Tuesday, September 12, 2017

I'm back on ConceptArt baby!! And Drawing like Tex!!

I recently started posting again @ Conceptart - decided it might help me break my dry spell, which was heading into its ninth month. First I put up all the stuff worth posting that I've done since last being there 2 years ago. That turned out not to be very much really. I had a bit of a shocker when I checked the numbers of posts for each year, shown in the sidebar of my blog. 2014 was far and away my most prolific posting year - 293 posts!! That's pert durn near one per day!! Since then it's dropped off sharply - 73, then 40, and only 18 so far for 2017. Of course it ain't over yet..

So then I did this Texeira emulation - sort of. Not going for his style of caricature obviously, but I did use the thick tailored outlines, built up from a series of lines which generates some energy and allows you to get really subtle shapes, and to go thicker and thinner, lighter and darker where needed. Especially when you bust out the eraser like I always used to do not just for corrections but as a drawing tool too. In fact this all feels incredibly familiar - I'm drawing a lot like I used to do in the 90's. Something I kept wanting to do and tried a few times but never really accomplished. Somehow I had become too entrained with the ConceptArt methods - well, the mix of Watts, Proko and Vilppu methods that comprise the basic ConceptArt approach, at least the one I've been learning. But this time I succeeded. In fact this is something I've been wanting to do for a long time now - marrying some of the new knowledge with my old drawing methods and skills. It seems to have happened almost effortlessly - like it just took 5 years for it all to come together and meld into a comprehensive whole.

I also decided a few hours ago to see if there are any YouTube videos showing Tex drawing. Found this one:

Really I was hoping for an inking video, but this was extremely enlightening. I'm sure he learned his stuff using a pencil for the most part, and that's how I plan to do it as well.

I noticed he slides his hand around most of the time, and just uses his fingers to hold the pencil loosely - only occasionally drawing with the fingers, mostly for detail work. This agrees with the easel drawing stuff I've learned, done on newsprint with charcoal pencils. It explains why his outlines are so free and loose. He also draws really fast, but then he's a comic book pro - they all do. For this one he started entirely with the outline, built up energy by going back and forth to thicken in places, and only when it suggested the form pretty well did he start in on the interior shading. That's the way I do it, at least when I'm doing my Texeira Emulations. Yes, I actually do that, and that's what I call them lol! It sounds pretentious and funny at the same time.

He also starts pretty light and with thin easily erased lines and gradually builds up the forms. This method creates a sort of envelope of skin, if that makes any sense. Rather than starting by doing the standard art school mannequin forms or a gesture, he goes right for the shape of the body first. This seems to give it a lot of character right off the bat, and it works because as you're moving the pencil sort of rapidly back and forth and letting things take shape almost unconsciously, it begins to create an image in your mind's eye. It's like you can start to see the shape it needs to take on and adjust it to look like that. At least that's how it works for me, and I've done most of my best work like this.

One of these days I'll dig out the sketchbook with my earliest Texeira Emulations in it and scan them up for posting. Somehow as soon as I tried drawing like him something clicked and my work started looking better. It seems to agree with me. Lol Texeira Emulations - I like the sound of that. It sounds all technical, like the Eiger Sanction or the Rockford Files before I knew what those terms meant. Like something mysterious that would happen in a secret lab somewhere.

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