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So yes, this is sort of me, because at the moment I'm nine months pregnant with baby #3 and not nearly this slim. But like the picture, I DO need a haircut.
I painted this for my illustration profile for the New Leaf Literary website, where I'm now represented by the awesome Suzie Townsend.
If I don't get the chance to post again before Christmas, I hope everyone has a great holiday! Display Comments Add a Comment
My kids are in love with Miyazaki's Totoro. Lately, the Catbus is all my daughter talks about. Here's something both Totoro and Fall-inspired. :)
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I like to attend my writing group with a sketchbook and handful of sharp pencils. Here are some doodles from the last few meetings.
I drew this after seeing Brave and finally got around to adding color last night. Wish my hair was this curly and this red. Display Comments Add a Comment
After looking through some old Comic-Con finds, I drew this Chris Sanders inspired girl. I love how he makes things both solid and pudgy (especially feet!) and how delicate and confident his line work is. Display Comments Add a Comment
I'm back! We've finished moving and my studio is all unpacked. Here's a quick sketch I did today. Hopefully a lot more new art will follow... :)
Also, Austin Broder created a free rig of my 2007 caveman illustration! You can download it here.
We've been busy attempting to sell our home and buy a new one since May, so pretty much everything else in life -- including working on new art -- has been put on hold.
But since I miss updating my blog, I wanted to share my sister, Laura Mensinga's amazing short film, which she shot, directed and filmed with Kirsten White. It features their bike gang/art collective The Deadly Nightshades and toured with the 2011 Bike Film Festival. I think it's awesome, and I'm excited it's now online. Enjoy. :)
Pencils for an illustration I may or may not finish.
One of the challenges of parenting for me is maintaining enthusiasm for creative projects. I begin with a lot of energy and excitement, but where I used to just sit down and work on something for several hours/days until it was done, I now must work in small increments, stopping and starting over and over. After stoping and starting five or six times, it feels (even if it's not true) that the art is going nowhere and I should probably just start something new.
Writing seems to be the one exception to the rule, thank goodness. And I think it's because even if I can only sit down for a half hour, I can still knock out a couple of pages and create something that, even if needs polish, still feels complete. Display Comments Add a Comment
Don't pay attention to this first version of page five. It's horrible. But my post makes the most sense if I start with this image.
Last week I was really lucky to hear Glen Keane speak. If you don't know who Glen Keane is, it would be worth your while to do some googling. He's the incredible talent behind many iconic Disney characters and his beautiful artwork has been a huge inspiration to me and many many other artists.
After Mr. Keane's talk, my husband asked me how it went and I said, "Meh."
At first I couldn't pinpoint why I was disappointed, I mean, Glen Keane did a great job speaking. But then I realized that a silly part of me thought that by listening to one of my art heroes speak, some of his awesomeness would rub off on me and I'd be magically transformed into a better artist. And another equally silly part of me thought I'd leave that lecture with some powerful art secret I never knew before. Ridiculous. I know.
But as the week's gone on, Glen Keane's talk keeps coming to mind; things he said and things I observed about his work. Much of it is stuff I should know, or used to know when I was fresh out of college, but somehow got lost along the way. So thanks from the back row, Mr. Keane! And since one of his points was how important it is to share what we know with other artists, here goes:
- Think of your line drawing as a three-dimensional sculpture.
- It's all in the eyes.
- If you're not satisfied with the first drawing you do... redraw it. And then redraw it. And then redraw it, pushing the pose, the design, etc, until it's as awesome as it should be. I used to do this a lot, particularly when designing characters for people. But for some reason it never occurred to me to approach comic pages the same way.
- As long as you understand how something is built, you can draw it.
- Ebony pencils pretty much rock.
So... above is the artwork for page five of a comic I've been working on. I did this artwork several months ago, tried to ink it by hand, loathed it, and then inked it digitally, which although it's better, it's still stiff and soulless;
Yesterday, thinking about Glen Keane's talk, I decided to dig a bunch of ebony pencils out of my dusty art supplies and apply some of the things I learned to my comic.
Since I was using that first image as my reference and haven't worked on this book in months, I forgot that I got rid of the blindfold... but you can see that I'm thinking about the characters more three-dimensionally. And since I knew I could redraw the page if I made a mistake, my line work is bolder and more confident.
So here's another take on it. (By the way, if you'd like to do this kind of workup to your art, semi-translucent animation paper is a good way to go... I recommend chromacolour. Vellum will als Display Comments Add a Comment
Recently, I had to wait in line for two-three hours to enroll my kids in preschool. Luckily I brought my sketchbook and a fistful of sharp pencils. (And some snacks and my kindle...) Not sure who this girl is, but I like that she doesn't have a traditional comic-book shape and is still pretty sexy.
And here are my feet. Who needs shoes?
... and then I decided that I should probably draw my hands, because I still kind of secretly hate drawing hands.
And here's a stab at a Belle sketch, to possibly follow up that Little Mermaid painting. I wish Disney marketing focused more on Belle's love of books, rather than her poofy yellow dress.
Here are some random dragon creatures.
Two revelations that have helped me paint better...
The first: Chop the painting into a few (but not too many) logical layers. In this case, I worked with half of Ariel's hair on the top layer, her face and body on the middle layer and the rest of her hair on the bottom layer.
The second: This one might be a little more complicated to explain. But here goes... and I stole this theory in part from someone at DNA Studios, but I can't remember who now. I'm sorry!
Think about the world in terms of shape, flat color (which can also mean various shades of black and white in something monochromatic) and volume (shading within a shape to make it seem more three-dimensional). Then make two of those elements more pronounced than the third. In this case, I'm focusing on shape and color. I've kept my shading to a minimum.
It would be so fun to see a remake of some of Disney's classically animated films. I know, gasp, hand to heart. But hear me out... I adore classical animation and the original films are of course beautiful and breathtaking, however, we all love seeing a beloved story retold in a new way. Who doesn't like going to see another Batman movie? :) Display Comments Add a Comment
Page four! This sequence will wrap up with the next page and then I'll announce a title, set up a webpage and all that.
If the girl's dialogue seems random up there at the top of the page, remember this page follows page three. And if you are stopping by for the first time, here also are pages one and two. Display Comments Add a Comment
All systems go! Well, almost. I'm still waiting on a cable to connect my Cintiq to my new computer, but other than that, get ready for some comic pages! If you are just stopping by for the first time, I don't have a webpage set up for this story yet, but you can find page one here. Display Comments Add a Comment
So my daughter is sick and she has been watching the new "How to Train your Dragon" Christmas special. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn't seen it, because it's pretty charming, but by three-year-old logic there is a reasonable expectation that at the end of the film you might see a baby night fury dragon. And you don't. So to cheer my little lady up, I told her I'd draw her one. :)
Also, this is a bit of a test for me inking-wise. Thanks to Josh Ulrich of Jackie Rose awesomeness for the heads up, I got a very cheap copy of Manga Studio during the Black Friday deals on Amazon and am now trying to figure it out. I'm a pretty nervous inker with real ink, but I love the look of it and really want to ink the new comic. So far, I have to admit, I'm pretty in love with this program. You will get to see more of my MS dabbling when I post page three of the new comic... Display Comments Add a Comment
Page three! Did anyone notice the bat in the last page? Maybe not. He was pretty little.
I mentioned in my last post that this page would be digitally inked, but at the last minute I stuck with what I'd already done by hand. I'm still a little undecided on exactly how I'm going to do this comic. For new readers, here is page one and page two. Display Comments Add a Comment
Page Three, take two.
As eager as I am to get rolling with this story, I want to make sure I commit to a look that I'll be happy with when I'm knee deep in pages. I also want to find a way to do this comic that doesn't take too long, because I work on it in my spare time.
This page is digitally inked and I've redone my colors, which I think look less muddy than my previous version. I've also made some changes to the drawing, such as I made the girl's hair more disheveled and I removed the man's mask.
If you want to compare the two page threes, the first version of page three is here.
Once I finish posting all five pages in the opening sequence, I'll announce the story title, set up an online archive of the pages and all that. Thank you for following along and being so supportive. :) Display Comments Add a Comment
For Toonclub's Favorite Stories topic.
I'd love to add some kind of background to this, I'd also love to draw the rest of the cast. If you haven't read the book, you should. And if you've tried to read the book and gotten bogged down in the introduction part, I say skip it. It is kind of boring. But the book is just as much fun as the film, if not more. Display Comments Add a Comment
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