Saturday, September 27, 2008

Batgirl and Robin

Work and school is a volatile combination. For the first week of school I was very stressed out about my astronomy, health, and working full time. Finally, I moved into a pattern and I think it won't be as bad as first feared. But my art has really been slipping because of my studying. I've been working on this on and off for about a week:

Its drawn on 6.625"x10.25", so its actual comic size. I used a Pentel Brush Pen to do this whole thing. I'm really trying to learn how to ink and utilize more black areas. I'll be getting back to The Joker soon, its just such a pain to setup and photograph each step. With illustration, I can just start drawing on paper anywhere at anytime without having to setup to draw.

Monday, September 22, 2008

School Daze

First, my daily art:

On break at work I cleaned up the page, spotted some more black onto Robin's coat which I think really helped. Then I did my usual fun coloring out of boredom. Its nice to have colored pages in a sketchbook, its more striking, even if my coloring is pretty flat. It has been a while since I used colored pencils, I need to get into a rhythm before I start getting too creative.

Now a more imperative topic. School started today... Oh the horror. I could not fall asleep for the life of me last night. If something important is happening the next day, I can't sleep. Anyway, I woke up and got online to check out my online courses. Health and Astronomy. My Health class doesn't seem too bad, but my Astronomy seems to be a nightmare. I will have to be extra organized and assertive to accomplish my classes, art, and everything else I want to happen this quarter.
My Astronomy teacher wrote a novella worth of information. The syllabus, an intro letter, discussion questions, a lecture, this week's agenda. It was a lot. I just read through it and my eyes are bugging out. I had to write notes on just what he expects each week from me! Tomorrow I have to get up early to pick up my books, my financial aid check, and a parking pass just in case I need to do something on campus. I'm frightened by the amount of work this teacher is demanding. I am very interested in Astronomy, but I am hokey pokey about my pace. Maybe I need a fire under my ass to jump start my mindset back into a school sort of pace.

In other news, I totally forgot my Spanish Instructor's birthday party. We are good friends, and hang out a bit outside of classes. I have been so bogged down getting over being sick, kind of feeling in a rut, trying to get art ready for a few events, and mentally preparing/fearing school. My mind was elsewhere all weekend, I totally forgot it and I feel horrible. After I am done posting this entry, I will be drawing her a birthday card. It will be personal and it will mean a lot to her. I also packed up my guitar and a folding music stand. For her belated present, I am going to play a couple classical songs. I was also wanting to paint a sign for her class as a surprise. She just got a new office for her school, and needs to decorate. I am going to hand paint her Spanish class sign, I think she will like it. Unfortunately, do to time constraints, it won't be in her hands until probably next week.

Last bit of info. Last night, during my insomnia, I watched the very tail end of a PBS program. There is a black scientist guy I see all the time on tv. I've seen him on Conan O'brien talking about astronomy, he gets so excited about it. I've seen him interviewed on news networks, he's somehow some kind of big science geek. Anyway, he had some show on, and he was talking about the evolution of writing. I would have LOVED to watch the whole program, history is awesome, especially about things I am interested in. Anyway, he started talking about his crow quill pen (basically the same thing I use to ink, but I use steel nibs rather than an actual cut feather tip). He said that if he is going to write something important like an article or a speach, he uses a crow quill pen. Each time he dips for new ink, he gets about six or seven words before redipping. He states that this process gives the piece a cadence feel to his writing, he thinks a lot more, and there is a unique thoughtful flow that is lost in the 'now now now' technology of a keyboard.
I really think he stumbled onto something so true. Even when I use a brush to ink, I am so much more thoughtful with each stroke. It is so different, and has a more organic flow than any pen.

Okay, enough yammering. Time to draw a Birthday Card.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Doodling and La Bamba

I think I mentioned this before, but I bought a new sketchbook. This book is just for me to practice 100% comic stuff. I want to have nice complete work in it, inking, colors, panel layouts, whatever.
So, while watching La Bamba, I drew up this:

All using the pentel brush pen. I haven't erased pencil marks yet because its still too wet to brush an eraser over. Approximately 45 minutes all together. Another thing I am trying to do is loosen up and have fun, when I participate in the 24 hour comic day, I don't want to stall and just stare at a blank page. I did a lot of that last year. I notice if I start doing something, anything, it makes it easier to keep going.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Daily Work Doodles

I've been drawing a lot of Batman and Robin at work lately. Trying to not worry so much about being perfect, and just having fun. This is actually the first Batman I have drawn that I actually like.

If I ever worked for Marvel or DC, I'd love to do one of their kid's comics. Teen Titans or something. Anyway, I need to clean up and get painting again. I've been painting on Joker, but I haven't been able to photograph much.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

All Spanish Today

He estado trabajando en varias pinturas en los ultimos meses. Quiero tener otra exhibición de arte pronto. Invitaré a todos mis amigos y familia de nuevo. Se siente bien tener amigos cercanos que vengan a apoyar mis intereses.
Hablé con el dueño de "The Missing Piece Tatto" y le gustaría llevar algunas de mis pinturas. Su taller tiene muchas pinturas, muchas de éstas vendidas. Me gustaría vender algunos de mi trabajos y posiblemente conseguir algún reconocimiento.
Este año venderé libros de dibujos, pinturas y dibujos de comisión en la Segunda Convencion Anual de cómics. Algunas de mis amistades han conseguido beneficiarse de ello y han hecho conecciones. Con mis nuevas pinturas, y un portafolio mas grande, me gustaría ver si puedo encontrar trabajo pintando portadas para compañías de cómics independientes. Oni Press y Blue Water Productions son bastante grandes y no lejos de Spokane.

Just practing my Spanish for a change.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Robin in the style of Damion Scott

Sorry I've been so sluggish with the Joker tutorial. I was sick last week, and this week catching up on bills, just lots of stuff going on so I haven't been able to photograph anything new.

I just realized I have been rusty at drawing since Ive been painting Joker for so long. So, to prepare for the 24 Hour Comic Day I will be participating in again, I am filling a sketch book with tons of fun gestures. I want to really make something cool this time.

I've been liking Damion Scott's art a lot, especially his work in Robin: To Kill A Bird. So to try to learn some techniques from him, I drew the same Robin he did as a cover in the back, but with a bit of my style to it. I like his animated feel to it, he's not worrying about rendering everything to infinity like Jim Lee.

The sketch was probably 15 minutes at the most.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Joker Painting Tutorial Pt 7

Sorry it has been a while since the last update. I never realized how draining it is for me to try to think of painting in steps, it really slows me down and makes me not want to paint! Step by step is hard, because I generally don't work in one fashion. I like to fool around a lot with the paint, sometimes I work on more interesting parts when I get bored with the monotony of some parts of the painting.

Okay, so now I'm going to introduce a new acrylic additive, a retarder:

This stuff is really nice, it thins the paint a bit, and it lets it sit longer before drying. This will be useful for wet on wet blending action.

This is where I left off last. I was fooling around with water and darker greyish blues to make shadows on the bottom of the strait jacket. I didn't like the outcome so much, so I went out and bought the retarder since I knew it would be easier for this effect.

Here's I've mixed my Payne's Grey (the darkest background color) with Azrilian Crimson to make a purple. I mixed about a dime size amount of the color, and added about four drops of the retarder to it and mixed it in. Then I painted the upper portion of the face with it. After that, I used some titanium white and the purple together to make a lavender middle tone:

This is where the excitement begins! I can now use that retarder to make my paint take longer to dry. I can have a wet dark purple, and a lavender, then blend them together on canvas using a swirl motion with the brush. I try to keep a lot of strokes in the look to give a real painterly look. I'm heavily influenced by the old pulp covers and movie posters of the 40s, they really had a cool painted look to them.

After a good transition of purples, I add on top of it a small amount of titanium white and retarder to get some bright white on the forehead, and cheek. This is really my favorite part of painting, its about building volume. I add dark colors, medium colors, then lighter colors, then I can darken it if need be, or brighten it more, until I am satisfied.

Here's the whole thing at the moment. Yes, Joker's face is very purple at the moment, but I'll be lightening it up a bit later on, after I get the face and everything else finished.

That's pretty much it for now. I'll probably be finishing the face, then going back to the strait jacket again. After that, I'll be working on the pants, then I'm going to have the pants fade back into the background by adding some more Payne's Grey and impasto. From there, it will be about tweaking little things and making minor adjustments.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Joker Painting Tutorial Pt 6?

I can't remember what part I am up to now in my painting process of The Joker, but here's another update. Also, a side now, this is my 50th blog post! Yay! Now if somebody actually read all this, it would be worth celebrating :D

I finally picked up a light, but I'm unsure if I like it yet. My lighting is still uneven, but its at least better than before. I'm about to put 5000watt daylight bulbs in the whole basement just to work properly. I'd imagine the police would be stopping by though, expecting a grow house. The den is pretty poor to work in though, its the worst lighting in the house, but its the only room with enough space to work in. Here's my new setup:

You can also see the easel I built.

So now, I've decided to start on his straight jacket. I used some naples yellow, neutral grey, and payne's grey to make a slightly yellowed greyish tone. I'll probably have to play with this color a bit before I'm sure I'll be satisfied with the color. I originally wanted an off-white / cream color for the straight jacket, but it was a little too bright when I tried it.

Oh yeah, I also was playing a bit and colored his mouth for the heck of it. Cadmium Deep Red with a little black for the tongue. The mouth is ivory black with some payne's grey.

So, that's it for today. I'll be working on the rest of his top, adding some highlights and shadows next. Not too much after that, his pants, his face, and a lot of finishing touches to round it all off.