Saturday, December 15, 2012

I can't believe it's not Fabio...

This was a crappy wash drawing I did a couple days ago on somr real shit paper, using the Tombow markers. I thought the paper would be like watercolor paper because of the heavily textured surface, but it doesn't take water well at all - the surface rubs off and turns into little scabby pills all over. After a while I gave up in disgust, ;eaving myself feeling like I now suck as an artist (it's true- you always feel like you're only as good as your last piece).

Then I decided maybe I could develop it farhter in pencil - it helped a lot, but the heavy texture really makes it difficult, plus I had to cover up a lot of really dark wash so a lot of it disappeared into pure blackness.

Considering taking it another step - maybe several coats of clear coat and then paint ovr it - though I have a feeling the thick watersoluable Derwent 8B pencil will smear even under all the plastic.Or wait - hey, yeeeeaaaahhhh.... it's already in digital file form, isn't it? I could photoshop it, couldn't I? But I remember  a couple of times trying to photoshop a heavily textured drawing doesn't work very well... unless maybe I can just change the colors of the drawing and work over the crappy background a bit...

But in spite of the problems, there's a strong quality of form and anatomy that I like about it.

Also, I now feel like I need to draw in carefully developed tone, the way I always did through the 80's in pencil - that allows me to develop form as I go, responding to changes as I see them taking shape. This works better for me than trying to think through a drawing all at once in broad washes etc. I mean, look at the sense of round form in the chest here, as opposed to any of my wash drawings.

It's really hard to get good pictures of shiny pencil drawings - I need to do it invery low light to avoid glare and then try to bring the light levels back up in photoshop, and a lot of middle tones just vanish in the process. So what you see here is a pretty rough and harsh version of the actual drawing itself. In fact, looking at the picture just above, I decided I needed to add some midtones beside that dark shadow core along the left edge of the torso - but when I turned around to work on the drawing I see they're actully there, they just don't come through in the photo. 


Wow, how could I have been staring at this picture for 2 days now and only just now realized that it's actually a rewoeking of my 1st Fafhrd painting??!! Much better-drawn though. If I just extend it down a little farther and put a sword in his hand, there it is! 

And I've even been thinking I ought to re-do the last Fafhrd painting, Longbow - but never thought about redoing the 1st one. I've ALSO been thinking I should take some of the drawings I've been doing (or am about to do, or maybe old drawings) and use them as the basis for oil sketches or paintings. wWell, I guess that's just what I'll do then. 

Oh, and here's what I was thinking when I suddenly realized this drawing is a reworking of the old Fafhrd painting - I was thinking I really need to start doing more dynamic poses - because he sort of looks like a male model posing for an underwear ad - or, hell, with that long hair blowing like that, he looks a lot like Fabio... Yah, that's when it struck me. Because people said that about that painting too. cue Twilight Zone theme...

Just a few minor touch-ups, mostly the the shadowed shoulder area - especially that highlight along the top of the clavicle ridge that was bothering me so much and the area all around it. Also managed to get a much better picture that retained most of the midtone detail this time, and took out all color information so as not to have to deal with artificial warm or cool tones like in the first pic of this post. This is really looking remarkable - possibly one of my best in certain regards anyway - in terms of the form of the torso. You do need to ignore everything form the neck up though to call it one of my best.

Ok, after tht last stement, you KNOW I had to draw a little more on it, right?

In fact, I highly recommend working like this - take frequent digital pics of your work and look at them - even write about them like Ilm doing - that actually helps develop your thinking farther than just looking at it with a blank mind. 

The structure of the head is all wrong - too late to fix that - things went very wrong there in the inking stage and now I just have to work around it. It doesn't look at all like him above the neck, but the sense of form overall just keeps getting stronger. In fact - it has almost a Corben quality to it (which is an extremely good thing). I really like the bright area on the chest creating a focal area there. 

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