Thursday, June 12, 2008

Four-Legged Friends

So this week began with the usual warmup. I was feeling a little loose, so I knew I would be struggling a bit for inspiration, and decided the best thing was just to let the lines flow. Things started with a couple heads, but I was feeling like I should be trying to cram some bodies in there, and it prompted the collection of lines that make up the naked fella in the lower left.

It's been awhile since I sat next to Ryan Ottley and I miss goofing off during the session, trading poses and stuff, so I asked Ryan if he would give me a more superhero-y pose. Whenever I give a pose back to Ryan he laments how filled in the shapes already are, so I need to figure out a way to give him better figures. But to be fair, once the basic shapes are in, the basic shapes are in, and I mostly follow the lines he leaves for me, too. I just love filling his strong poses. I was feeling a little goofy on the head, but the shiny-headed baby man is all good in my book.

On the next page I started with the head on the left, thinking about some very flat, block-like shapes. After filling him and feeling a little uninspired, I just started doodling circles that become the next guy's eyes. His shapes started appearing in my head pretty quickly -- the rather round features mixed with small, poky bits of nose and lips that made him seem kind of nerdy and pale. I wanted the eyebrows to poke out more, so I really thickened and darkened them, and that inspired the really dense chest hair that he has. I really liked him.

Doing very flow-like lines made me think about the recent endeavors drawing animals from my head, since I find it fascinating that everyone knows when a drawing looks right, but they can't actually draw it themselves. So I decided to try some from-my-head animals. First up was the bunny, which "feels" a little off, but works. Next up was the turtle, which I thought was pretty decent, but I had a couple turtles growing up, so no fair, maybe. The last disaster was an attempt at a giraffe. I knew it didn't look right but I couldn't figure out how to fix it. I since looked it up, and it might have looked like a decent approximation if I could have figured out the front of the face. Giraffes have a lot pointier look. But rather than hide my mess, I figured it would be fun for everyone to see how far off a giraffe from my head can be.

I started the next drawing with the right eye and eyebrow when Jon Diesta asked if I would finish his drawing. I agreed, and figured he could finish mine. So this is Jon Diesta's completion of my right eye and eyebrow. Cool stuff in my book. I really like what he turned the guy into, and especially love his lei. The drawing I did on Jon Diesta's roughs is out there somewhere. Once again, I recommend you hassle him to scan it if you want to see what that ended up looking like.

The last one was the most flow of conscious drawing, and it turned out pretty fun, if not completely nuts. I started with the upper eyebrows, did the circles that later became eyelids, then the frog thing started popping in my head, and I started drawing out the edges of the mouth that the mustache sat on. From there it was just getting the kind of flabby underskin that frogs have and just started drawing legs. And more legs. Then some weird skin marks and tennis shoes, and whatever-the-hell-it-is seemed ready to go. Fun stuff.


Cal Ki said...

Hey Alan I was wondering about your comment about how everyone knows when a drawing looks right but can't draw it themselves. As an artist would that apply to you in moments when you have a very clear mental picture of what you want to draw and but the pencil just isn't capturing it? Maybe its the first time your drawing that image but you just can't get it out onto paper.
Great work.

Alan Tew said...

I'm talking about not really knowing how to draw something, but being able to look at a drawing and being able to recognize it as an x or y, and whether or not it seems off. I think sometimes you can take a stab in this direction or that direction until you kinda go "ah," now my brain is more solidly saying "giraffe" or "rabbit" to this, even if you're not entirely sure why at first. I can't say there's a huge application for it in drawing -- I should just grab Schole's iPhone and look up a giraffe -- but I'm just fascinated by the dynamic I'm trying to describe, and I like the inspiration it brings to me to try doodling animals, which aren't in the "default" arsenal.