Thursday, 5 February 2009

Snow Business Like No Business

Well, woke up this morning to find a good six inches of snow had fallen overnight but on Monday buses were running so I diligently toddled off to the bus stop, only to see that ours must be one of the councils to run out of grit as they hadn't gritted the major hill where I catch the bus from. I could see from the snow tracks that nobody had got off the bus and when a work colleague who lives opposite the stop passed me, she said she'd heard no buses all morning. I then returned home to check the state of the bus service (Rachel had to carry on to work as she works at another depot within walking distance!).

I called in to work at 7.45 and said I'm not going to be able to get in until the bus runs but I gave it til 11.00 before realising the snow's not likely to be shifting anytime soon and I gave up for the day. I found no updates online and couldn't see the point of traipsing to the bus stop and back and sitting in the freezing cold if the bus still wasn't running.

(The offices closed early on Monday as a result of the weather and with 50 hours of flexi time accrued since last March--I'd have loved to have taken time earlier but have not had the cover to do so--, I think this is a good opportunity to burn off some of that time.)

I could walk into work, it's about a two mile walk---but I live on the top of a valley with numerous slopes and dips so trudging up and down that much snow and ice wasn't really an appealing option.

Still, after deciding to give up the ghost for the day, I decided to take the opportunity to get some art done. I pencilled (well, as complete as my pencils get when I'll be inking myself--although I've been told this is still fairly tight, this would barely be breakdowns for a big publisher, and how loose were John Buscema's full pencils anyway?) the first page of Rol's strip, though I'm not sure exactly how the inking will go. It's not as sleek as Jaime Hernandez or Garen Ewing's lines but it'll be fairly rendering free and may involve some heavy blacks to add some balance, although that's a design choice that really needs to be made during the pencil/layout stage. I'm also not happy with part of the final panel so that might change and while I could have just made it up, I was annoyed to discover how hard it is to find accurate refs for the original Star Wars figures.

Still, I also completed two other pieces today: I'd pencilled a Black Bolt piece for my rainbow characters thread a while back and quite liked the upper half but hated the bottom, and the position of the arms didn't really work well for the underarm wings, so I've been considering inking it as another character but couldn't think who for ages. Today I just took out my Legion and Teen Titans Companions and flicked through until a character caught my eye and I eventually stopped at Golden Eagle. This C-list character was barely a footnote in DC history (later to be retconned as Hawkman's protege) but I liked the character design when I saw him in the Titans Hunt story so I decided to draw him as he's an unusual choice.

Before inking that up, I also FINALLY pencilled a pic of Heroes' Kristen Bell to my satisfaction. It's not perfect but I think it's a recognisable likeness and I'll soon be colouring this and the Golden Eagle.

Right now, I've been avoiding putting the heating on all day but it's too cold (I can no longer feel my feet) so I'm off to warm up in front of a DVD...


Tone said...

Golden Eagle (whoooo? as Rol would say) looks like he's strutting at a 70's disco. Funky wings though. That's a really nice Elle, she's a tough likeness to capture I'd expect, as she's got a slightly weird angular face and a bit of a hooter.

PJANG stip looks cool, and still tighter than my pencils. After that cameo in the thumbnails, I see you are playing the dad after all ;-)

Rol said...

I think that's an excellent K Bell likeness.

Actually, Tone, I do remember Golden Eagle. It's only 2000AD characters I get all Whooooo? about. ;-)

dave said...

Funny how I'm drawing another Rol strip that includes kids playing with Star Wars figures. I made them up, was only for one frame and they were inked badly, but I thought as the print size is small nobody'd notice.

Your word verification for this is scouse. I've noticed quite a lot recently that proper words keep coming up on the word verification things, had spunko on Rols.

Nige Lowrey said...

Tone: I'd have assumed Kristen Bell would be easy to get a good likeness because her strong jawline and nose make her distinct but she's harder than I expected, hence the multiple attempts. This one was relatively easy compared to earlier attempts.

Dave, I know what you mean about printsize for the Star Wars figures, I just wanted to get the basic design elements right. I hate these bloody word verification things too...

Rol said...

Is spunko a proper word?

Are Dave and Nige drawing the same strip... or do I really have so few ideas?