Sunday, February 15, 2009

Marvelman (or Miracleman)

This one's a quick painting I did as a commission request, and its a portrait of Marvelman (or Miracleman as copyright demands he be called here in North America). I was a fan of the character in the late 80's when a friend lent me all 15 (or so) issues of Alan Moore's superb take on the character. Seriously, I read all those issues in like, 1 night because I just couldn't stop. Anyway, I hadn't really read or heard much about Marvelman since that one time, but I still kept a fondness for the character based on Moore's writing. So when I got a request to draw him, it was fun to spend a day revisiting him. I also liked the opportunity to draw a superhero that fit a more contemplative composition, as opposed to the usual "Wham! Cominatcha!" type of shot.

The final painting was done in gouache and ink, about 10"x15" in size. Usually, I draw a pencil sketch first, but for this one I thought I'd experiment and draw a rough digitally in software, which you can check out below. It was a novel thing for me to draw the sketch on my computer, but it actually took longer than a pencil drawing would. And I kept thinking throughout the sketch "here I am, using a $100 piece of software, and a $1000 replace my $1 pencil."

I think I'll just stick to using the tablet for touchups and revisions.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Abraham Lincoln x 2

Here's an illustration of Abraham Lincoln I did for this week's New York Times Book Review (AD: Nicholas Blechman). I actually enjoyed this assignment so much that I did 2 different drawings of Abe for the art director to choose from. They ran the more iconic "bearded Abe" above, but you can also see the younger, "clean and fresh" Lincoln below.

One thing I learned drawing these: Abraham Lincoln had great hair.

Friday, February 06, 2009

My Favourite Cartoonists Part 3: Jack Kirby

Today is February 6th, 2009 -- the 15th anniversary of the passing of Jack Kirby. Most people who know me well know how much I love his work, and how much respect I have for his accomplishments.

Unlike the other cartoonist-influences I've blogged about in the past (see here, and here), I don't think Jack Kirby needs much of a write-up or introduction. There's plenty of other great sources of information on Kirby and his art, so all I'll say here is that he was one of the greatest comic creators ever, and certainly the very best super-hero cartoonist of all time. His work was infused with compassion, innovation and heroism, and he left a legacy that will span the ages. Every cartoonist I admire also admires Kirby, and in the centuries to come they'll talk about him the way we talk about Giotto or Picasso. He was that good -- that's why they called him King.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

A few notes about Inking

Late last year, my buddy Ramon Perez invited me to fill in for him at a class he teaches on inking comics. Specifically, he asked me to come in and give a talk to the students about how I approach lighting and "spotting blacks" (a comic term for figuring out where to put the large areas of black ink on a panel or page). Ramon's an excellent artist and inker himself, with a lot more experience in comics than me, so I really didn't know what else I could add to what he was teaching, but I agreed to give a short demonstration.

Anyway, since it was a first-year/beginner's class, I thought it would be best if I covered some fundamentals. So I prepared a 3 page hand-out for the students, with some notes regarding basic concepts in inking.

Now, I don't presume to try and teach anyone reading this blog, and there are far better inkers out there than me, but I thought it might be fun to share and post those notes here. Hopefully, some of you might enjoy reading it.