Trying New Things

Comic books were what initially inspired me to seriously pursue art. Spider-man was released in 2001, and I saw it in the theatres 3 times. Soon my room was covered in Spider-man memorabilia and I was religiously reading and tracing whatever I could find of him. As I developed as an artist – and, with the discovery of DeviantArt – my taste in art grew more diverse. I admire many contemporary artists as well as artists from the Renaissance, Romantic era, etc. I think that, as most artists would agree, inspiration is impossible to limit to one artist, one style, one movement. Everything is an inspiration, whether we realize it or not. Whether we find ourselves faithfully admiring only one art style, we can gain a new perspective by seeing what in an advertisement catches our eye, what about Waterhouse’s armor is unmistakably metal, what about E.S. Posthumus’ “Unstoppable” makes us want to draw an epic battle-scene, and so on. Inspiration comes from all around us. But I digress.

…What was I talking about? Comics! Right.

Well, I’m still inspired by them. I’ve been toying with the idea of creating large-scale comic pages. Snippets of comics, if you will, much in the way Roy Lichtenstein blew up specific comic panels. Only, my work will be my own story and it’ll be a full page or more. See, my personal work kind of plays out like a movie in my head sometimes. I see one image, then the character says one line and I have to draw it out for about a paragraph (which equals roughly four pages of actual comic, on average). The line and the conflict usually plays out like you’re jumping in to the middle of the story, but visually it’s still compelling. So, in order to complete this project, I’ve really been trying to go back to my roots. Currently, the my favorite cover illustrator is Andy Brase, because I LOVE how dark his work is, and how masterfully he uses cross-hatching and utilizes light and complete dark to create intense drama. A couple of my favorites (click for larger images):

“Grifiel – Demon”

“Gatekeeper of the Dark”

Anyhoo. After picking up my Micron pens after a long while of leaving them to dry out in my drawers, I realized that I suck at comic style. I plan on creating the comic pages that I described above with – probably – paint, but I’ve always admired the incredibly graphic style of high-contrast comic ink jobs. So I’m going to at least do what I can to teach myself this style, and see where it takes me. I’ve only done a couple pieces thus far (and have been utilizing this time to practice anatomy as well), and they aren’t elaborate, but here: 

(Attempt #1)

(Attempt #2)

So, as you can see, they’re far from fantastic, but this is only my first couple of tries. I’m gonna keep working at it and see how far I can take it.

As far as life goes, I’m busy with school; this is my last quarter and I’ve got 15 credits that should keep me relatively busy. I’ll be graduating high school as a Running Start student, and leave short of one math class for my AA. Art-wise, I’ve been hired as an art teacher for a place called Uncorked Canvas, where I’ll have 3 hours to teach non-artists how to create a final piece of art by the end of the night. I’ve also got a cafe that has given me free reign to fill their walls (once a actually have some finished pieces), and I’ve got a friend who’s requested some designs for a t-shirt company he’s starting up. So…I’ve got a full plate. Should keep life interesting 🙂

But I’ll keep on this new project/exercises; I’m trying to make myself draw a warm-up drawing daily, so I’ll have plenty of opportunity if I can keep to that…


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