The discussion topics this week have been a bit light, so let’s keep things going with some more of me claiming I’m learning to draw. I’m not sure there’s been any real improvement since the last report. This time it’s more about me trying a few new things.
What you see up there is (a) me running out of old ComiXology pull lists with all the practicing I’ve been doing, (b) my first attempt in years to draw a female (top row, ignore the middle one), and (c) trying something a bit more “cartoony”. (The one on the bottom left was actually from the back of the page–this is why old lined paper is a poor choice for making comics.)
See, I thought I’d try a different style, in case I decided to do something a bit more light and comical. He’s pretty easy to sketch. I like the hair the best. I also colored it, because I can. However, it took me a while to get it the same way again, as the above picture demonstrates. I remembered when I used to watch a TV instruction show by artist Bruce Blitz on PBS called Blitz on Cartooning (although on the blog he refers to a different show, Cartooning with Blitz, which I haven’t seen), and after finding one of my old drawing books. However, I’m pretty sure the guy to the left was inspired by something I saw on a webcomic, but I can’t remember which one. (There is a slight resemblance in the eyes to Jim Davis of Garfield and U.S. Acres but you can pretty much tell I went my own way.)
The original was just a quick sketch, rather than doing the whole “outline and add details” routine of the more serious-style art, which made it rather fun. And yet, when I tried again, I just couldn’t get it to come out the same way again. So after letting it go over night, I tried again, only I didn’t try so hard. I figured I get as close as I’m going to get and call it good. So naturally, it comes out right. 😡 Even better than the first time, actually. I even drew him a friend.
I call them Jake and Leon. Just because I wanted to name them. Then I wanted to color them.
I just realized I colored their outfits like they belong in the old Star Trek series. (heh) I’m also noticing that my lines still don’t scan right. I don’t know if it’s my scanner, something in PSP, or the pen I’m using, but the lines are a lot more jagged that I’d like (and that they appear in the original). However, since most of my current project ideas involve something light, but serious, this style won’t work. I still plan to work on it, and you may see Jake and Leon again in the future, since I’m not as thrilled with the body as I am the heads. On the other hand, some things I did while further practicing their heads I may incorporate into my more serious style. Not that you’ll notice, though, since it’s mostly in the drawing phase.
Anyway, I did another test page. This time, since most of my projects involve superheroes (I still think there’s some life left in superhero comics, if only to back track to the days when they used to be fun, unlike most comic and live-action productions–the cartoons get it right), I decided to try drawing a superhero. The scene in my head called for a Batman-style character, with the mask and the cape and the dark colors. I wasn’t really sure how I wanted him to look, so I figured I’d figure something out in the thumbnail/outline stage. Then I ended up drawing Batman.
I ended up story in my head once I decided on Batman himself to something a bit more actiony. The best I had room for at this point was one blocked punch, and a nod to Linkara. But dear god, the second to last panel came out terrible, even for my current skill level. Instead of blocking Alan’s punch, it looks more like he’s shaking hands. At least Alan still looks shocked, but it didn’t work at all. So I went back and redid the panel on a separate page…
and (not so) seamlessly replaced the panel with Paint Shop Pro. (The old version 7 I bought with my old Dell, as my Photo X2 trial expired. The changes aren’t major enough for me to spend the money on a full version at this time.) Then I set about coloring it…
…and this time finding the time to add dialog, so unlike my last test panel, you know what’s going on, too.
I can safely say that I’ve seen worse Batman art. So I’m no Eric Jones. Who is? OK, Eric Jones is, but nobody else. Also, I apologize for some of the words not fitting in the balloons. Something went weird between the time I worked on the file and the time I accessed it to make the picture file for uploading, and it claimed I no longer had the font I was using for some of the dialog. I’m not sure what happened, because I didn’t delete the font.
So that’s all I have to report right now. For the third report, I’m hoping to work on more visual backgrounds (doing them for sprite comics/pixel art was easy–I cheated with PSP tools, but it still takes talent to use them right!) and perhaps make some headway in drawing the female form. Or at least so they don’t look like men in drag. I don’t do those kind of stories. 🙂
I’m also adding a “BW Progress Report” category to the site, mostly to make it easier for me to find these in the future. So I continue to plan to not just complain (and promote), but also to join in.