to good bristol. Pro and cons to everything I guess...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Work in Progress Part 2

First off, I really need to give props to Brian Bendis and John Romita Jr. I thought their ad campaign to introduce the new Avengers team was a stroke of genius. A brief sentence boiling down the essence of each new Avenger's character. Robert Kirkman's no fool, he knows a good idea when he sees one. He immediately used a similar approach to introduce his new Guardians of the Globe line-up. It was just as cool the second time around, and probably even more important to do, as several of these characters had never been seen before.

I've been living with these Sanction 7 characters forever and a day now, but know one else really knows these characters at all. I figured the "Bendis New Avenger Intro" was a interesting exercise to try out. I REALLY enjoyed it! It helped me get a more concise handle on my own creations. Boiling down their motivations, hopes and fears in a few sentences. I have quite a few to do, so interspersed between other illos I'll be rolling out these ads all summer.

As for the actual execution of the piece, even though I liked the ad campaign I really didn't want to replicate it exactly. I needed to put my own design spin on it. The piece was colored in photoshop. I decided to go with the exact opposite of the white negative space of the Avenger ads which meant using a lot of black as a back drop. Then I thought, what the hell, as a added design element I would use a photo or backdrop image that best describes the character's power. A warped photo of volcano plumes worked nicely. And because I can never leave well enough alone I took the original black and white illo, blew it up and inverted the image to create a "negative" background. Initially it was too stark and fought waaaay too much with the character caption. So I brought the opacity of the negative figure to about 45% and that seemed to work out just fine. Run the title text at the bottom and the puppy is complete. Shake, stir...and serve chilled. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Work In Progress Part 1

I'm back to my world building folks. The Sanction 7/ECBACC mash up piece was just the warm up. There will always be little artistic detours here and there but for the most part I'm back to focusing on artwork that actually pertain to this blog's title! Just don't expect any real order or rhyme or reason.

This character's name is FyreFist. He's one of the leaders of Sanction 7. His current mission along with his teammates is to provide added protection to the Space Station entitled Orbiter 99. Overall, I was pretty happy with the overall figure sketch, except I thought his head was a little small. So I enlarged his noggin just a bit.