Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Squiggly Lines

We had yet another large, good crew of regulars and a fun drawing night. I wasn't feeling it at all when the night started -- inspiration was just really far away -- so I started playing with shapes and began doodling the eyebrow of the banana-starfish-looking guy in the upper-left corner of my page. I just followed the intensity of his lazily-drawn round eyes and the rest of his facial expression popped in my head. The expression compelled me to have him faux-chop the air and Derek said he looked like a starfish, so I started with nub-feet, but I caved in and ended up with Rayman feet instead. He needed a target for his faux-rage, and I thought a happy-face would do the trick. The rest was just kind of blah exercises. So blah, in fact, that I put the sentiment in a word bubble, and then had to draw someone saying it.

To my right, however, was Dave kicking all sorts of ass just plowing through drawing after drawing. He would keep looking over asking, "What do I draw next?" until out of desperation I told him I would give him a squiggly line to make a drawing with if he would do the same for me. He gave me a fun squiggle, and after staring at it for awhile, I was able to discern a held knife, so I started doodling from there. I started with the left hand, then the head, then decided the floaty line was the other dagger, and I just let the rest kind of flow from there. I was a little bummed that I let the back line just go through the knife, but c'est la vie. When I was all finished, I asked Derek if he would use his water colors to highlight the line. I think it adds a little something, and lets me keep track of the line instead of forgetting about and losing it forever.

A few different people were participating in squiggles, and Rachel wanted to do an exchange with me, and I gave her a bit of a doozy. After mentioning as much, I think she decided to get revenge and hit me with a real nasty squiggle. Three, in fact! After staring for awhile and turning the page around and around, I couldn't escape the circle part being a head, and started to see the loose pose I finished with. Saddened by the back-through-the-knife problem of the previous drawing, I made a point to try and make the lines make sense. It's a bit of a stretch to convince you, dear readers, of their integration into the pic -- especially after inking and highlighting them -- but maybe you will see what I was going for. I kept trying to figure out the best place for the left leg of the character, but thought putting a leg or foot down somewhere in the drawing would just add too much additional confusion to the weird shapes already in it, so I just let it fade into the ether. The squiggle drawings made my night. It's fun to try and stretch into them because I think the drawings usually have a good natural flow as a result, and they often force you to contort the body into weird shapes. But everyone sees the lines differently. I tend to conceptualize them as part of a figure, and often as just a gesture line. Dave and Rachel should post theirs so you can see how they perceive the lines differently.


Storm McRae said...

I think your on to something, you should experiment with this and try some finished work with a bold line as part of the image

Alan Tew said...

Finished work? Like garlic to a vampire. ;-)

Anonymous said...

hello. i hope bloggers bloggness is treating you well. here is a plant to make it feel more cozy. a blog warming gift of sorts. i ripped it off just for you.


Alan Tew said...

Thanks for the flower, man. :)