Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Another Dana, Lobo & Another Abstract

Here's the original Logo page for Batman Logo... a photo copy actually. Came across it by accident today.

I've always felt the less color on lobo's face and body, the better. Even the best colorist tend to over-color him.

The way Simon designed him in the first series... white face against black... it just as so much punch in how the contrast is, doesn't it? i just thought i'd throw it up here for fun.

Started this Dana one last week, so i'll finish it this morning.

again, trying for 'less is more' on this version of her.

Side by side..

keeping it light with the face shadows..

everything's either black colored pencils or reg. number 2 pencil. Also a watercolor brush. 

a little more buffed on her arms, small boobs, tighter tummy, rounder checks on her face.  

 sorta apples and oranges really, isn't it? I mean you could waste all day picking parts from each one you like better. 

 I'm kinda surprised, i though i'd like this new one much better, and i do like it. But it's not 'better'... 

just a different mood.  

Much more detail in her orange tank top too. Not sure why i emphasized what i did, i think it's just organic when you redraw something, you lose some things, gain others.. 

Here's an abstract I started a while back, added a little more to it this morning. 

It gets a little busy towards the middle, but the top swirls seem pretty interesting.. 

Abstracts are hard to justify really, aren't they? They barrow against everyone's patience, understandably. 

But i'm still drawn to them. 

with these cropped photos, you can almost get a better sense of it than all at once. It's like your attention gets focused on certain sections... it's almost like comic panels, isn't it?  

I've often use abstract paints I've done as backgrounds in comics i do, just for fun. 

I think i still need to blend some of the acrylic white paint with the white out pen, which is much cruder a tool.. 

but that's about it for this one. no process photos on this sucker, sorry. But you got some of that on the Dana one above. 

The 'mom in the tub' again.. a reoccurring theme in Nola's life. 

okay gang, glad your digging everything so far, have to play catch up this week, but i'll try to get something else up this week for sure! 

- Sam 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My REPLIES... to comments!

Hey boys and girls,

Finally got around to answering everyone's comments from the last three posts i did, so you may wanna jump down to the bottom three.. see if i never answered your question.. or if you wanna hear me make dumb mummy jokes along with everyone else. : )

Oh crap -  look what happened? Four more pesky followers snuck in there and blew the 400 followers limit we maxed out at, but what the hey: I'll never turn down 4 more fans, followers, lurkers.. whoever want to check all this goofy stuff out is totally cool with me!!!

Here's one you have seen,

and one you haven't.

If your bored, check out the longer post before this one.. some cool 'mommy' stuff in there.  No, not Mummy... Mommy.  ; ) 

- Sam 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Nola spread, and Dysfunctional Moms & Daughter stuff!

WOW!!! - we made it to 400 followers. Not sure what the heck that means, but it looks cool up along the side, eh? YOU guys did this, so much THANKS to all of you for still checking this sucker out!

..to celebrate here's a splash page from the Nola graphic novel (still in progress) -

Why is the pic above sideways? because if i posed it to the biggest size,  it'd partly be obscured behind the column on the left and we'd not see the mom's face.  Course i could have reversed the pic so mom's face is visible on the left, but then the 'mommy' logo would be backwards. See the nasty complications of digital trickery?

Pssst ~ Hey GALS ( or guys too ) - this post has some 'Four Phases of Mom': which means i talk a little about dysfunctional moms & daughters for a future Nola storyline, so it's all crammed down there in the middle of this post somewhere.

okay... more crap awaits.  Here's another panel for the Nola book. I'm gonna do it twice up, but i didn't have a piece of bristol wide enough, so i taped a few inches on either side..

It'll be a long skinny panel showing Nola's on the living room floor and dad in the upper left corner.

The first piece of paper i drew it on got so ragged from all the erasing that i traced it onto this bristol, which should hold watercolor much better. Hopefully the 'line' where the two pieces of bristol butt up won't show up once it's printed.

This will be fun to paint, SOMEDAY, but not today.. for now it awaits in the corner like all the rest of scraps lying around the studio.

so, what else?  Finishing the arm fox holes guys...

Here's a couple of half inked panels from the the DC 5 pager. Well, my part is 5 pages, other artists are drawing the rest of the book.

 It's very strange to be plunged into a story where you know none of the characters.  Sorta like walking into a movie in the middle, no clue what's happening. Thankfully the editor had tons of reference.  I warned him my style will just stick out like a sore thumb, but he wanted me anyways.  But it's sorta cool. 

okay, between inking those, i'll take a small break and finish this.. 

i penciled it a few weeks back... totally forgot about it, but it's a nice way to show Nola and Dana's mom in four distinct stages of her life.  

Here's something interesting, i erased the dana figure on the end, because this pages goes in Nola's book, so the only evidence i even drew Dana on this page is thee two photos on the blog. 

okay, i guess it's not all that interesting, but whatever.. i gotta talk about something between the pics, eh? here's i've inking the '60's Mom's' mini skirt. 

Now I'm jumping to 'Earth mother' mom's flowing sun dress. Yeah, that big-add think brush stroke is brush, i just added a colored pencil to soften the edge a little. 

okay, here all the warts as exposed, this is not super detailed on her dress, and since the book will be printed over-sized, it won't shrink down much, so why am i being so sloppy here? 

because years of boo boos have taught me the sorry of kill one's self adding TONS of delicate ornate fine bush or pen work, only to foolishly dumping a layer of color wash over it and watch all that detail  dissolve or get muddied away.  

Any detail i do add will be towards the end. Amazing how crude artwork looks up close, isn't it? 

It's a wonder how much less crappy it looks when your nose isn't inches from the paper. So, Earth mother mom's dress is in pretty good shape. 

now we'll hop over to start in on Dana and the 60's Mom.  Note the total contrast, i love how even the way Nola is painted looks so grungy, hairy eye brows, total bad ass daughter differentiating herself from the slick antiseptic looking 60's mom she grew up under the thumb of.  

Now, that's plot, but it's funny how the characters act, effects not only their body language or fashion sense, but even how the artists rendered them. 

Or maybe that's just me? i'm probably over-thinking it waaay to much.  like everything else i do. 

you might have noticed i added some white 'sheen' to the floral prints on mom's mini skirt, just to make it pop. Acrylic white really separates nicely against that recyclable brown paper. 

So there's our trio so far. First came '60's Mom' in her 30s, then later Nola's mom vision of femininity matured into 'Earth-mother' mom in her 40s. 

Actually i will flip this image horizontally, so that the mom's go from younger to older, left to right. As usual my tendency is to draw things right to left,  even though in my mind i'm thinking of them left to right. 

okay... so while i've been yammering on about the four cycles of mom, who's this red chick i'm coloring? That's the next phase, back to college and professional mom in her 40s. Older women migrating back to college like ducks to a pond. Older chicks dig 'knowing stuff' i guess.  : )  Maybe they are able to absorb more of it more the second time around?

Could be wrong. Maybe it's just THIS mom.. the imaginary one in my head. This is mom at the hight of her worldly powers.. she has it all, money, fab hone, killer career, sex appeal, 

yet something is still missing. 

Bunny slippers and a macrame sun hat... Senior Mom, the autumn years. 60 Mom is sick of competing in the rat race. Her world isn't shrinking, she's just more.. selective where she puts her time and energy. 

She's hopefully older and wiser, but knowing this family, probably not. Note Nola has a pair of scissors with blood on them. They broke in two when mom threw them into a wall during a fight with grandma. Nola names the half pair of scissors called 'Sizzy'.  She pasted a dolls eye in the middle of it. Sizzy talks to her and represents her violent side.  

okay, ENOUGH Nola crap for today.. these zombies just ain't gonna ink themselves, are they?  They been very patience so far during all this dysfunctional mother daughter nonsense. 

and what about Dana? Here i've shamelessly traced Dana's rough shape onto another piece of paper.  now normally tracing is kinda taboo as you recreate the same mistakes (MY mistakes) my last drawing had.  

So why did i bother to trace my flawed imperfect drawing?  Not because i'm vain or think it's worth repeating. But because i want it to have almost the EXACT same proportions, 

so our focus isn't the different proportions or posture of the two figures, but hopefully there will be a difference  in loser more free style in this stripped down version.  I'm already liking this one better... 

Or maybe not?  maybe i'll freeze up all over again. let's find out when i finish it up on friday morning.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Nola, Dana and Various other crap...

Random panels cut out and thrown onto a sketchbook. This is what I've been lying on my art table with during the flu, which is pretty much gone. The flu, not the drawings.  Because i lost a week - 'course ....Everything is due at once!  So.. here's a little bit of everything, jumping around from project to project.. trying to finish a.s.a.p.

Nola Book: I made the mistake of mentioning to Oni I had several hundred pages of the Nola book finished for a about a year now. So how is that news greeted? Why, they somewhat annoyingly asked, "well, ahh... why don't you, like, - SEND us some pages then sam? Grr them!

They're  right. But... also not as easy as it sounds. Yes, they raw pages are.. (more of less) finished, but i often cut up panels, which i toss around the studio floor before deciding what goes onto what page. I find it's sometimes more creatively freeing than just drawing them in... or dropping them in digitally.

Above is the same background page, but with different panels dropped in over it. Looks totally different eh?

Obviously I don't just drop them on the page so it's visually pleasing.. but also TRY for each panel to have some point in the larger story.  So, it's tricky, takes time.  sometimes it flows, sometimes not. Meanwhile I've got a zombie v. robots story due today, a short DC story, some Aliens pages due too.

But I'm also squeezing in this Dana piece too.  I'm a little picker on creator owned crap. Not that i don't TRY to do cool stuff on a work-for-hire book too. It's not like my brain holds back creativity depending on the book. The muse either comes in a gusher, or just dries up. At least for me.

But i also want room for creative surprises i might not even.. conceive of.. if i just drew regular super hero or horror books all the time, you know?

Going for something different here on this Dana one: a stylized thick outline, and a really light touch on the rendering on her face.. sorta like those Alphonse Mucha pieces?

Only mine will be a more cartoony version of that - with my usual ' Little Orphan Annie' or 'Peanuts ' eyes i always do.  The danger with a piece like this is it's looks belabored and loses the life..

I've already gone too heavy, to saturated on her tank.. let's see if i can stay light on her skin. Don't worry about her folds looking so rough, i'll smooth those out a little.

Okay, quite a forehead on her, eh? I can already feel how... pinched? self conscious, the rendering on her face is getting. It's partly because i was so worried about smudges and trying not to over work it.

Crap, see it? I've already LOST some life in her face  - damn.  I'll do another Dana one in another style, but same pose... to show you what i mean. Odds are if i'm not so fussy over the face getting dirty i bet it'll flow much more naturally.

Okay,  of COURSE now that i've a deadline on other books, these partially pages from Nola look soooo tempting, but gotta finish other stuff for now.

Here's a simple job: draw a dog, looking at someone walking up to it. Nice doggie.  Course because it's a zombie vs. Robot book, you can guess what happens.

Here's a aborted version of a Zombie i decided not to finish, so i turned the page over and inked another version on the back, which i'll flip horizontally in photoshop, so he's facing the right way again.

There's that's a little better. I still think it needs more dead bodies piled up in the corner. Now, since I've already added a wash, i'll flip it back to the front and ink in some corpses on the front page again.

I'll drop these in digitally too. I don't mind these kinds of short cuts on something in order to make it look a little better. 

Here's some doodles of some of the army guys in a fox hole for the same story. I often do a quick thumbnail of a character along side the script. It's just a way to peg who they are at a glance. 

It's nothing that would make sense to anyone else but me, just a visual short hand. I bet tons of you guys do it too. skinny young guy, beefy guy with cigar, etc. Now here these same guys are on the second page. 

Here's a rough for the 5 pager for the DC job. i scribbled it on the back of a list of chores my wife gave me. (YES, i did them! ) Note the order of the pages changed, pages 2 & 3 became pages 4 & 5. Since I'm dyslexic, i KNEW I'd visually go from page 1 to page 4, so i had to draw some little arrows down to the second row, also color code them too, so i didn't goof up. 

I'm sure a' normal' person wouldn't have to go to such stupid lengths. But it's just one way my brain is crippled, but i've learned to work around it. 

Okay, back to out little pooch. Doesn't look good for him so far. 

I've added some washes to this story because the Editor was cool enough to indulge me by letting it be in black and white rather than colored. 

okay, here it is more of less finished. Need to do a few more tweaks, then finish the DC 5 pager this morning, THEN ink up the army guys in the fox hole surrounded by zombies and robots. 

Then maybe tomorrow i can take another stab at Dana's face ... throw together some Nola pages... and get back to this page here.. 

geez... sometimes i think juggling so much stuff... is the only thing that keeps me sane! : )  

Thanks for not giving up on me guys! 

- Sam