Thursday, April 26, 2012

'Hollows' trees.. Part 1

Remember that Tree I threw up a while back?

I was surprised how much everyone seemed to REALLY liked it.

Well, that's a page from a new series I've started drawing called 'Hollows'.  Course, even though the Trees will be one a big part of it, there HAS to be more to the story than some Humongous-Wind-swept-Trees- with-whole-Cities build inside the tree limbs, right?

Chris Ryal and I are kicking around some ideas on what this 'universe' might grow into. But meanwhile, I'm just using it as an excuse to go crazy with exploring thee Sam-Trees, (for lack of a better name.)

I had to dig that first main Tree page out so i'd remember what it looks like for this double page spread i'm starting now.

The cool part is nobody can tell me i can't draw trees suck, because they're straight out of my own HEAD, that's what cool about creator owned.

So here's he rough idea.. the empty space on the left is a tree in the foreground. I can't decide it i wanna make the city light and background dark, or visa versa. We'll see once i throw down some color..

Cities the small are pretty boring to do, but they really create a sense of SCALE don't they?

okay, some watercolor pencils helps a little..

Throw in some leaves, again.. to suggest a Tree this big, you can't literally draw every leaf, their too small.  So my goal is .... trying to suggest a TON of little leaves.

Where's this guy come from? Sorry, forgot I've also got to get some alien pages off too. Keep jumping back and forth between pages. Hopefully Aliens and Giant Trees don't get all mixed up in the two books.

Here's a woman who appears in the Alien's book. She looks just like the same woman who i drew twenty years ago in the first Alien series i draw, hair up in the back, very Mucha influenced.

Let's start with the teddy bear. Trying to suggest fur, much like with the leaves on the other page. Funny how unless your a photo realistic artists, comics are about using symbolic lines,  to suggest things, huh?

always breaks me heart a little, doing comics. Unless you paint every panel, even with a great colorist, something gets lost.

Back to this dude. I tried to add some vein-like texture to the head, but i'm doubt it'll even show up in print. Course sometimes if the artists paints every panel, THEY can screw it up, so sometimes the colorist bails you out.  Gotta fix those sloppy back teeth on the mouth, eh?

Okay, back to a prettier face. The thing about a woman's face is... *when* to walk away. Dave Steven's always reminded me... 'Less is more' when inking women and children's faces.

Course i won't think 'less' is in my artistic vocabulary. My style is always pretty polarizing, isn't it? Fan's either Love it or Hate it. Not much in-between.

okay, wasting too much time on that lien head.  Better move on.

But first let's dive back into that tree spread. Here's a hint, there a guy who flies in it, (hence the winged figure on the right!) These are naked malnourished trees... their hungry for ink and color, aren't they?

Here's another splashy excuse to throw a Tree into a panel. This one's a little different, i wanna actually blur it a bit,

diffused lighting, hopefully. all this blue city crap will get totally buried. But if i suggest some perspective, i can throw in some city lights to pop out.

hmm... pretty crude city,  but it is done in markers. The goal here was to focus the eye on light spilling down, so too much detail will get lost anyways.

Still pretty rough, but that was the point here. The white light was pastels. They smudge a little, but that's fine.

i also added some water to the markers to let them bleed a little This book won't really be colored, so what you see is what you get. Sorta a cross between a black and white and color book.

Sorta a sepia toned book sometimes? we'll see how it shakes down.

wow, i need to get back to this Tree spread, don't i? Maybe next post. I can't believe how much time i wasted so far - but at least i grabbed a few photos along the way for the blog posts!



the danman can said...

Fright Rags really ought to have Sam do a shirt...

the danman can said...

Also, I dig the bear.

Cloud9 said...

Again, utterly amazing. I love how open these tree/city-scapes are. And your minimally lined character doodles... I always get excited when you jump around from the cartoony to ultra-realistic within the same story. I know you like to do contractual work for bigger companies, but why sacrifice your style that clearly shines through much easier when you work on your creator owned projects? Is it the challenge to diversify.. to see how far you can take the mainstream format to your far out wonder, your agent and his/hers mastermind, or do you just like doing them?

lucasirineu said...

Sam, you never cease to amaze. And the "tree comic" is looking wonderful, I can't wait to see what will come out of it.

Marcus Collar said...

I tried to get info from one of the IDW guys recently but they didnt say nuthin! cant wait to see the tree cities in a comic.

I dig what you said about women and kids faces SO TRUE, I say womens faces eyes, lips, and two holes for the nose THATS it unless you wanna make her look old or get yelled at lol

It's scary to read what you say about color artists I'm about to finally be published but I think the first run will not be in color. But I'm sure it's all part of working with a group. I'm sure inkers can be the same problem.

Ok well you have inspired us all once again, I love how the blog says "worlds of Sam Kieth". I really think thats true it may jsut seem like drawings to some but it wouldnt exist if you didnt give them a world of their own in your head.

blah blah blah back to the drawing table

you rock I love the two characters on the tree citie page the guy with the long hair and the chic, thats unique and inspiring the way you control timing with your panels, amazing as always.

much respect,
Marcus Collar
Napa, CA

Casey Crowe said...

Whoa... Just, whoa.... I wanna live inna tree.

ant said...

the texture on the alien is great, and the tree project has got me excited, it'd be nice if it was printed in an oversized format, so we can really see the detail in those tiny cities, anyway awesome post, you've got so much on the table, lots to look forward to, i'll need to make a list so i don't miss out on anything!

cody said...

Like the scale a lot. giant trees and vast empty space in between the layout is really cool. Really awesome work.

cody said...

Ment flat space. not empty.

Sam Kieth said...

Hey gang,

Thanks for the Tee link danman! Cloud9, far as work for bigger companies vs. creator owned, the first pays better and the second has more freedom. Both seem to help.

The work for hire gigs get you a spot light - if i hadn't done those MCP covers, Jim Lee might not have seen my stuff and ASKED me to do the Maxx at Image.

So, in an ideal world, you just paint what you want all day.. but, both are important for different reasons.

Marcus, Yeah, i know what you mean, less on female/kid faces, still blow it with those sometimes.

IDW keeps this hush hush because, well... because i'm still drawing the sucker! : ) They don't know either yet. But i like to throw stuff up as it unfolds so you can check it out. Kinda cool to get feedback upfront, eh?

Casey, i know what you mean, living in those things.

ant, I don't think a first issue will be oversized, but i can throw nice bigger shots of it in my art books for sure - since i *own* it there's no worries there!

cody... amen bro. flat spaces.

sometimes the 'flat spaces' have their own things to say, don't they?

I know, pretty pretentious, sounding - But dude, it's sooooo true!!!

- Sam

ant said...

totally true sam, i grew up in north dakota, i miss those "flat spaces"

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