Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bram Stoker's Douglas

After completing a 24-hour comic (err, pencils) and feeling proud of the accomplishment, I found myself craving "productive" art more than my typical doodles, and my Nausicaa fan art was an outlet for that. Also coloring the comic -- which I'm doing on the side now (about 8 pages in, in my spare time) -- has helped. But random doodles still exist in the cracks, and craved a posting.

This one was done shortly after the 24-hour comic, I think. I struggled with inking my comic -- I'm constantly disappointed by the reminder that inks are a separate craft that needs separate attention devoted to it -- so it weighs on my mind. This page was done with a .05 micron, which was one of the pens I liked for getting tighter control and results. The page wasn't a very conscious exercise, though, as much as random fiddling. The thick lines are the result of a Sharpie being within my line of vision, and the sitting kid is a absent-minded reaction to some thoughts I had thinking about "the Marvel way" of doing inks, with constant black shadows inhabiting all manner of corners in the drawing, without serving as much an "iconic" purpose, if that makes sense. It just seems like throwing down thick blacks is fine but kinda defeats the purpose of high quality paper and colors, whereas it might have once been very fitting -- even iconic -- in comics when you have really basic colors, as they were when limited by newsprint paper. Regardless, it's hard to deny the utter sexiness of a finished page of inked pencils. Ryan has them littered all over his office, and it's all drool-worthy. And then there are the Sean Murphy and James Harrens of the world, but I'd like to make pretend they don't exist, thankyouverymuch.

Quick doodles. I think I've mentioned before that I like toying with the idea of getting much more explicit with my art, but still have a hard time diving in. Again, the drive is not to satisfy a base urge so much as just master an aspect of human figures that I can't say I'm good at drawing... but yeah, just sketchy innuendo for now, and there are a million other things to get better at, like non-people and inking, to name the tip of the iceberg.

Before doing my Nausicaa piece, I doodled a bunch of costume and equipment to make sure I didn't mess up anything. Lately I've been in a Miyazaki mood, and I really feel like re-watch all of his movies. It actually depresses me that so many people watch those movies and only output a "meh," or just dump in the "bleh anime" bucket. I love how many amazing, character-driven moments are in his film, and Spirited Away might be my favorite; in it, I see a perfect combination of a singular vision, a "Through the Looking Glass" classic storytelling feel, a powerful character arc, and the perfect balance of un-insulting elements of danger and triumph that parents and kids can enjoy at the exact same level.

After doodling up equipment, I was going to dive right into a fan art piece but I stumbled into another problem with having done the 24-hour comic (err, pencils), which is devaluing solid pencils. Because I approached the comics with roughs before finals, I became sloppy with my pencils for layout purposes even without plans to then re-pencil them later. But perhaps more than that, the approach in this sketch just looked like most of the moments I see with Nausicaa -- always kicking butt and never really doing the wrong thing -- and that's why I went with the "Nausicaa effed up" approach with the final piece.

After awhile I just wanted to do my the usual thang. It was nice to just bust out some figures and play around. I'm sure going back to what you know has some rejuvenating merit, though I also hope it doesn't also mean feeding habits instead of growing past them. I'm too busy anyway. Blerg.

Showing my latest comic effort to friends has been interesting because the content is so heavy. I got in the habit of showing both 24-hour efforts -- the Zombie Bean and my new one -- to reassure them that I'm not just brooding with spooky angst. I really just wanted to do a unique take on the fight-to-enlightenment story and it happened to be heavy. But yeah, it reminds me of how many more comments and seemingly better reaction I got to the Zombie Bean story. People love the beans. And I do too, it's just not what I'm most proud of in my art. I suppose those things don't have to align.

This past Tue's draw night was more silliness. I drew an old man with a big dong because those two things don't meet up often enough, and the character had kind of a celestial quality to him. But any resemblance to the big guy is coincidental, dammit. The girl without pants has kind of a Keira Knightley (sp?) vibe to her because of the underbite (?). In my opinion, Keira has a very un-traditional look at certain angles. The last doodle-figure of note is Douglas. He had a hairdo that kinda reminded me of Dracula's do in Bram Stoker's Dracula, so I pinned him with a similar surname. Thank you, Doug. The scribbles on the page are notes from playing RoomBreak on the iPad -- a kinda fun / irritating puzzler.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nausicaa Fan

I recently brought Nausicaa to work for Ryan to read and it's reminded me of how much I love it. It really is one of the best comic series I've ever read, and expands hugely on the content of the movie. The art and story -- by Miyazaki himself -- are absolutely breathtaking and the world it explores is mind-bogglingly cool. While my Nausicaa bug was still buzzing, I thought it would be fun to do some fan art at this past draw night. The end result is a bit hard to dissect without some visual aids, so I decided to employ some grays to lend a helping hand; after scanning in the drawing, I went to work.

And this is the result -- a quick-and-dirty job with a bit of subtle lighting thrown onto the various layers. Her sandwich received a bit of color and focus because I worried it would be hard to spot. I tried to get as much of her equipment as "correct" as possible, but I noticed her plane had a few details missing when I was perusing the manga later. Other weird errors include a lack of dark-patches on the tips of the critter's ears, and getting the date wrong... I meant for it to read 11-1-11. The biggest issue I have, however, is her squirrel-fox (or whatever) not being that clearly in the foreground -- it might look like a human-sized rodent sitting on the tree.

After coloring the sandwich, I was curious what the two main character focuses would look like with similar, simple treatment, and gave it a whirl. Fun.