Thursday, 28 June 2012

Yet another project

Because you know, I didn't have enough of them already.

A couple of days ago, I was mentally ambushed by a project that I've had on the backburner for years. Way, way, way back, I read a poem, of which a single, misquoted line has been rattling around in my brain ever since - kind of like a pebble in a tin can, if the tin can was also filled with all the other stuff I have seen, watched, read and accidentally encountered in my life. That line was begging to be the base of a comic of the short story kind, but I simply didn't have the time, or enough inspiration or any semblance of an actual plot.

... It's not like I've got all that much more time now, but at least I've got an idea of what I want it to look like now, so I guess that means I ought to make time for it.

The poem is People Like Us, by Robert Bly. It's got a beautifully quiet atmosphere, with some really nice imagery, and it's got the sort of feel to it that makes me want to translate it into a comic:

  There are more like us. All over the world
    There are confused people, who can’t remember
    The name of their dog when they wake up, and
    Who love God but can’t remember where

    He was when they went to sleep. It’s
    All right. The world cleanses itself this way.
    A wrong number occurs to you in the middle
    Of the night, you dial it, it rings just in time

    To save the house. And the second-story man
    Gets the wrong address, where the insomniac lives,
    And he’s lonely , and they talk, and the thief
    Goes back to college. Even in graduate school,

    You can wander into the wrong classroom,
    And hear great poems lovingly spoken
    By the wrong professor. And you find your soul
    And greatness has a defender, and even in death
         you’re safe

So I want to tell the story of the insomniac and the thief (whom I've turned into a girl, because), while keeping the atmosphere of the rest of the poem intact without necessarily using that exact imagery. 

I want it to be black, white and grey (possibly screen tone) with one spot colour - I'm thinking orange-red. I want it to be sort of sparse-looking, with both a solid setting and lots of negative space used for mood and atmosphere.

Thus far, all I really have is that colour-theme, the layout of the first page, the mood and maybe an odd panel here or there, but I'm on my way. I'm using my daily warm-ups to explore the idea, so that it doesn't actually steal all the time I'm spending on other projects.

Speaking of other projects - one of the ones currently on the backburner/being worked out through warm-ups, is about the life of fairytale ladies post-fairytale and all grown up. Like the Red Ridinghood:

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Sketchdump XVII

Collection of warmups and sketches and stuff. Let's start things off with a healthy dose of Shirtless Russian Mobster:

This is what Ygritte from A Song of Ice and Fire looks like in my head - all messy, wild red hair and the kind of determination you can bend horseshoes around.

Zebraspider. Because.


Thursday, 7 June 2012


My friend Linus drew this picture a while back, of a really neat pair of shoes. They had dinosaurs on them.

I demanded he paint them IMMEDIATELY, but alas, he didn't have the time. I did, though. In spades. And my other friend Alek wanted a pair, too. So, the shoes are now dinosaurs.

Progress-shots - mostly of Linus' shoes, to avoid repetition(shots of the finished product down at the bottom of the post):

I bought two pairs of white canvas shoes, one each for Alek and Linus. Took off the laces while painting, but kept the cardboard-thing in the toes to make sure they stayed the proper shape.

Linus wanted his to be red, so I base-coated them in yellow acrylic to cover up all the white spots. 

... I then went over the yellow with red fabric paint; a thick coat over toes and heels, but drybrushing it over the sides of the shoe so that the yellow still shows through a bit.

Alek's shoes, which were base-coated in a lighter blue-green fabric paint, and then painted over with a mix of dark blue mixed out with white, to take the edge off the extreme saturation.

Some close-up shots of the basic lines: sketched out with coloured pencils, painted in acrylics; Naples Yellow for the eyes, regular black for the lines. And it's already starting to look kind of neat, but it's not quite there yet.

Added yellow acrylic highlights, and some shadows with the red fabric paint, to bring out the lines. Looks a lot better now!

And here they are - the finished dinosaur-shoes!