Monday, July 23, 2012

Draggin' Slayer

Hi, internet. I decided to quit draggin' and catch up on my posting today, which is always a crazy proposition given how much text I know I'll add alongside it (that few to none will read). Let's get started by revisiting November of last year, when I was perusing sketchbooks in Ottley's office and grabbing his pens to practice inks. There was an artist that really liked drawing eyeballs that pop out of the head with X's on them, and I decided to follow suit. You may know the fella's name, but I can't remember it. So sorry! (Update: Dave Johnson!)

Next up is doodles in the margins of some notes for the game I've been working (forever) on. I erased most of the notes and moved around some of the doodles, but you can still collect some of the nonsense I've been working on. Back in November, I was in networking hell, trying to get weapons working nicely over the interwebz. So glad that's behind me... for now.

Any drawing beyond Ryan's office is usually draw night, where I add figure after figure, to infinity and beyond. This is my schtick, innit? I kinda like the short-haired girlie at center-bottom and the thicker fella top-right. I feel like I haven't done expressive faces in a long time, so someone holding air in the cheeks is different enough to pop out at me. I need more variety -- let's see if I pulled any out in the coming months...

I suppose this counts as variety, but I wish I had inspired it. Nay, a friend of mine occasionally brings his son to draw night, and he's really into D&D (woot) and likes throwing out suggestions of things to draw. This time he asked for a dragon and a rude demon. If I recall correctly, I asked him for a brand name of his boxers and he gave me the name "Love Buns," but that might be false attribution, in which case I apologize. Regardless, I like the Love Buns logo. Go ass.

More figures that look to me like the usual fair. My fave is the girl in the upper-right, I think. I like her fisty pose, even though I have no idea what she's doing. I rarely draw fists. They always strike me as "too simple." But since I never draw them, they can sometimes be a pain in my butt when I actually get around to them. Ottley, on the other hand... that guy can draw fists.

Look at that gaping maw. It looks like I was playing around with the "comic jaw," where the teeth-line is straight on the top and bottom, implying the character's jaw is simply falling downward to open his mouth instead of rotating on a hinge. I like the female figures here -- the feminine form is always fun to look at even when i'm hacking it -- but perhaps the most curious doodle is the fella in the lower-left, simply for the strange markings on his chest. I'm curious what my brain was up to on that one, but I kinda like it.

I know most of my characters look really similar, but this face (top-left) is a deviant that itself appears now and then in my doodles. It's this angry, lippy, no chin guy with troll hair that I'm positive I could dig back through old drawings and find a copy of. But I'm not gonna right now, as I have 30-something drawings left to lovingly caption.

Ink tests, fiddling in Ottley's office again. I was thinking about how I rarely draw clothed people and decided some fellas in coats was a good idea. But no clothes for the ladies? Nuh-uh. Because I'm smart. And a perv. And stuff. Mmm, stuff.

It looks like a tiny hint of clothes made it onto this page of doodles as well (in the form of pant-end and sweatshirt). The little critter up top is an I-don't-know-what. Sometimes it's really fun to just let my mind lead my pencil -- I think there will be more examples of this later -- and see what it wants to draw instead of what I force it to draw. I feel like all the heads and bodies are what I force it to draw to get better at said heads and bodies, but sometimes its nice to just let 'er rip, and see what my brain feels like spitting out, were I not holding it back. A gopher with nipples, apparently!

Girls! That's what instantly catches my eye, anyway. Those two poses (lower-right) could almost be front and back of each other, but not quite. It's really fun to catch breasts in mid-bounce. It might seem like a cop-out (or worse yet, anatomically effed) but capturing the weight and wiggles of breasts is in my opinion really makes boob-drawings magical. There's nothing quite like it.

Beans! I did a bunch of beans for Jenny around Christmas and birthday time (in close proximity) because I knew she was going to get a lot of gift cards from me, and I felt like it felt too impersonal so I wanted to spruce it up with some hand-drawn love. I decided to do little beans for each card and then wrap all the cards in one big card that had the Sound of Music bean on it as an intro. I think it went over well.

And these are they inked after scanning them and reprinting them in super-light blue ink. In case it's not obvious, that's iTunes bean, Verizon gift card bean, Julie Andrews and Julie Andrews bean...

...and Old Navy bean (for some skinny jeans).

I think the guy in the upper-left has a vampire vibe, and the lower-right lady's hair reminds me of Aeon Flux. Dear god I loved those cartoon shorts from Liquid TV back in the day. I watched them all again recently and they still blow my mind. But I can't express enough how much I hated the series it later became. Bad, bad, bad (which makes me sad).

This one I like because it's different. Jenny asked if she was a cat herself, and that was unintentional (I think). She just has cat-ear hair and she has the look. The cat is kinda weird for a me drawing since it has these kind of anime eyes that I don't know I've ever doodled. If you can find another drawing of mine with those rainbow eyes, you'll definitely get a no-prize. In the background, hidden in plain sight, is the silhouette and a few details of what looks like one of those lizards the sand-people rode in Star Wars. I had one of those toys as a kid. If you wiggled the tail in the back then the head in front would wiggle the opposite direction.

These are the rest of the Christmas gift card doodles, I think done before the previous ones I talked about. Also on this page are a few random doodles from work (with some achievement ideas). I like the girl sitting a lot, just because it's fun to visualize how leg fat and muscle gets pressed when someone is sitting down. I really love those details.

These Christmas beans were for a new phone (she got an iPhone), a gift card for New York & Company, a punch card for a Zumba gym she likes (I remember the 80's, hence the leg-warmers), an Amazon gift card, and a final card for Ann Taylor Loft which I turned into a Marilyn Monroe (sp?) homage.

When we went to pick up the phone from Verizon, there was a piece of paper and pen handy, and while folks were fussing over boring final details I decided to do a few doodles. These are all ballpoint pen deals, with some beans thrown in for Jen's amusement.

The dragon here is part of a spurt of D&D-themed doodles that I did for a campaign I got started at the beginning of the year. I was trying to create a medieval Gotham adventure for my players, and I think it was a lot of fun. In the first adventure, the gang meats "the Shadow Knight" right before he disappears from Gotham, and are confronted by "the Jackal," which was my version of the Joker. Over the coming adventures, they met also sorts of Gotham characters translated for the D&D universe as they made up for the Shadow Knight's absence. If this sounds like the sort of thing that floats your boat, you can check out the site I made for it, here. It even has illustrations of the adventures, courtesy of Matthew Armstrong (one of the players). Amazing stuff!

More ink practice, which I still desperately need. None of these had pencil behind them but I think they turned out pretty fun. It looks like I was trying to play around with inking hair, and fiddling around with line control. So hard!

On scanning the previous page, I noticed the back also had a bunch of scribbles on it, this time with a ballpoint pen. The permanent nature of the pen is really fun, just doodling without roughs is a fun exercise, to see how you pull things off when you can't make mistakes.

I like this page since it has a tribute to Street Fighter on it. I'm a huge SF fan boy, big on the game in the SFII days back in the arcades, and I still play today with SFIV (even dabbling in local tourneys and not doing half-bad). I love the game, but rarely doodle the characters. This doodle night, someone asked me for Chun Li. I'm not sure I got it right, but I didn't have reference, so I'm fine with that.

This was a "margin" doodle located on the edge of a printed page. The black line is a tiny piece of the printing, just to show how they lined up from page edge to the printed part.

This page has some fun doodles on it. The guy in bottom-center is an example of going with what my brain wants to draw instead of what I force it to draw, which I mentioned earlier in this post. And some of the figures are a bit nuts, like the fella lifting his butt off the ground with his legs. I love them weird poses.

There is a common complaint about women in fantasy artwork, that they wear the wrong kind of gear in all the wrong places to titillate the audience while the men actually protect themselves with logical armaments. I won't vouch for it being titillating, but this orc was aiming to buck the trends.

I wish I could say I remember where this madness came from, but I don't. I imagine myself not wanting to draw another wiener, and asking someone else at draw night what I should draw instead. "An Oreo," someone replies. And why not?

My mind has been on hands for awhile. I felt like my grasp of hands (no pun intended) was slipping and it's been fun analyzing them again, trying to feel out how they work again. It's crazy how they can keep coming back to plague me. Always tricky.

If I remember correctly, you have Ryan Ottley to thank for this page. I have a lot of, as Saruman would put it, "man flesh" on my pages, and Mr. O asked for a page exclusively devoted to the feminine form. It made me as happy as he. Boobs and bush for all!

Can you spot the "go with the flow" drawing on this page? Lots more figures, and one strange ol' head in the upper-right. I also like the curly-haired dude beneath it, and the jumping gal beneath the curly-haired dude.

Upon re-seeing this page of doodles, it struck me that the leaned-over girl should be farting to help explain the expression (and hair?) of the girl behind her. But that would be reprehensible, no? And why the hell did I draw a furry? Not my thing. Blech.

A good page. There's the usual spikey-haired naked dude, a nice gal, a cartoony looking fella that reminds me of Shaggy (with a doobie he do), and a fully cartoony vampire-looking guy looking at a... how'd that get there? I'm not so sure I drew that...

The thin-lined drawings on this page were exercises in doodling without erasing. I'm not sure whether I erased anything on the other drawings but I know that most of the time, when I see those thin lines, there's a good chance there was no eraser involved. I suppose they turn out thinner since less are needed -- the lines are just much more deliberate (and potentially awkward, as the thin-lined gal demonstrates).

Boring page is boring. Why would I share a boring page? In the immortal words of some guy at the beginning of some Ratatat album: "No disrespect, that's just how I am."

I like this page because of all the text on it, which reminds me of the ol' days. I don't remember why someone said, "sneakin' to the pool party," but I decided it should be on the page. The most confusing doodle is the one in the lower-right. I drew that madness and then it struck me how assy it would be to have your fingers replaced with one face-like finger. So assy.

Figs. I drew the woman behind the superhero-looking fella and imagined she was close enough to rest her boob on his head. I'm not sure it would work that way, but I still rather like the interaction. I'm not sure what the "L" and "R" are on the drawing. Maybe it refers to the direction of their hair relative to the figures. It is a mystery, embodied (accidentally) by the puzzled figure in the lower-left.

I'm engaged to be married, after proposing with a picture-book that you can see here. To prepare for the wedding, Jen and I put together a wedding website for which I did an illustration of lots of beans (and bugs) celebrating. It's fun doodling beans because Jen loves them so much. Maybe even more than cats, but especially more than cats carrying dead mice in their mouths.

This is the bean / bug celebration inked. Looking forward to the big day!

This is the inks practice page I used to make sure my lines wouldn't suck before doing the celebration inks. (You may have noticed a few months go by without inks.)

This page began with the head in the upper-left, which I'm kind of a fan of. For some reason I decided to number the doodles I did in the order I did them. Sometimes its fun to see after the fact how the page unfolded.

We're getting close enough now that I can remember details from these draw nights. On this page, I remember trying to handle an interaction with hands, this time dropping cards from one to the other. (Meh.) I enjoyed the gal in the lower-right for some reason, and rather like the hairdo of the guy in the lower-left, probably because it's not the usual spikes.

A quick, rare, doodle at home, between draw nights.

And finally, doodles from the most recent draw night. I remember wanting to play around with weird, intricate designs which turned out so much less weird and intricate than they could have been. Still, fun. And I like the fella in the lower-right, even if his shoulders are a bit to thin. All caught up! More soon (I hope)!


AIM said...

The artist with the popping X eyeballs is Master Dave Johnson I believe.

Stupendous post!

Alan Tew said...

Ah, yes! I should update with the info, thanks!

Tracy said...

dude im so glad you're still posting stuff! i've never commented before and certainly have never met you but i just need to let you know that you are absolutely my favorite artist ever! ive been through this blog backwards and forwards over the last couple of years and your sketches have proven to be an endless source of inspiration for me. i've mentioned several times to friends of mine that finding your blog has been a keystone moment in my development as an artist. i seriously am super pumped that you've posted new stuff!

Alan Tew said...

@Tracy thanks man! I'll never get tired of hearing that. Keep on keepin' on with that art!

John said...

Good to see you posting again! I've been following you since the old (old) days (circa 1999). Your drawings have been a major inspiration.

Alan Tew said...

@John an old timer! Thanks man.

Stephen Green said...

I am in total agreement with Tracy. You really are one of my favorite artists, and I always get inspired looking at your blog. Thank you for continuing to post these great drawings.

Alan Tew said...

Awww shucks. Thanks!

Stef said...

Série de sketch génial, j'adore ton style dynamique et le modeler de tes corps. cool

Omari Christian said...

Your drawing style is nothing short of perfect. Your subjects are funny and fascinating as well. My goal is to be as good at drawing bodies and faces as you are.