“Today, in our field, there is so much talent and recognition that we are reaching a saturation point. An artist should no longer strive only for breathtaking craftsmanship; he should, instead, try to help us live better, either by dressing the wounds that are constantly being opened by society, or by offering solutions to get us out of the mess we’re in…But it’s going to be difficult and we have a lot of work to do.” - Jean 'Moebius' Giraud

Thursday, October 18, 2007

FOR MR. BEATTY_90 minutes

Mr. John Beatty (if you don't know who this man is...well, shame on you for and go look him up, why dontcha'?!) e-mailed me a month or so ago telling me it would an interesting thing to post a small step-by-step of how I get through one of my drawings. I didn't' have time to do it then, nor do I have time to do this now, but I figured now is better than later and here we are.

Here's the WIP for one of my 90 minute exercises - as ugly and unrefined as it looks. This is actually the second of two attempts at Phoenix because the first one was stiff as hell - not to say that this one *isn't*, but I ran out of time.

STEP 1 - So yeah, here's the initial rough. "Where's the construction lines," you ask? The answer is: "I don't do them. Natch!" Well, that's a lie - I didn't do them for *this* one. There were no construction lines as the image was already pretty strong in my head. Hooray ignorant bliss! Seriously, no construction lines not because I'm cool and definitely not because I'm such a pro...but because I really don't know what I'm doing. And if you're here to learn something you can apply to your own work I have to wave you off with the biggest red flag possible; put simply - learn from better people. I am not better people. Anyhoo, I drew through her torso in order to make sure that her right hand (which her head is resting on) makes sense to be there. It kind of, sort of works - composition, the pose, her cuteness and over all balance was okay and I decided it was good enough:


STEP 2 - Now I go in and block in the spotted blacks in order to indicate a light source. Yeah sure - I cheated it, but my intent is not to capture reality (I draw cartoons not photo referenced images) but instead to give the character mass and to define contour and shape. Light sourcing and spot shadows also helps to solidify the weight and/or balance of an image. That said, it made sense to me (but don't ask me why) that the light source came from her head. I don't know if that's valid, but in Canete World it seems to make sense. The image is still rough, but at this point, I'm hoping the image in my head is as good on paper or else I'm in trouble like you wouldn't believe; I was running out of time:


STEP 3 - A step later, I add her sash and the fire bird thingee to complete the composition from the initial sketch and I got damn lucky it sort of looks like a bird. Sort of. BTW, you'll come to learn there's a whole lot of "...sort of works..." in my drawings. But whatever - I wanted to start inking:


STEP 4 thru 7 - The next four are a progression of images at different inking stages. I start with the face (just so I know whether or not she's got that 'look' that allows me to communicate her attitude - this is an important step for me and many a-drawings have been scrapped because I drew a 'dead' face on on a character) and just let the drawing progress where it takes me. It's an organic process and not at all efficient, but again...whatever. I love the inking process. It's like watching the whole thing come together. If I made mistakes in the pencilling stage - in my structure, composition, anatomy (haha!) - it's going to be so ridiculously evident when the inks are applied. Honestly, it's still a crap shoot at this point. But it's too late: time's running out and I'm definitely committed to this thing regardless of how F'ed up it is:


STEP 8 - Last one and done. I bump up the contrast and brightness in Photoshop in order to get rid of some of the grays and scribbles. And to make sure that people kind of, sort of know that it's my work, I add my little 'month + (e) + year' signature. Let me say that I despise... again... I DESPISE seeing my rough art. It feels really gross and I can't stand looking at it, so having it all inked up like this calms my neurotic soul. Here it is:


So there you go. If that bored the hell out of you then it's your fault for reading. For me it's another way to put something up on the blog that seems like I did a lot but I really didn't! Haha! Suck on that efficiency! It's the same damn image posted X amount of times and my blog is once again updated! Also, please keep in mind that I don't know what I'm talking about half of the time and the other half I'm talking out of my ass. I think this entry falls under the category of the latter. Take it all with a grain of salt.

It's all a bunch of smoke and mirrors, folks. Smoke and mirrors.

30 comments:

trialsze said...

Do you mind telling me what you used to ink with? Microns or something else?

Mark said...

that. is. SICK. I would love to see more process stuff like this in the future. even your roughs look great.

roque said...

Do you know where I can buy that brand of smoke and mirrors?

Superfrikkinawesome.

COMIKXGUY said...

its called adobe photoshop, duh :)


KAHN! do more of these man

when you going to do some techno-looking stuff like what you did in mr. majestic huh?

bryce collins said...

dude, you crack me up.

Max Lawson said...

Good tutorial, man. How did you learn to work with black in your work? I've been wanting to get in to inking myself :)

Simon said...

That was a nice thing to see first thing on a Friday morning! Thanks for posting it all, and your commentary too!

Bohrer said...

I don't understand anything you said in this step-by-step (heuheuheuhe), but I reeeeeally love this inking process!!
You Rock dude!!!!

DAN-VAN-COOL said...

Roughs are always my fave. The W.I.P's are Gold though. I love seeing other people methods regardless of how close they be to one another.

csteingart said...

Way cool eric!!!

Thanks for this, mucho helpfull. I love seeing yer blue pencils underneath, truly yummy.

-c

Creepstown said...

Talented and modest, you artsy bastard! Loved seeing this, almost as much as knowing that you struggle like the rest of us on a pic you can't quite get. What you did get done is still pretty boss.

Keep it up!

-V-

Urban Barbarian said...

Much appreciated post! Love seeing the steps - you're a good man for bearing your artistic soul!!!!

Anyway, I really loathe my pencils and it's only in the inks that I'm comfortable. Your pencils, however, look awesome! It's all there!

Again, thanks for putting that post together!

Sam Nielson said...

Thanks for the step-by-step. I don't know if it helped me at all, since no tutorial could capture how to do your magical mastery. But cool to see, all the same.

Pocket-Sized Cinematographer said...

Oh, for the love of cupcakes....

Smoke + mirrors = beauty. I love how your figures always look vibrant, even at rest, and it's inspiring to see how you think/sense your way through.

Also: art shouldn't to be done with a slide rule/calipers/committee of humorless engineers in lab coats with clipboards and pocket protectors. The process might be interesting to watch, but the results would most likely be depressing.

Alsoalso: you ARE 'better people.' This has been empirically proven.

The Astrid has spoken.

Gary Fitzgerald said...

thanks for posting these 'pauses' in your process.. I've watched you draw realtime and it's a bit too "kung fu quick" to break it down like this..

HartCactus said...

hell of a job eric!

-hart

Craig Zablo said...

Loved the process and loved the final piece!

Lue Sang said...

This is wonderful! I love when artists do step-by-steps, and this is no exception.

Great work Eric!

weshoyot said...

so this left me with one big question: do you have like a 90 minute hour glass? a trained monkey with a paintball gun and a stopwatch? how exactly do you determine the '90 minutes'?

William Dean Blankenship Jr. said...

Thankyoutensome! Absolutely amazing pic and despite your modesty, something one can learn from.

Peace,
3!LL

DerMidlet said...

It's funny how all the sickest artists are always so down on their own work. This is awesome.

gdeo said...

Hey Eric I just heard thet you're gonna be at the la scifi comicbook con...congrats

il decu said...

I just linked your beautifull blog into mine!!!
You're great!
Aloha!

Ryan said...

Hey man, you do amazing work. Like a million others here, I've been loving this blog for a long time. The Iron Man work you've been doing is awesome (the feet ain't that bad either.)

I was just wondering, what the hell do you ink with? It's such a pain to find the right types of tools to ink with. Anyways, thanks for the great art!

SedatOezgen said...

honestly,
no need to be so hard on yourself! you are a master @work and I dont care if youre trying to convince me that youre not! I love your stuff and it s cool to see it step by step.
Great stuff :)
all the best wishes,
Sedat

http://sedatoezgen.blogspot.com

sara said...

WOH!FANTASTIC!

Neil Hill said...

Great to bear witness to your artistic process, Eric. The final result is, very nice! Also, I completely understand what you mean by "neurotic soul", as I think most artists are very neurotic (at least where perfectionism is concerned) at heart. Great work, Eric!

sara said...

Hi eric,i add your site ti my links,i hope you don't mind;)
cheers

Tony Bui said...

Too awesome! Thanks for the hot tutorial!

azhar said...

mee too...put your site at my blog, always refer to your excellent work for inspiration...

take me as your apprentice..master