“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
Monday, September 27, 2010
I remember losing my mind way back when SIMON BISLEY ('Biz' for those in the...uh...biz) did a painted graphic novel using these title characters. His work on that book was such a high water mark for me visually, I genuinely believed that from there on down Batman should always look all 'roided up - like his muscles were about to pop. I clearly didn't have my head screwed on straight.
I'm ashamed to say that don't know too much about JUDGE DREDD except for what Sylvester Stallone told me and I'm going to guess that ol' Sly's portrayal is not an all-inclusive definition of this character. As a matter of fact, I can't remember anything from that movie except for the overused tag line, "I... am THE LAW!" Oh, wait! I also remember the timeless Diane Lane playing JUDGE HERSHEY.
Mmm. Diane Lane.
PS - Yes, I drew him standing in 'milk' again. I guess I should go and find bigger paper than the 9x12" bristol that I've been using. Or draw smaller? Whatever.
at 8:07 AM
Sunday, September 26, 2010
In all honesty, it took WAY longer that 90 minutes as it measures 14x17". But this thing is neither a 'commission' nor a 'sketch', so the best classification I can come up with is '90 minutes'. Add to that all the damned hatching to emulate the digital/polygonal effect for Sam and design elements in the background, and it's safe to say that it took way longer than it should.
Also, before you crazies start in with the e-mails about specific inaccuracies in regards to this TRON: LEGACY inspired image, let me just say this first:
"I KNOW THAT IT'S NOT 100% ACCURATE - YOU OVER BEARING, OVER CRITICAL, SAD SACK OF A MAN! GET OFF MY JOCK!"
The reference you can find online were a challenge to decipher, so I did the best I could in interpreting them for this image. You're just going to have to deal with the liberties I took, and I guess we're just going to have to do what we can until the movie comes out during the winter season.
Until then, you get my jacked up version of Tron. Enjoy.
at 3:20 AM
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Here's the thing: If you have no concept of what a character is all about you're going to sometimes get into a situation where you're just drawing for the sake of drawing. And that's not really a bad thing, per se. That sort of thing allows you to explore nuances and details that you wouldn't normally be paying attention because you don't draw that person, place or thing on a regular basis. I think that's the fun part of drawing, designing and taking on commissions; sometimes you get asked to draw a character that's completely out of left field and the challenge is to have something original to say when it comes time for you to draw it. Because, let's be honest - why bother drawing it at all if you're just going to draw the damned thing just like every body else would?
All of the above is all well and good, unless of course someone is actually paying you to draw that specific subject. Then the added dimension of doing something that your client may want to own will naturally come into the whole equation.
In the case of this AH MY GODDESS! commission, I wasn't really all that familiar with the title character, BELLDANDY. Nor did I have anything to say about the series itself. So, to my folly I just started drawing. It wasn't until after I finished, went to bed, and looked at it again the morning after that I realized it was the most generic thing I'd drawn in a long time. It was, to me, very underwhelming to see, disappointing to realize that I was capable of that level of mediocrity, and I wasn't about to take a guys hard-earned cash on something that I wasn't very happy with. I believe the image needs to 'sing' as I'm drawing it and it was obvious that it really wasn't working from the very beginning. I was just really hoping that by finishing it, I'd come to some level of satisfaction with the final drawing. I didn't. Not at all.
Here's the saving grace of the whole experience: I now had blueprint of how I would do things differently. For one thing, I'd sidestep certain design flourishes from the original to keep things legible in the commission. I'd do a better job with the composition and I'd try to pose her smarter in order to make sure she had 'life', as opposed to having her come off as posed and unnatural. And last, I'd have an approach on how I would handle those large anime/manga eyes that, while seemingly commonplace in its original form, would look absolutely moronic once I applied it to my style.
And that's what I did with this - the new version of this commission.
The final image you see above is the second attempt at getting things right, at fine tuning, and finally coming up with an opinion about a character I wouldn't normally draw. It was frustrating to not to do that the first time I drew it as I pride myself in nailing things on the initial attempt, but sometimes that just can't be avoided. What I did walk away with (at least I think so - here's hoping the the owner of this commission believes it as well) was a better image over all because, as I've said already, I sort of knew what I was doing the second time around.
Anyway, there she is. Enjoy and have a great start to your weekend. BTW, poppy blooms are a b*tch to draw.
PS - If you'd like to see a snapshot of the first pass, all you need to do is go and follow me on my TWITTER account and you can see a link to it there. That's not too much to ask of you, yeah? I mean, I'm practically bribing you already.
at 7:54 PM
Thursday, September 16, 2010
If you follow my TWITTER account (and if you're not following me then why aren't you? What? I thought we were friends and that you cared about the drivel that comes out of my mouth?) then you'll recognize that all I did was cut and paste the entry below from that account about the images above. Yes - I've become *that* lazy. I'm not proud of it, I promise you. It's just a busy morning and well, honestly I've got A LOT of things to do. Forgive me. I'll try to come up with something more original to say with the next update. Anyway...
When we printed 'EGG' (which are still available for purchase - just click on the handy-dandy BUY NOW button on the left hand side of the side bar of the blog) we also had these limited edition art books printed called 'GOLDEN EGG' - a dozen of them, appropriately enough. And if you ordered this expensive bastard, your copy would include an original image rendered in COPIC markers by me. The images themselves have already been finished ahead of time, so you get whatever random one we send out to you. So, NO - you cannot pick and choose which one you get because I won't post what the images look like until after they've been sold and we've shipped them. And since these three have already sold, there's only nine copies left. If you're interested in getting one for your very own collection, please contact Jason Schachter:
Thanks for reading and as always - THANK YOU for your support.
at 9:18 AM
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
I had this one tucked away for a while and I don't know why. I just plain forgot about it, I guess? I'm not sure at this point. There's a lot on my mind because there's SO much work to finish between now and the end of the year.
Before I forget, for those of you going to this year's NEW YORK COMIC CON (or 'NYCC' for short), I am taking a pre-convention commissions list of ten (10) images in order to get a jump on things. If you'd like to get on that list, please contact my art dealer Jason Schachter with your request. He'll set up all the details with you as well as a booth and time you can pick your commission at the show. His e-mail is:
Okay, that's it. Back to work for me. Oh, one more thing: I say a lot more garbage on my TWITTER account than I do here (you can actually read it on my sidebar there on the left of this post). So if you miss my long-winded ramblings or if you'd like to see those occasional sketches I do that I never bother uploading here on my blog, then to follow me and my 160 character missives/diatribes/hateration would be divine, and to err is human. Or something like that.
at 3:59 PM
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
I still believe it's odd that it's pronounced 'fee-nicks' and not 'foo-nicks'. Stupid English.
You wanna know what else is stupid? People who ask me for a Phoenix commission at the show and who *don't* bother to come to pick it up later. Which basically says to me, "Hey, draw this character for me and waste your time during the weekend because I'm not really gonna buy it from you."
Well, that's a bit harsh. Admittedly there are a myriad of reasons why the person didn't bother coming back to pick up the image - the simplest of which is that they simply forgot. I've done worse during a convention weekend as there are just so many things a brain can process and keep track of. In the end, all is well and the Phoenix image found herself a good home (Thanks, JJ!).
Still, I think from here on down, I will start taking money up front as I take the commission. And based on the unanimous opinion of the ESSENTIAL SEQUENTIAL crew, that's going to be standard policy among all the guys. While that up front commission fee doesn't guarantee you an automatic image, it does hold a place for you on the queue of my commissions list. And should I not be able to get to your request, it's easy enough for me to return your payment. If anything it'll light a fire under my ass to get the image done for you since I've collected your hard earned cash already. I believe that's fair.
Wanna know what else is an odd word? 'Queue'.
PS - My Cyclops can kick your Cyclops' ass any day of the week. And twice on Sundays.
at 7:18 AM
This was a commission done for a very patient fan at this year's Baltimore Comic Con. I never understood this character or what he's about. Even now as I read his Wikipedia entry my eyes glaze over - he just seems like one of those characters that has yet to find his footing in the Marvel Universe. Take that with a grain of salt as I haven't read enough of his stories since he was first in the X-books.
That said, this is how I remember him from when he was introduced in X-Men, oh-so long ago. I loved those days; characters would be introduced with a 'Holy Sh*t!' quality to them almost every other issue. With Whilce Portacio providing the art, I can recall the issues being jam-packed with energy and overloaded with power.
The fan who commissioned the image waited all weekend and I'm so happy she liked it after all was said and done. I stuck the rabbit ears antenna on him and I thought that might've gone too far. But I figured that's par for the course when it comes to this guy's design sensibilities. So futuristic bunny ears it was.
at 6:44 AM