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.