Saturday, January 31, 2009

Oswald study

I was drawn to this cover because it was so damn cute. I also liked the way it hung together; balanced with really close characters, with lots of fun negative space.

I'd first like to say that I'm amazed at what a difference a fine .05 lead made. Even working on the flimsiest Meijer sketchbook paper, it worked out well. It was much easier to control the darkness of the line. It's still a bit messy because of the crappy paper. Still, I feel a lot more confident about this one.

Lots of stuff is pretty off. I felt when I was drawing the dinosaur... dragon... thing that I wasn't putting him close enough together. I was right; that leg is way off. Lots of things aren't as tight as they should be (Oswald is too fat, the foot is too far up and a bit too rounded and puffy, the dinosaur fella's tail needs to be brought back in). I didn't re-draw my lines of action darker so that the scan could pick it up! I think they were wrong, anyway. I'm not sure how the dinosaur's would work, since his body shape is so snakelike. The easy answer of the LoA just going through his whole body head to tail doesn't seem right to me because his default posture's so weird. How does that work?

Anyway, the biggest surprise about this picture is that Oswald's arm isn't all messed up. I thought for sure when I was drawing this that his arm was too fat and misplaced, particularly the upper part of it, but it seems to fit right in.

Biggest problems? Proportions and perspective, I think. The details don't wrap neatly around the forms on the faces. The eyes seem all wrong.

New post soon.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

J.P. Miller study

I got some gouache for Christmas, too. This study is more recent than the previous scans (two weeks ago, I'd guess). Next post will be 100% made-that-week content, promise.

Original (above; I scanned my little cardboard copy of the book)

I applied the exact same post-scan modifications to the contrast as I did the cover, so they should be comparable.

Anyway, this is the first time I've copied a painting in years. I am very rusty but I loved doing this! I will never say "I have nothing to paint!" again. Miller's stuff is so fun to look at, nevertheless recreate.

It was cool to figure out the colors. I think I matched the overall feather color (in the light) pretty well. I wouldn't have realized it was such a light orange had I not done this study. However, my shadows aren't dark enough and look too red. The yellows on the hat and beak are too warm in my version. And, of course, there are huge drawing problems (especially since I couldn't sketch/correct much for fear of muddying the paint... now that I have a light table I should be able to sketch on a different piece of paper before transferring the lines over to paper thick enough to paint on).

The left leg sticks out too far and is too large and the near hand is too long/deformed; these may be problems caused by choosing not to paint the shovel. I stretched the head and smooshed her tail feathers. D'oh.

Next time I'll have a more careful drawing!

Big ol' Preston Blair dump.

I got the Preston Blair book for Christmas from my boyfriend. Because he's awesome I got to open it early. Basically I started diving into construction for the first time in a long while over winter break.

Anyway, these are a bit old, and lack a lot of proper self-critique because I was less able to check my own mistakes via scanning/comparing. If you can read my notes to myself, you'll see that I already beat myself to the punch, informally, anyway. I just wanted to show that I DID do work and am still doing it; this is only a teeny fraction of all the exercises I've done.

Original drawing (above)

One of my very firsts, the first out of the Preston Blair book. This post is all stuff from my copy, the newer edition. I couldn't print stuff from the old books for free 'til school was back in session.

I wasn't doing so well at first. I have several pages of this guy;all of them with the head at the same wrong angle. I wish I could have scanned it; for some reason it just completely eluded me that I was doing it so wrong. I guess I was concerned with the angle of the torso, which I did manage to improve at; I also switched methods on the next drawing.

Original drawing (above).

I'm doing things more sensibly in this drawing, now, but I kept breaking his right foot. Poor dude.

Like I said, more sensible. The drawing is more in-tact, though I squished the legs in too much. I needed to stretch it out along the line of action more. I should have been doing LOAs for all these, but I've come to pay more attention to them in the weeks since.

Original drawing

Again, one of many pages. I hated drawing the Boston terrier fella; I notice now that he's not in the original.

The right legs gave me a lot of trouble.

I hated this one. I have probably ten pages filled up with this little bastard sitting, squashed up in various ways.

It really bugs me to show all these scratchy, unrefined, downright sloppy exercises to the world.

Here's a dog I drew on my own accord for a gift for a housemate for Christmas:

There are too many dogs in this post.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Donald hierarchy, round 2

I misunderstood the assignment a bit. Here's my second go, with much more time invested. I made a new document to draw on rather than overlaying over the original drawing to resist looking at the image so directly. Dunno what I was thinking with that last one.

One; general layout. The centering line on the right one is a bit off; I paid for it later.

Some of these were also a bit iffy, though the on the left pole instead. I wasn't sure where to end them; some of them ended near the bellies, and some ended on the ankles. I should have been more consistent.

Significantly better than last time. No tracing whatsoever and it really made me look at the picture and explore its ins and outs a lot more.

Problem areas: I had some stretching and distortion around the feet (particularly the bottom nephew's right and Donald's right feet), hands (again, particularly on the bottom one). The eyes are also weird. The top nephews are all messed up because I placed/sized their head-circles wrong, so next time I'll double-check those more thoroughly before moving onto the next stage. Also Donald has way too big of a beak, but I think that's just because I wasn't paying enough attention.

Long story short: I need to take my time and pay more attention.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Donald hierarchy

No, I didn't forget about this blog; my roommate with a scanner just went home for winter break. Been meaning to scan some of the stuff I've done, but it'll have to wait until after this weekend. The undergraduate show's submissions are apparently due this Tuesday, and I really need money, so I'm going to try to crank out some paintings.

Anyway, here's my attempt at an exercise on hierarchy John K just posted; it was fun! But I'm certain I got many things wrong. Oh, well-- I love these old covers, they're so direct and clear.

I'm a full-time student, but I work part-time at a bookstore. I mostly do cafe stuff but I also keep the comics section tidy; and wow, do I have to look at a lot of bad art on those covers.

I tried to do basic shapes of the layout here. The overall statement/shape isn't as clear as it is in that wonderful Bambi illustration he recently dissected, so I actually, sadly, probably had more trouble with this than with anything. I wasn't sure if I should include the little Injuns or not; I decided against it.

This is actually two here. The most important features are lighter. In retrospect I should have made the totem pole to the right more cohesive-looking. Got a little sloppy. I also am not sold on the little stereotypes; I should have zoomed in a bit more and tightened it a bit.

Less important green details! I dunno, more for fun than anything. It's nice to get in close with these drawings.

Attention, big-shot comic companies: give mercy to bookstore and comic book store employees everywhere and reconsider your aesthetics. Maybe someone would actually buy your stuff, then.