Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Multimedia test!

I sold four pieces of art recently, which gave me an opportunity to pick up some india ink and watercolor paper. I've had this insatiable urge to do color washes for the last two months or so, complete with ideas for new work. I've always been terrified of paint, much less watercolor, but I'm already having a blast - testing how the ink works out with colored pencil, marker, and pen overlays. The results are promising. My visions may soon become a reality!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Current reads.

Elfquest: Wolfrider (Volume 2)
Wendy and Richard Pini

I've known a lot of people who were into Elfquest from a young age; even my sister dug up a copy at the library, I remember. For such a popular series, I haven't read very much of it. And I should, because I see a lot of traits from my own worldmaking in it. Elfquest is definitely an absorbing world, with its own lingo, culture, and mythology bursting from every seam. The characters are well-defined and fun to follow through their centuries of adventures, ranging from conflicts with humans to tribal upheaval and folk tales. However, I'll sound like a prude here: I was surprised by some of the sexually-charged content. I'm trying to imagine an 8 year-old picking this up and reading about "recognition" (the elf word used for "intercourse") and the occasional nude romp in the woods, culminating in "indescribable pleasure". Okay, it was just once, and perhaps I am a prude after all. Anyway. When I generally think of Elfquest, I think of big, glittery eyes and abs. I'm glad to have expanded that knowledge base, though!

Daisy Kutter: The Last Train
Kazu Kibuishi

I'll admit it. I'm biased. I freaking love Kazu Kibuishi. He's one of those artists I have a huge crush on. His webcomic, Copper, tugged ferociously at my heartstrings, and I've loved every feature of his in the Flight volumes. No matter what he illustrates, a real warmth comes through, and this is the case with Daisy Kutter as well. She's a tough-talking retired gangster, trying to run a general store and get in the occasional witty jab at her ex, who now happens to be the sheriff. Although has she really left her old life behind? Oh, and by the way, in this western fantasy, there are robots. Seriously, what's not to love? This is another great example of a penciled comic that presents itself beautifully, much to my glee. Kazu, I will have your babies anytime.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Water studies.

As much as I told the river to hold still, it wouldn't listen. Never have I known such stubbornness!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A perspective I always have issues with.

My husband, looking like John F. Kennedy - it was a warm-up! - then tilting his head back at various angles. Practice, practice, practice. I hate this angle because it's hard to know which lines to emphasize and how to keep the face from looking flat (like the bottom left).

Friday, October 8, 2010

Character designs on both fronts!

You know, I feel like every time I post Long Tom here, I need to make a disclaimer that it's meant to be an outdated black stereotype. Oh, the other disclaimer is that smoking isn't as hip as those new-fangled moving pictures makes it appear. So if you decide to become a racist or acquire lung cancer, please don't send me nasty e-mails.

I'm getting a .3 mm Copic gray in the mail any day now, and I'm happy to say that 0.2 mm less nib will allow me to do tons more detail work – at least in something far less damning than black.

Mastiff flop.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Steamboat designs.

Going for more of a cartoony feel, I whipped up some Steamboat Follies portraits. I'm quite pleased. As much as I long for more realism in my work, caricature comes pretty easy.

I've been going through Tintin In The Congo, having previously read quite a bit about the racism interwoven within Hergé's work. Now, I love Tintin. But you can't deny that the portrayal of blacks is atrocious, from the goofy designs to their total helplessness without any Europeans around. Anyway. Because Steamboat Follies takes place in a hammed-up, southern, post Civil War setting, I decided to give the racist caricature some study. I feel kind of dirty - but excited - to try it. It serves the cartoon well, in my opinion!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bonnie rides again.

I got a comment from a friend saying that I haven't uploaded any sketches lately! My apologies. I now give you a sketch of the reason why I haven't been sketching. Because I love paradox.

Red Dead Redemption, also known as Candice Rides Around On A Lot Of Horses And Collects Wolf Pelts For Six Hours A Day, is the sort of video game I've been hoping for since Shadow Of The Colossus (which I've also tried to capture in tribute, except its lead is a shoe-in for bishounen of the year, thereby unworthy of my clumsy, non-manga hands). Anyway. The character here is Bonnie M[a]cFarlane, a presence I very much enjoyed in this western epic, and right up my alley as far as character design is concerned. This is very hastily done, but any practice is good practice, right?