Friday, July 27, 2012

Rough Hand Sketches and.... Oval Eyes?



Rushed today as an old artists friends are dropping by today, Alex Pardee of course i've known for years, and and a new guy, an artists Skinner who's work i've enjoyed for years, but never met in person yet.



Here's a few hands i doodled for the Second World's Art book, since I'm already compiling material for that one.


Here's a curious old wooden cup with a vintage Trout Ad on the side ~ this is just luck, but notice how at the bottom.. how the patterns on the wood swirl into the folds of the paper in the Trout ad?  Too weird.  I mean.. what are the odds of that happening? I didn't plan it, i just notice it afterwords.



I don't know why i got so got into crazy rendering this hand with a pen...  must have been in a  Way$hak mood.

Here's that curious effect where even with the same light on my drawing table, depending on how the camera catches the image, it either looks yellowy warm or colder blue. Not thebulb either.




Always a good idea to look at your own hand every once in a while and draw it. Course my vines aren't nearly this pronounced or visible. Or.... my last two fingers quite so distorted as these.



...and sometimes.. Grrrr ~ i just can't draw a hand at all.

So lemme try something else.



This will probably wind up being a nola drawing..



her face is really rough.. eyes totally simple so far.



wondering if i can pull of trying for keeping her simple oval eyes, but do a little shadow around the edges? Implying there's some skin folds those eyes are embedded in? 



but for now let's juts finish her hair. 





why not go for a dramatic swirl at the bottom? 


okay, now i wanna *avoid* darkening her hair, for a change. Least at the bottom... keep her lower hair and figure light and diffused.. 



only get detailed up by her face... 



or as detailed as i get on this one.. which is to say pretty damned simple. Pastels to wake me up a little. Breaks me of the color pencil-ink cycle i usually lapse into so often. 



some warmer skin tone shades, crimson, vermilion, 



maybe a little vandyke brown. some pale orange.. but not to much. 



mostly intuitive choices.. possibly mistaken ones. 



just seeing how they mix together. But outside of her eyebrows, nose and llips... i don't wanna get her too over-rendered.   



So, it's getting there. I think the colored pencil hair and red-ish top is a nice contrast to the thicker more oily pastels on her skin.  a little shadows around her oval eyes too.. 



kinda disturbing when you try to render Nola isn't it? 



Kinda funny how often we see these round hallow eyes... Little Orphan Annie, Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbs.. i don't know why i'm so drawn to them. 

Sometimes people ask me why i gave Dana and Nola dot or oval eyes... sometimes i revert back to 'normal' ones in a panel or two... but it is something that just makes characters seem ... more lost? vulnerable? 



I remember one of the producers of the aborted Four Women movie ( back when there was one, which i was directing... a lifetime ago).. movie telling me how he never realized how much my round eyes made the cindy character's revenge against the rapists seem so much sympathetic, even than the other woman who had 'normal' eyes. 

What do you think? 






... is there something compelling about oval eyes?







17 comments:

cody said...

Whoa That hand and the girl look awesome it doesn't look like your regular style either I don't know if I'm trippn, huge fan of skinners also his art is killer very original.

Marcus Collar said...

lighting changes and photograph leveles are a trip. I'm amazed how much different the naked eye sees if your drawing lamp is turned the wrong way. At times I cant even get inot the drawing until the light is right, that never happened duiring painting fine art stuff. Anyway love the trout label on the wood cup. Also what kind of scanner(skinner lol) do you have, seriously you must have a huge pro scanner not sure if you have mentioned it before. FOUR WOMEN movie??!!! wow I cant wait to see the sketch books im sure a lot of these stories are intertwined with some amazing art.
ok your hands always remind me of the surface of the Empires spaceships from Star Wars..in a good way...its like I can almost see tree's in them...such amazing texture just for pencil? WOW!

also are you in to making movies or production at this point? or is that all a thing of the past?

much respect,
Marcus Collar
Napa, CA

Sam Kieth said...

Thanks cody... i'm glad if the hand doesn't seem like my usual style, i was going for more of a George Bridgman feel to it.

Hey Marcus, Thanks buddy - i have one of those 11x17 Epson scanners. those Empire textures seems to haunt a lot of whatever i draw... don't they? Sometimes things that shouldn't even have that texture like flesh..

Will keep you updates if anything is produced in the future, course! The Four Women movie, thankfully... is far far off in the distant past. : )

Christine Larsen said...

I have always like oval eyes. I think they make a character look more universal, since they lack a specificity that "realisitic" eyes give.

She's a beautiful drawing, and I do like the pastel vs the colored pencil. it's a nice balance.

lucasirineu said...

I love those simplified oval or dot eyes myself. They tend to give the character a lot of personality when used right.

And those hands are really awesome.



Hey, one thing I've been meaning to ask you but I always forget, what are your thoughts on the new Sandman story that's coming out next year? It's apparently set before the first act in the regular series, which's the one that you drew. Just wondering if you had anything to say on this subject.

samantha said...

Beautiful blog, thank you for showing your work, i have been doing chaotic crap as a mind mapping process, it's kind of funny lol

Sam Kieth said...

Thanks Christine and Lucasirineu, seems i'm not alone in my oval eye sentiments.. i know it's sometimes limiting expressions wise... but sometimes there's more you can do. I'll probably switch back and forth as any given scene dictates.

New Sandman series? My first reaction was I'm just so relieved someone *else* is drawing it! : )

My hats off to Neil, and i wish them well. Kinda cool to see Neil try a prequel though. It beats rehashing the same old territory, don't you think?

Yeah Samantha, i know what you mean, sometimes every comic i draw feels like a chaotic mind map.. !

Aaron Desira said...

I think oval eyes give the feeling that the character is either niave or has no concept of what is happening to them. Calvin and Hobbies is the greatest cartoon strip ever made, how incredibly juxtaposed Bill w.'s writing is between philosophies of the adult and childs imagination of calvin. Well, thats what I reckon. Nice nola sam

Marcus Collar said...

yes a prequel sounds cool!!

also did you see our friend Lana made a appearance to promote her new film!

Justin Daley said...

Your blog is very cool. Your latest hand sketches are full of character, I always like to see hands depicted with a rough kind of look, like they've seen some action over the years - the veins and geography on the backs of hands is fascinating! I'm studying Diploma of Illustration and I find your storytelling to be very real and human with always a hint of that thing that lives over the horizon. At school we've been asked (well - told nicely, school does not ask hahaha) to select a well regarded illustrator for a research assignment where each student gives a ten minute presentation to the rest of the class. I've chosen your works - namely The Maxx but also Legs and Arkham Asylum: Madness. Like so many others, I have extremely fond memories of The Maxx. I was raised in the Australian outback near a gas and oil refinery so it helped remind me of some things I had believed forgotten - not the Airwhales or Crabbits although they would have been nice too :) - In any case, I continue to enjoy your work!
Many regards
Justin.

Aaron Desira said...

Sam how much for the trout mug? Its sweet.

jennifer kraska said...

Have I ever told you how much I love this blog? I LOVE THIS BLOG!!!!

cody said...

Saw this thought I would share it life imitating art flying whale http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/blog/34443/angler+photographs+humpback+whale+that+almost+jumps+into+boat/

Bob Mussini said...

I agree with you regarding the "lost looking" of Oval Eyes.
Sam... you are the best. I think I am your biggest Brazilian fan.
I became your fan when I set my eyes in your work the first time, precisely on the cover of Wolverine (Brazilian's Wolverine 23 in January 1994 - with the same cover art of MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS # 92, in USA).
I like to inspect every single hatching of every frame of your work. I love your humongously style and your singular and obvious knowledge of anatomy.
You are the BEST

MARVEL PRESENTS 92 - USA:
http://comicattack.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/wolvie.jpg

WOLVERINE 23 BRAZILIAN COVER:
http://www.guiadosquadrinhos.com/ShowImage.aspx?id=8735&path=abril/w/wo00302023.jpg&w=350&h=506

Zoot said...

Such an amazing artist. I wonder what it would take for Sam to do a Wonder Woman comic?

Spongg (Frank Plein) said...


Any news on the World / Art books?

And you do a mean Bridgeman :--)

Vincente Alford said...

Bring The Maxx back please i loved that show.