Monday, December 06, 2010
I have a bunch of pen & ink illustrations to do. To warm up for them I do little inkings. I really love the immediacy of the Pigma pens. You pick one up and you’re inking away. All of these pictures are small, doodles really (except the one above). The point is to get myself relaxed. Ink goes down and stays down. Paint isn’t harsh and unforgiving: make a mistake, wipe it away, do it over. A brush, works for me like a shock absorber, softening the unfortunate shake in my hand. So watch me ruin a couple of these. The one above is an illustration for a book by Orson Scott Card titled Hamlet’s Father. It’s not a test but a finish illustration included so I could have a picture at the top. It was done with Black Magic ink using a #1 W&N sable brush.
Above: These first three were taken from my transmogrifying sketchbook. I kind of draw from life and change it to something a little or a lot different. Most of these are drawn lightly with pencil and drawn over with a ballpoint pen. Starting at left is a balcony I was sitting on. I changed it quite a bit, mainly using the perspective. It’s both Pigma pen and ballpoint. Next is a doggy I saw running around. In this case I did a few drawings of the puppy separately and redrew it in the scene above. It’s pretty corny but sometimes I want simple, corny and cute. I need to learn how to draw dogs better from memory so this was a useful exercise. I used a Pigma pen on this one. The last one is a bank in town. I fancied it up some. It’s ballpoint.
I call the things above id creatures. They’re all over the place it you look carefully, in marble, in stained carpets and in lichen. All were all done with Pigma pens or brushes of one kind or another. The Pigma brushes don’t have the control of a sable dipped in ink but they’re useful when putting down heavy blacks and they don’t cause horrible spills. Some of these were done directly in ink without drawing. Often I get story ideas from these doodles.
Above: These first two sets are an exercise I call ‘keep inking till you ruin it.’ First I inked the three figures till I was satisfied, scanned the group and inked more. How better to know when you should’ve stopped than to go too far? The girl with her hand on her head is a mess in the second version but the girl holding her hand up still looks okay. I like how the hand stands out now. The mountain girl still looks okay too. It’s a matter of taste on this one. The story behind The Mountain Girl is that she’s a wild feral creature. What’s with the dress, you may ask? She “found” it, tried it on, liked it and is hoping to gain some sophistication by wearing it. Next is the fairy juggler who has charmed the clothes off of the lady he’s entertaining. I often do better with facial expressions when I draw small so after I got the big smile down right I felt I should try it up larger. My wife saw the basketball player with the stars in her eyes and said, hey, her arms are too long. Wrong! Her torso’s too short . . . and her legs a bit. Not to mention the massive hands, feet and head. Cartoons don’t care about their proportions and if they don’t why should I?Above: As ugly as my friends think it is I love my World Fantasy Award. It was cast from a sculpture by Gahan Wilson after all. You can’t beat that thousand-mile stare from H.P. Lovecraft. I’ve done a couple of drawings of this and I’ll probably do a few more. The light on the slivery bust fascinates me as well. I did this directly in ink with a Pigma pen. I consider the self-portrait a failure. It’s not me. I look too friendly. There’s no hint of the bitter old man I’ve become. Also, my eyes should be a bit more crossed as I look at the mooring airship. People ask me sometimes if I have airships on my mind all the time. Nope, just look to the right of me. There are the flying naked ladies that haunt me with their terrible beauty and their lighter-than-air frolicking. I never quite finished this drawing before the wind caught it one day and it flew away, only to be found damaged under a couch. Now those lofty ladies will have to be kept here constantly nagging me to lighten my mood.