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Posts tagged as “Across the Transfinite Canvas”

Days 161 and 162

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another capaldi fail

Another rushed day, another quick sketch from memory fail. Despite having drawn Capaldi like 4 times in a row, when I try drawing without reference it just doesn't look like him. The above is day 161; below is day 162, when I decided to focus on just eyes. Again, I'm doing quick Sharpie sketches to force me to focus on shapes and proportions, where my biggest flaws are, rather than fine details of rendering.

 

those eyeballs

I swear, this has nothing to do with what's going on at Kill 6 Billion Demons right now:

your pal, gog agog

Oh, if you're not reading K6BD, you should.

Drawing every day.

-the Centaur

 

Day 095

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Quick sketch of Tony Stark as Iron Man. In an interesting reversal, I think the picture below looks a little squashed, and I unconsciously stretched his face back up to a more normal proportion. Actually, this one wasn't totally terrible - I had to learn a language for drawing the hair, and to pick which parts of the drawing I was going to render as pure black. Also, contra my earlier suggestions, the Sharpie wasn't totally permanent; I actually used whiteout to fix one overwritten line - can you tell where?

iron man small

Drawing every day.

-the Centaur

Day 058

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gearhearts sketch

As it says on the tin: trying to get to bed earlier and did a quick sketch. From the cover of a random comic "Gearhearts" in my inspiration pile. The sketch didn't turn out ... terrible ... in fact, the arms almost came out right, and it sort of looks like the cover. But as usual, doing one or two iterations of roughs would have helped the layout of the head and face. My eyes just seem to move around, man.

Drawing every day.

-the Centaur

Day 055

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momoa sketch

Quick sketch of Jason Momoa, the reference for my Jesus sketch earlier. That sketch I started from scratch and only loosely used Momoa's mug to touch up some details; it still didn't come out great. Also, I sketched it on the Cintiq in Photoshop. This is also a quick sketch, but on Strathmore 9x12 with a Faber- Castell "B" Pitt Artist Pen Brush - and just that. Given that it was pushing 4am, I wanted to try using a simpler technique, to see how much I could extract out of just one pen (well, brush) for the render. As for how much the face looks like a face ...

momoa mug

Not ... terrible, but the proportions are still off, and my sketch gave him way too big a schnoz. Jason Momoa is a good looking guy, and unfortunately my sketch makes him look more like a rejected villain from the Princess Bride. Ah well. Perhaps I'll eventually be able to sketch good looking superheroes ...

... if I keep drawing every day.

-the Centaur

Day 053

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sketched face

Sketched faces from tonight's Write to the End session. No comparison photos, because my fellow writers deserve their privacy (especially since I used a screen shot which caught one of them in a scowl and the other while speaking), but I know enough to rate this as "meh". The face above expands the hair and squashes the lower face - same mistake from Spock yesterday, so it wasn't just head tilt - and a little of that's going on with the face below, though the biggest problem there is the mouth is too narrow.

sketched face

The ultimate goal of these drawings is to rekindle my love of my art and to sharpen my abilities to the point where I can once again resume f@nu fiku, finish my science fiction comic projects, and move on to other comic ideas I have scattered through my notebooks.

My inspiration for this project comes from a young psychology student who took a drawing class just as he was about to graduate, and, inspired, put off medical school with a crash course to break in to the comics field in just one year. He succeeded, and his name is Jim Lee, now Publisher of DC Comics.

I don't expect success in a year - I have a day job and a novel-writing career, not to mention a family - nor do I want to be Jim Lee. But I do want to be Anthony Francis. And Anthony Francis, by day, builds intelligent machines and emotional robots, and by night writes science fiction and draws comic books.

I've built intelligent machines. I've worked on emotional robots. I've written and published science fiction. But the comic books, other than my short stint on f@nu fiku, have eluded me. Connecting thoughts and images is a huge part of my creative expression, yet I seem to have let it fall by the wayside.

But I'm bringing it back by drawing every day.

-the Centaur

 

Day 050

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Xiao from Fanu Fiku

As it says on the tin: a quick sketch of Xiao from f@nu fiku, my quasi-defunct webcomic. I forgot how complicated her character design is, and I left out a lot of it. I mean, I had forgotten that she carries a damn water bottle with her. Knowing the comic, that was probably meant to be plot significant:

xiao from f@nu fiku

I didn't make her easy to draw, and her outfits only get more complex as the series progresses.

Ah well. Here's hoping those sketches and thumbnails once again turn to webcomic pages.

Drawing every day.

-the Centaur

Day 048

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tigress queen sketch

As it says on the tin: I've been trying to improve my artwork by studying how other artists plan for success with technique and thumbnails. The author of Tigress Queen (it's great, it's my latest fave after Kill Six Billion Demons, you should go read it, heck, go read KSBD too) has a Patreon where she posts thumbnails of upcoming pages. What I love about seeing these is that she explicitly draws not just the panels and characters, but parts of the shading and spaces for the word balloons.

I think part of my artistic problem is that I rush and skip steps. Outlining is difficult since I typically do narrative outlines in my novels, so I skip to thumbnails; but pencil sketches don't look right to me, so I move too quickly to drawing inks, and thus my thumbnails aren't at a high enough level themselves to serve as useful thumbnails. Combine that with not enough practice with faces, figures, hands, and feet, and it's hard to get the needed structure in place to make the art come out as success.

Again, I keep coming back to, the solution is ...

... drawing every day.

-the Centaur

Day 042

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Sketchy Porsche

A deliberate attempt to just sketch in pencil and not ink. I decided to sit down and methodically start working through Wizard's How to Draw: Getting Started, working on roughs, when I noticed that one of the things I like about the book is that it has a mental model of artwork.

That inspired me to dial it back even further and to try to generate my own theories of art. I measured a Green Lantern figurine and a drawing dummy looking at proportions (hips are about midway in the figure), then examined old Superman comics and sketched one trying to see what I'm doing wrong.

Since I cut my chops inking my own webcomic, as fast as I could manage, wherever I draw it, I got in the habit of inking right over my own pencils, trying to get a good rendering in one go, which is a thing people do. But I've noticed many great artists use roughs to plan for success in their drawings.

rough of superman

These roughs often have several levels of shading, which right there is an improvement over my "everything is an outline" style, when in reality, outlines are mostly in our minds, not in reality. So I sketched out a few figures, with shading, in greater detail than I normally would in pencil.

I can't tell you how hard it was to NOT start inking.

Still ... drawing every day.

-the Centaur

Day 037

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Cinnamon Sketch

As it says on the tin. Fell down a rabbithole trying to clean up my files prior to doing my art, decided to cheat by posting a sketch I did earlier today, then fell down more rabbitholes since I apparently can't not experiment with coloring a sketch. For reference, here's the sketch from earlier, the first entry in a notebook that I hadn't written in in over 18 years:

Original Cinnamon Sketch

I came across this notebook just trying to find an appropriate notebook for a science idea (my sketchbook is at hand, but the science notebooks are ... buried in boxes?? Not sure) and found this one, a "commonplace book" filled with various ideas, including a life review from almost 20 years ago. I'm ... actually pretty happy with how things turned out over the last 20 years, between my wife, my novels, my comics and Google, but there's so much more to do.

Finally, for reference, here's a piece of art I found while I was re-organize my files. This is from 24 Hour Comic Day, mind you ... a bit ambitious, I think, but this pre-break art I think shows the kind of work that I'm intimidated by when I try to get back into drawing:

Porsche from the first 24hcd

Yes, there's a lot to be improved with this art, but (a) my inking was a lot better, and (b) wow, I had forgotten how much the Porsche St. George character was supposed to be a "knockout". So much of what I've written / drawn about her since then has been the workmanlike space warrior stuff, not so much the original romance between the twentieth-century time traveller and the thirtieth-century centaur.

Ah well. Lots of work to do before I can get back to that level of quality, even though I see a lot of work I need to do to improve upon that once I get there.

Drawing every day.

-the Centaur

Day 030

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Rough Sketch Practice

Well, this may have been quick, and it may look sketchy, but actually, this is real drawing practice. I've long had a copy of How to Draw: Getting Started book, a meaty slab of hot drawing tips ripped from the pages of the now-defunct Wizard magazine. This "Basic Training" compilation still remains my favorite one-volume collection of comics techniques, deftly combining breadth and depth through short mini-lessons from top comics creators (I mean, come on, they've got Adam Hughes, pinup-style cover artist extraordinaire, drawing the section on "Sexy Women" followed by Terry Moore, character-driven independent artist, drawing the following section on "Realistic Women", and that's just for starters).

I've read it many times, but I've never really sat down to methodically do all the exercises.

Until now.

Pictured: roughs drawn from five comic book covers picked pseudo-randomly from my inspiration stacks: Xanadu #1, Dreamery #4, Eagle #3, Superman #39, and Cloak and Dagger #1. I figure I should do ~5-10 of these from existing covers and/or reference drawings, then ~5-10 of these from my own previous drawings and/or my mental character gallery. Then I'll move on to the next section.

Drawing every day.

-the Centaur