Thursday, March 27, 2008

Illustration Work: Karnhuset (part 5)

Here's another in a series of portraits I drew for the swedish agency, Karnhuset. Like the others, this one is a portrait of one of their employees, and I was again asked to try and draw the person engaged in a favourite hobby. In this case, it was (duh) golfing. I enjoyed the opportunity to try and capture some motion and life in the pose, and it was a fun assignment (much like the other ones). You can also check out my preliminary pencil and colour rough below, drawn before I had a good grasp of the likeness needed for the portrait.

If you're interested in my other illustrations drawn for Karnhuset. you can check them out here, here, here and here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Justice League: the New Frontier Special

Here's a couple of pages of from an inking job I did for the Justice League: New Frontier Special comic that came out recently. They're from a 7 page backup story starring Robin and Kid Flash (two of my fav original Teen Titans). The entire comic was written by the maestro of the New Frontier, Darwyn Cooke, and this particular story was pencilled by none other than the director of the recently released animated feature film version of the New Frontier, "Dashing" Dave Bullock. Darwyn also drew the main story for the comic, while fellow Torontian J. Bone did the art chores on another fabulous backup story, featuring Wonder Woman (J. was BORN to draw Wonder Woman, I swear).

The entire comic is a treat to read but, honestly, my part in it is, like, infintesimal. I was after all, only the inker on a short 7 pager. However, it was an absolute joy to work with all the above mentioned talents. Darwyn, J. and I have known each other for a while now, but I only met Dave last year at the San Diego Comic Con (the biggest frikkin comic con thing you will ever see in your lifetime) . Meeting and hanging out with him was one of the highlights of that event -- apart from being incredibly talented, Dave is just a cool guy. The fact that he bears a passing resemblance to Jack Kirby made it all extra perfect, and I was hoping we'd get the chance to work together someday when we met.

Dave's art for this story was beautiful, and really made my job very easy to do. I don't get the chance to ink other people's work much, but when I do, my philosophy is to try and ink it "as if the penciller inked it himself" -- that is, I try not to put much of my own style into the art. Hence, I feel like I can only ink people who are in the same kind of artistic headspace as me. So, for this job, all the credit has to go to Dave for the art, since he provided such great pencils that made it very clear what I should do on each page.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Watching movies and drawing... actually one of my favourite artistic exercises. I'm the kind of guy who gets fidgety if I just sit and watch a movie, so I like to doodle sometimes while a movie is on. Especially if its an old black and white one from the 1930's to the 1950's. I really enjoy studying films from that era, especially the noir ones, for their incredible staging and lighting design. Because the films were black and white, the cinematographers and lighting designers really had to plan their shots for maximum effectiveness and emotional impact. Hence, when I watch certain films from that period, I'm often very impressed with how they balance blacks and problem solve things like a white dress against a white wall. Studying that stuff really helps me out with my own artistic process.

Anyway, the doodles above were drawn while watching a certain film from that period. I drew them really quickly, usually just straight up in ink and often not even bothering to pause the movie, so there was no attempt at capturing likenesses or such. I really just wanted to jot down the lighting and shot ideas that I thought were interesting as quickly as pssible.

Now, to make it all very interesting, I'm going to turn this into a little contest. The first person who can guess what film these drawings are from, will win an original drawing and a goody-pack of comics and anthology books from me. Just post your guess in the comments section and the first one to get it right, I'll declare as the winner. In case of a tie or something weird, I'll do drawings for all the winners...or work out something else to everyone's satisfaction. Honest. The only clue I'll offer here here is that the film is pretty damn famous -- and justifiably so -- the lighting design is just the best I've ever seen in black and white.

Geez, I really hope someone doesn't guess it correctly in the first post or something... guess we'll have to see how this goes!

Monday, March 10, 2008

No, really, I'm on the mend!

My sincerest thanks to everyone for all the nice comments and well-wishes. I'm really feeling a whole lot better since I was released from the hospital, and getting back to my old self. I didn't eat or do much except sleep and writhe in pain for the 3 weeks or so I was sick, so I'm a bit weak and trying to ease into my daily routine, but one of the things I wanted to do right away was try and get back to drawing.

After such a long layoff, I was quite rusty when I got back to the studio, so I spent some time over the last few days doodling and getting my chops back. I always find that I lose the finer control I need for inking clean lines or drawing things like curves after a few days away from the board. And after such an extended layoff like this one, it took a few hours of doodling and doing some practice inking to get the kinks out. As an excerise, I drew the doodle above, which pretty much sums up my feelings about my hospital stay. Hope you like it -- and I sincerely hope you never go through such an illness!

BTW, for an example of the kind of 'practice inking' I do to get the barnacles off my drawing hand, you can check out the sheet below. Its kind of like doing drills or noodling with the guitar. I usually do something like it, with the initial lines looking sloppy and rough. But by the time I fill up the page, I usually have all my fine control back. I did this one while watching a basketball game this afternoon and believe me, when I started I was cursing myself for how shaky my hand was. Luckily it all worked out by the end, and my team even won the game. Hurrays!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

What I've been up to lately... being sick and at the hospital! So for those who've dropped by this blog and have been all "WTF? Man, Cho is slow with the updates!", I apologize and have a good excuse -- complete with a note from the doctors. I've spent the last 2 to 3 weeks being sick with a bad intestinal infection that required a couple of trips to the emergency ward and a week and a half stay at the hospital. It was an illness that was so painful at times it brought to mind the title of that Sho Kasugi classic, Pray for Death.

Anyway, I've since been discharged to complete the rest of my recovery at home, and I gotta say I'm feeling a whole lot better. I haven't done a line of drawing in the last 3 weeks, but I'm hoping to get back into the studio and ease into some artwork over the next few days. So more updates on this blog will be up shortly, but for now I hope you'll understand why there weren't any replies to emails or posts in the last little while.

In the meantime however, here's an illustration I did shortly before I was incapacitated -- this one was done for the fine Canadian Business magazine. The subject of the article was about an investment instructor who taught students using anecdotes from chinese philosophy. Esoteric, I know.. but it lent itself to a fun assignment to draw!