“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 17, 2012

FLABELLUM_commission

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen, COPIC marker on 100lb/300series bristol board]





The fan (as well as her whole forearm) in her left hand should have been in a deeper shadow to help 'turn' it away from the viewer and, in turn, would help with its depth.

I will try to do it better given another opportunity.

Friday, September 14, 2012

SON OF STONE_update

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]




I'm a fan of contrasting concepts.

For example, I remember reading and being absolutely wowed by XENOZOIC TALES by MARK SCHULTZ. If you haven't seen any of the art form it, do yourself a favor and look for the trade paper back. You won't regret it. The best part for me was watching Schultz' style evolve from what he was doing in the beginning of the series to the finely honed illustrative style he was doing by issue #14. Really a marvel to behold.

Anyway, I think that's why I liked TUROK an awful lot back when it came out as a VALIANT title in the 90's; it was dinosaurs and Native Americans in a 'Lost Valley' where 'Time has no meaning'. That's pretty sweet! I was hooked on BART SEARS' art and the idea that dinosaurs were given artificial intelligence and was pit against our hero. To me, that was pretty wild. I went back later on to read all the previous issues from Dell and found the stories to be pretty charming considering their date.

I was at HEROES CON this year where I met editor JODY LEHEUP and he told me that he was onboard at the latest incarnation of Valiant and I explained to him that if he ever needed someone to do art for a Turok series to please consider me. I don't know if it will ever happen, and I think I may have been talking out of my ass considering I have absolutely no discipline when it comes to doing monthly comics, but I think that'd be a pretty fun job.

For somebody else.

That said, I'd better invent that human cloning machine soon so that I can have an army of me doing all the other things that my schedule won't allow for now due to my ridiculously heavy work load.

One can dream.



PS - My dear friend SARA RICHARD - an amazing artist who absolutely adores dinosaurs - will probably tar and feather me for drawing such a horrible rendition of... whatever that is I drew up there, but whatever. I had 90 minutes to draw this bad boy and it was all I could do to not get caught up in super-accurate details. Sorry, Sara!

Monday, September 10, 2012

THE SCOURGE_kickstarter

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]




"Actually, what you're drawing is 'scale mail', and not so much 'chain mail' as you had described in your previous description of the drawing. Base level scale mail offers a much better protection against melee attacks and a -1 versus magic. Chain mail is just pretty standard armor. So, you know... they're very different."

Yep. That's an actual conversation I've had with someone when they were correcting me after I had moaned about how difficult it was to draw chai... er... scale mail.

It just goes to show that you can take the kid out of the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, but you can't take the Dungeons & Dragons out of the kid.

Nerd.

THE SUPER HUMAN_kickstarter

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]




How ridiculous does this look, and how laughable is this concept?

I'd come to the conclusion last night as I was inking this (and consider by 'last night' I actually mean '2AM in the morning' - so I may have been a bit punchy) that I found as much entertainment drawing grotesque proportions on men as I do on women. Go figure.

I was basing a bit of this character from former WWE wrestling super star SCOTT STEINER. I remember him coming into the ring (with his wrestling partner Rick) and he often wore that greco roman wrestling head gear. I always thought he looked like a super hero. Then later on, when Scott showed up in WCW wearing a chain mail head dress and flexing his other-worldly muscle development that one can only assume came from the end of a needle - well, I was pretty convinced he was an alien. An awesome, super hero alien, that is!

Anyhoo... this image was inspired by a combination of those two versions of that man-behemoth. Come to think of it, I should've included that very distinct mustache and beard with trademarked blonde stripe down the middle of his chin. But that might've been too on the nose.




PS - The phallic, dildo-like quality that is his head, neck and shoulder area was unintentional. But certainly a very hilarious, welcomed accident.

THE ALL-AMERICAN_kickstarter

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]





Trying to re-design a heroic, American Super Soldier is a whole lot tougher than it sounds.

Because of my background, I have these knee-jerk design nuances that immediately pays homage to what I grew up on reading comic books. It's an irritatingly bad habit I'm actively trying to break free from.

I fail more than I succeed.

THE SEEKER_kickstarter

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]






I don't t know when or why it became acceptable to draw the same features, shapes and sizes on ALL women when it comes to comics and its illustrations.

I'm fully aware that I am guilty of doing that horrible bullshittery myself -  three hundred times over; and I think it's the only way I can embarrassingly form this valid opinion: I was indirectly trained to be a lazy artist.

In the past I was told - in so many words, and shown in actual practice - that doing the same cookie cutter sort of features is the short-hand way of drawing the personification of what passes as 'beauty' in comics; women had/have been standardized and sexualized to look a specific way. Honestly, I didn't care. I wanted to draw comic books for a living and if drawing top heavy girls lacking any emotional depth on their faces was the way to get a job, then I'd do that. Or, put more simply, "Big breasts, pouty, unemotional eyes and X-shaped faces are easier to draw over and over again. Now, modify that slightly with different colored haircuts, varying costume details and... VIOLA! And since that practice is what everyone is used to, and our fan base has been weened on this stuff since forever, why bother trying anything else? Great. Let's go sell some comics."

But now looking back, I believe that's just really just my poor excuse for not wanting to explore the many versions of what passes for an attractive female. 


Consider that train of thought for a minute and let's assume that comics - due to it's historically male-centric fan base - will only celebrate and tolerate statuesque proportions on their heroines. That's asinine, I know. But let's just check out of reality for a minute and say that the ONLY thing that will pass for a female super hero is 36-24-36.

If we can stipulate that the standards of beauty in the women of comics should ONLY look like... let's say... SUPERMODELS, can we come to terms that we should, at the very least, endeavor to give them different faces? Can we all agree that even supermodels' faces look different from one another? And if we can agree to that, then it perplexes me as to why the same face is being drawn over and over and over again. What I'm proposing is this: If you're going to have a bunch of superhuman amazons, you can at least draw different features on their faces so that they're individually identifiable beyond their hair color and/or their costumes. I would argue that, if your an artist worth your salt, an excercise like that shouldn't be all that difficult.



But like I said, I'm guilty of doing just that in the past. Hell, I'm still guilty of doing that now when I set my brain to 'automatic'. Old habits are really difficult to break, I must admit. So before I go and point my hypocritical finger at someone else, I'd better start worrying about what I can do from my end.

I say (to myself, mostly...), stop being lazy. I believe that it's worth the time and effort to not just do everything in short hand, and that to keep drawing women whose race is only identifiable by their skin color is not just insulting, it also lacks imagination.

Thin, thick. Tall, petite. Muscular, round. Oval, triangle, diamond faces. White, Black, Asian, Spanish features. Etcetera.

Let's try drawing all of those.

Friday, September 07, 2012

SHOWGIRL_update

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen, COPIC marker on 100lb/300series bristol board]






An image to be used as part of the promotion for upcoming LAS VEGAS COMIC EXPO on Sept. 29-30.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

ARTEMIS_commission

[11 x 14" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen, COPIC marker on 100lb/300series bristol board]




I'm finally starting to get through the remainder of this year's SDCC commissions list.

This one's for the very talented, very lovely FALYNN KOCH.

She (along with a handful of very loyal supporters) has been very patient with me and my semi-unforgiving schedule, and I wanted to really give her something that is worth that wait.

I was trying to channel as much GUSTAV KLIMT I could get away with without making it too obvious. I visited the 'THE MAGIC OF LINE' exhibition at the J. PAUL GETTY MUSEUM a while back and it really jumpstarted my fervor for pushing anatomic proportions even further (more than how I normally do already), for exploring the 'sexiness' of something based on the look and feel of certain shapes, and letting go of what is typically expected from commission style pin-up art.



My most sincere thanks to Falynn for holding her breath this long.

DIONAEA_commission

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen, COPIC marker on 100lb/300series bristol board]




Before I got started drawing her, the person who commissioned this image asked me if I could try and infuse some sexiness into the drawing, and that "...nudity will not be frowned upon."

"Sure," I said. "I'll see what I can do."

I'd never been a fan of gratuitous T&A. So instead, I just went for plain ol' T.

SEA PRINCE_commission

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]




I really do tend make abominations out of characters in trying to avoid drawing the original request for copyrighted and trademarked IP's. I'm very fortunate that whoever it is that commissions me are ardent supporters of my work and my policies. Otherwise, I'd have people strangling the hell out of me for the way I bastardize their favorites.

My favorite part of the image is the shark-like gills lining his ribcage. Originally, I wanted to really flare them open as if they're expelling a lot of water as he's taking a big breathe, stroking his arm forward as he swam. But I edited that down because I didn't want him to look like a complete freak.

That said, I may've still made him look too extreme.

KARINE_commission

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]



It's inevitable that the moment anyone draws a scantily clad woman who's got her nipples covered with a chrome bra and who also wears intricate, jewelry-like 'amor', she's going to draw comparisons to DEJAH THORIS - the fictional character from 'A PRINCESS OF MARS'.

It may also draw those comparisons as that may have been my intent.

So, you know... there's that. Don't judge me.

ARACHNOID...AGAIN_commission

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]



And so...

Feeling a bit uneasy of what I had drawn on my 'first pass', I decided to have another attempt at this commission.

This time I felt like I had an opportunity to round off the corners a bit more, that I had added enough nuance and narrative to his design, and that I had a batter understanding of what the character needed in order to read that his concept was descendant to that of an arachnid. Hell, I even put a spider on the rock hes standing on in order to drive the point home.

I then told my art representative JASON SCHACHTER that he should leave it up to the person who commissioned me as to which they'd prefer and have them pick that of the two.

And guess what? They picked the original pass I did.

Naturally.



The lesson there is: "STOP SECOND GUESSING YOURSELF, ERIC."

ARACHNOID_commission

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]



This was the first attempt at drawing this character. After finishing this, DAVE JOHNSON - with his very meticulous and discerning eye - pointed out that this guy's left leg sort of resembled a penis. And of course, for the next few minutes that's all I saw as well.

Beyond all that, my concern was that perhaps because this was the first commission I tackled on my list, I didn't think the design through enough - that it came off too much like a 'first pass' attempt. I struggled with that as I was in the middle of the next image on my 'To-Do' list so I promised myself that if I had a bit more time, I'd take another stab at it. Luckily, some time presented itself.

I try not to second guess myself too much or else I'd never get anything done at these conventions, but I just couldn't help it this time around for some reason. What I learned from this experience is that (and this should be obvious, but I've never been accused of having much common sense) I should warm up a bit before I tackle a commission image so early in the convention - even if it's just drawing something simple like drawing a rock or a tree or something.

THE HERETIC_commission

[9 x 12" - blue pencil, brush & technical pen on 100lb/300series bristol board]



This is a creator-owned character that JOE PHILLIPS asked me for. I remembered this character from a while back and didn't know he'd been updated to a much better design.

There's nothing much to say from the art end of creating the image itself. Because of the fact that Joe is also a very competent draftsman, my only concern was to not look like a fool while drawing his character. I wish I had known more about him; I could've added whatever small narrative to include in such a small image.

Outside of that - it was very fun, very fast image to draw. I'm grateful to Joe for letting me have a go at it.