Sunday, 24 April 2011


Dave Sim's Glamourpuss is the only ongoing title I currently buy and while that's mainly due to his history of comic art, I've also greatly enjoyed his illustrations, lifted from fashion mags. I saw a video that showed how little basic drawing was done as Sim basically lightboxes (traces) each image. As he's mainly interested in technique, this is not as questionable as it may well otherwise be.

I liked the results so felt like experimenting with aping Sim's style/approach. I'd only ever used my lightbox for corrections so this would be something new. I raided a friend's stash of fashion mags at work in order to select a few nice full figure and headshots (and discovered why so many women detest size 0 models: it's not jealousy on their behalf, it's that the skeletal models look like zombies, ugh!)

Anyhow, here are some of the results...

First up, a headshot of Natalie Portman: I'm not sure if it's recognisable as her (I wasn't really going for a likeness but if I'd added more lines, it would become an ugly drawing) and I never even noticed the bow until I started lightboxing, but I'm pretty happy with the results actually.

I had lightboxed another face that I wanted to inky in my "style" as a comparison to the Portman piece when I received an e-mail that Judge Anderson would be the subject for this week on Chris Askham's Weekly Art Blog. Alongside Dredd, Johnny Alpha and Luke Kirby, Anderson is about the only 2000AD character I have any affinity for so I took advantage of the time babysitting yesterday to get cracking adapting the lightboxed pencils into an Anderson backdrop. Anderson feels like an 80s creation and was inspired by Debbie Harry (apparently), so I wanted to do an 80s style homage. Eventually I thought the better of it but kept the backdrop as part of the image: I drew Anderson and her psi-rings on two separate sheets, combining all three together in Photoshop. It's not perfect, but it's passable.

Back to Sim, here's a full figure I picked out...I was unsure whether to shade the legs with lines but went ahead and then immediately regretted it. I removed them all in Photoshop as I like the contrast between the detailed dress and the less rendered limbs.

After the above, I went online to find a pic more to my liking: the fashion mags have some normal models but they're usually pretty hard to find. I forget what I searched for but I sound found some galleries and printed off a couple of pics to lightbox (getting an e-frame was supposed to eliminate this process but I guess this is an exception to the rule!). Like the faces, I wanted to contrast my style with Sim's so inked this one in my own style. I'm quite happy with this, despite being disconcerted by how similar the model looked like Mallory off the West Wing!

Finally, another WIP: another Mucha-inspired piece. As a with all the pieces above, this is only done at A4 and isn't how I'd draw a "proper" illustration piece but are handy sized palettes to experiment with. I love Mucha's art but I'm not generally a fan of the evening gowns seen in his work so I hoped to approximate his line work but with a modern sense of dress. If I'd drawn at A3ish, I think the thicker outline effect would have worked better as the figure would have been twice the size. Still have the ornate backgrounds and colours to do before this is finished so it may still come together...

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