Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pose Swapping

I had a drawing session last night with Ryan Ottley, Tom Scholes, and Jon Diesta. Derek Hunter and his wife, Rachel stopped in just to say "hi," and later on, we were joined by Jeff Chapman and a really nice buddy of his who I've met before and whose name escapes me (I need to quit doing that).

Anyway, things started off with the usual goofing off. Since I had built up about a two month beard (shaved today) I had to have a dude with a beard on the page. Ryan Ottley asked about how I approach heads and threw one out (upper-right corner) to give him an idea. I will approach heads a bit differently depending on whether I am starting a drawing with the head or need to put a head on an existing body, because I used to have a really hard time getting the size of the head right when doing the latter.

After that page, we decided to do some pose-swapping. This is really fun to do just because my drawings are usually in repose or all twisty and weird, and Ryan, for example, has such a super heroey style that doesn't come naturally. So we each traded some sketched up poses and filled them in with our own interpretations. On the second drawing, Tom put some abstract shapes in for a background, Ryan did the poses for the two people hitting each other, and Jon added the demon pulling on the one guy's hair. I roughed in the sketch and thought it was fun, and handed it back to Tom to shade in, because he usually does these little grayscale thumbnails of environments when he comes to draw, and I thought it would be nice to flesh out. But I think it was a mean request since the page was so big and it was so "liney," which isn't his cup of tea. So I think it got a little messy but it's still fun to see. Oh, and I went crazy with a penis, again. Yay, me.

Ryan had another pose lying around, so I asked Tom to fill in the background with his abstract scenery shape-things, and I threw more doodley stuff down. You may be able to still see some of the original pose lines on the drawings. I think the tentacle guy was just another humanoid, but I thought the vaguely piratey fella should punch something with tentacles. Is it wearing pants, or does it just have pant-like legs???

Finally, things were topped off with a little more last-minute goofing.

20 comments:

Cal Ki said...

Alan, it perplexes me how effortlessly you draw heads. You don't seem to fight with detail or getting the shape right after the initial oval shape one does to configure the faces features. I personaly had to get a comic book artists guide and it only feels like i'm trying to draw Arnold Schwarzenneger's face during his periods of maniacle eye bulging face clenches (i think you get the picture). How can you advise someone on rendering the correct heads?
And also without rudely forgetting the work is astounding, I like to see the creative minds blend for your art sessions whether in mcdonalds, starbucks or home. Thanks again Mr. 2!!

Tom Scholes said...

Nah dude! It wasn't mean, I just had no idea what to do. I suck!

Love reading these posts dude!

Rafael Franca said...

Hey, Alan! I'm from Brazil and I'm a huge fan of your work! I've been following your steps since 2005. I've been wishing for you to update since then. I love your draws and your style. It's so natural. I'm an artist too, but not as good as you. I downloaded all your sketches from the old website. I'm very happy that you are updating again! Thank you a lot! Sorry for the awful english. I'll be glad if you could contact me with news. My e-mail is rafaelfrancarj@hotmail.com. Thanks again!
Rafael

Alan Tew said...

tom: liar!

rafael: thanks for dropping me a line. I like visitors and your english is a-ok. What kind of news do you want?

cal ki: I probably used the same books growing up to figure out the head and still had problems. I think with all drawing reference, you use the guidelines, accept that your style is temporarily pushed into the style of the author you're referencing, and then make a conscious effort to bend it back into your style. I really think construction lines suggest different things to different artists, and that it's a good exercise to actively search for and find the lines that suggest useful proportions and features to you. The only other tip I have is to just look at people (yourself in the mirror works) and just decide what lines / colors / whatever you care about. You may notice that on guys I rarely draw the top of the lower eyelid, but usually focus on the "eye bag" line below the lower eyelid. It might just be because I have bags under my eyes, but I decided it was a more important distinguishing feature on the male face. So find what elements of the body speak to you.

WyA said...

Yeah! Those were the good ol' days. I miss em already. I gotta post my 4 person drawing as well. I love what you do to my sketches Alan, looks awesome.

Alan Tew said...

I love what you do to mine! Hugz to everyone.

Hackrifice said...

Hullo.
I have also been a huge fan. I even bought Van Helsing for PS2 just because you worked on it! I've been checking your website, like, weekly-monthly, ever since Ed Tadem introduced me to your work in 1998-ish. So it is very inspiring to see you updating so regularly out of nowhere.

Yours are some of my favourite drawings to look at to get inspired for my own. I have always loved the sense of just sketching whatever all together on one page.

I'm very eager to follow your further exploits!

smashfaced said...

Hey Alan,
I have to say I am also a big fan, and I've been following your stuff since 2004, maybe late 2003. I'm glad you're updating again. I bought Barbarian just because I knew you were one of the designers.
And, there's really not much more to say other than, I second everything that your other fans have said.

Rafael Franca said...

Alan, I meant news like new projects that you are working on. I also want to know what artists do you use as reference and indicate for draw studies. Thanks again! Sorry if I wasn't very clear.

Alan Tew said...

hackrifice & smashedface: I hope you enjoyed the respective games you bought and very much appreciate that you had me in mind. I know as a developer you often wish you could sell the development of the game instead of the game itself. There are so many difficulties in game production that you feel proud of overcoming that only sometimes equate to a good game. As a gamer, you always compare your contributions with the best in the industry.

To both of you, I greatly appreciate that you have followed the website for so long, and I hope this return to form is as fun for everyone as it has been for me. I'll probably put up a post soon about my intentions for the site moving forward.

rafael: I am currently design lead on an unannounced game for DIS. It's still in its early stages, but has been a great opportunity and a lot of fun. I wish there is more I can say about it, but it has to stay mum for awhile.

As far as influences, I'd say no one has been more influential on my art than my friends growing up. Finding peers that do art is probably the best way to push what you do. I am extremely excited about the art of kids that grow up associating with professionals online, since this will be an incredibly powerful focuser for the really driven types. Without the internet, most of my influences were comic artists and authors of books. I was a big fan of Art Adams in my early years and a complete Kevin Maguire (Justice League) nut in high school. Books that influenced my style were How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way (Buscema), Dynamic Figure Drawing (Hogarth), and Facial Expressions (Faigin). I'm sure there are better references, but those were mine. Seriously, my best friend growing up, Joe Abraham, and my mirror were my biggest influences. Draw a lot for the win.

Cal Ki said...

Hey Alan thanks plenty for the advice its much appreciated. I apologize for continually taxing you with constant questions its my nature, but only for sincere purposes. I'm curious and only for curious reasons as to why as i've seen in most of your drawings characters tend to have a sharp line climb up the jaw? To explain this question, on the page whereby you showed Ryan Ottley your head rendering the second last guy to the bottom left who's got his eyes peeled behind as though someones creeping up on him, there's the line climbing up his jaw again. I know its a silly question but is that from the oval structure line you make before working on head and facial features?
I'm studyin to be a chiropractor and art is a passion of mine so I feel very strongly towards anatomy and rendering etc. As a loyal member in your fleet of supportive fans, I ask the questions with atmost admiration of your work. Thanks for being a great inspiration even in my short period of knowing your works.

Jacob said...

Hey, Alan, I'm glad to know I'm not the only fan frequently stalking your old site. I'm thrilled to see that you're updating again! Your style has had a pretty big impact on my own art over the past few years. Right when I discovered your old site quite a few years back, your style was very close to my own... just WAY better, so since then I've been modeling my own art after yours. I've never had a problem with developing faces, it was the bodies and poses that always gave me a hard time. As your work seemed so similar to my own, all of your art has definitely helped me get a feel for drawing bodies. This post in particular will be an awesome resource when I try honing my skills. Anyway, I just wanted you to know that your art is awesome and I'm glad to see you're updating again!
-Jake

Alan Tew said...

jacob: awesome. I'm happy when other folks get something out of all the fun doodling. Thanks for dropping a line.

cal ki: that line is actually kind of a filler line I like to put in when I want to add some texture or make a guy look a little more rugged. If you look in the mirror and clench your jaw, it's basically that line that I have in my mind. Sometimes, every once in a rare while, I will add just a straight horizontal line or two under the eyes of women just to add filler and loosely suggest blush. or pinker cheeks.

skrubbles said...

Alan,
I too love your sketches and have throughout the years randomly gone to your site in hopes of finding an update. I'm glad you switched over to blogger. Hopefully the ease of updating will allow us fans to see more of your work... also with google reader and your blog's rss feed I'll instantly be notified when you update! :)

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for the great work and inspiration and I'm glad to see new stuff from you.

Roybie said...

It is quite a delight to find you've started posting again! I think "I like floating girls." is possibly my favourite picture by any artist ever. Lovely stuff.

Alan Tew said...

skrubbles & roybie: thanks guys. I'm really happy to be updating again. Expect more stuff in a day or two. There's a big backlog I need to get to. "I like floating girls" is my favorite of my stuff, too. ;-)

elegaro said...

Nice draws....i have been a bif fan of you since a long time....i really like the way you draw perspective...
Keep going....!!!:)

Alan Tew said...

Aiight!

Kayode Kendall said...

Great stuff, as always man! I was wondering when you'd start putting stuff up online again! I used to visit your old site every week years ago, and was amazed how frequently you would have stuff updated.

Alan Tew said...

kayode: welcome back. I hope things maintain that old schedule. I've found that I've really missed doing this.