Thursday, 25 August 2011

Light (box) Entertainment

I search the web a lot for artists I like, and invariably end up cribbing a lot of pieces I like and as with the net in general, I often stumble across interesting further work. Some of this inspires me in curious ways...

For instance, I saved a Kid Flash model sheet from the Young Justice show and one of the few things I like about the DCNu is the Kid Flash design (though I still prefer the original). I wanted to devote time to drawing the new costume when I decided to do a comparison instead: lightboxing the model sheet, I quickly finished all three versions...unsigned of course, as I don't feel this is my work at all...

However, I'd always fancied a crack at inking Jack Kirby's stuff. It's so bonkers and abstract, I always thought it would be an interesting challenge as I know I'd inevitably try to beat it into a more realistic shape. So, inspired by the Kid Flash messing about, I downloaded two Kirby pieces. I've got a Superman piece to ink, which I'll ink in my style (i.e, it'll look nothing like Kirby probably!) but thought I'd test the waters trying to be true to Kirby on another piece first. I picked an Orion pic and while it seems quite faithful, I still caved slightly and made a few corrections:

1. The helmet wasn't quite symmetrical at the top so I curved it off a bit and redrew the left (as we look at it) wing, which didn't match the other one at all. In fact, for all Kirby's weird geometric costume designs, his drawing was far from symmetrical! I also gave the helmet "my2 metallic sheen as opposed to Kirby's , raising the trim at the edges.

2. Kirby always drew weird thumbs and fingers so I corrected them before trying to impose some kind of implied musculature on the upper arm, while tidying up the lower arm and filling out the elbow a bit.

3. I extended the glimpse of the far pectoral muscle and added a spine between the shoulder blades, which I tried to define a bit. I misinterpreted the art and mistakenly omitted the shoulder ring but tried to suggest an oblique muscle and texturised the belt.

4. I tidied up the upper leg muscles slightly, reworked the knee areas and redrew the foot so that it no longer resembled a frogman's flipper, also adding a trip to the boot design. There seemed to be a consistent flow of clothing creses from the groin to the the rear arm, so I kept that in the trunks but tried to imply some anatomy trhough them. I did some major streamling on the knee/upper parts of the receding leg but left the lower parts mostly untouched.

I'll add the original version as a comparison, along with another Orion that just made me laugh..

Finally, although I've used them before, I wanted to play around with the (non-Copic) markers I picked up recently. While they work like Copics, the gradations between them aren't as smooth as the Copic range so I think I'd choose to return to them for something serious. Here are an few headshots of Erica Durance shaded with the markers: not great likenesses but I'm warming up to the effects now so will probably colour these at some point.

First though, I have a Kirby piece to return to...
PS Just added a side by side comparison above...

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Bitz n Bobz

Currently, I am nearing the end of a week-long stint house sitting and looking after a dog, cat, fish, guinea pigs and lizard. Armed with a stack of reading (thus cutting down my backlog of reading to one book, two Williamson collections and a Frazetta collection), I found that typing on a laptop is a bloody frustrating exercise and abandoned my plans to continue revising my comic-0n-TV book for the second printing. So what else has been going on recently?

Two things are out now featuring my work: details of the tsunami relief project Spirit of Hope can be found at , while Dirty Bristow#2 is out now, a Birmingham based magazine featuring a few of my illos for a piece by Mr Tom Lennon, also available online:

Nice feedback here too:

Danny found his interview with an Otherkin was relatively easy to write but tracking someone down willing to talk to him was in his own words ‘the ballache of the year’. His pick is Tom Lennon’s Mythical beasts of Birmingham.

“It’d be a cliche to say how difficult it was to pick my highlights because they’re all so good wouldn’t it? I’ll just say that Tom’s piece is top quality funny and writing from a fresh local talent given room to write something that probably wouldn’t fit elsewhere. With frankly jaw dropping illustrations from Nigel Lowery, it’s why we started the magazine in the first place”

I've also been contributing more often to theweeklythemedartblog recently. I missed a few for being spoiled for choice but the one about robots coincided with watching an DVD tutorial by Adam Hughes, so I was inspired to create the piece above, Platinum of the Metal Men. I've also attached my version of Forbidden Planet (not likeness-strong as I wanted to change the horrid 50s hairdo) for the same blog...

Also put up a jam between me and Tony McGee: he inked my Loki, I inked his Magneto then he sank my battleship...

Fancied a chance on the Space Ghost DVD, as I only ever saw about three episodes as a kid, shuffled around the ITV schedules as space fillers. I LURRRVED them...but oh, dear, they've not held up well. Still, an excellent feature length documentary on Alex Toth makes it all worthwhile: odd to see quotes I've just read in Genius isolated spoken aloud on the DVD!

Ahead of the Avengers (shot of above) next year is Ghost Rider's almost certain that it can't be worse than the original (though the Rider himself, his bike and Carter Slade were all well executed) but it actually looks pretty decent. It feels more like the mood of the comic and the last few minutes alone are worth watching the trailer for:

Thursday, 11 August 2011

My Review of Adam Hughes DVDs

Originally submitted at Jerry's Artarama Art Supplies

"How to Draw Good Girls" - 80 minutes Follow Adam through his artistic process, from a clean, blank sheet of paper to a completed pin-up illustration. Adam will demonstrate how he draws, inks and tonally renders in marker a "Good Girl" illustration right before your eyes! Adam H...

AH! Shouls Say So

By Nige Lowrey from High Wycombe, Bucks on 8/11/2011


4out of 5

Pros: Easy To Understand, Good Resource, Informative, Entertaining

Best Uses: Occasional Refresher

Describe Yourself: Intermediate

As a fan of Adam Hughes and a beginning to dabble with markers artist, this DVD was a must have for me. First the bad points; this isn't exactly a bad point but this DVD isn't really an instructional on how to draw (although Adam is seen sketching and fleshing out the drawing), it's a tutorial for how to use markers. many artists are starting to use marker techniques so it's great to watch one of the best practicioners at work. Starting from scratch, Adam builds the work up in layers, clearly explaining the techniques, his processes and the choices he makes as he goes along. While providing an insight into the artistic process, this is best viewed as an essential tutorial in effective use of markers. Production value is simple but clear, while the contents are quite inspiring. Well recommended.

The mermaid Adam creates during the DVD