working on speed to try to get ready to apply for some gigs... this is ballpoint pen on tracing paper for my construction lines. i'm finding that i really need to start loose or i get all hunched over and pissed. knowing that this doesn't hve to have any final details helps me out and lets me concentrate on gesture, proportion, rhythm--all the important stuff.
(in case you ever need to know... a movie poster is 27x40 inches. if you need to sketch a comp on 8.5x11, the dimensions will be 6 3/4 x 10 inches.)
another attempt at using black prismacolor. kind of happy with brad pitts likeness, the others are too small to bother with.
i'm kind of triangulating what part of the approach matches up with what features of the drawing. going too dark with prismacolor, especially over large areas, is a big mistake because it just leaves a streaky, waxy buildup. you can use it heavy on small areas like the facial features here, but that's about it. i.e. if you have heavy stage lighting, use it to mark the shadow edges, not to fill in the entire page.
it also helps to know if you're going to just turn in the black and white or photoshop it. if you have just the sketch, you need a way to make the highlights pop, which means you have to render more accurately. if you're going to lay the sketch as a multiply layer in painter/photoshop and hack away, you can always use a glow/dodge brush/layer to get your highlights and bring your darks into check.
i don't know why i've switched over to "you" here. probably reads like i'm lecturing.
i did the pen sketch and this in about 1:45 after watching Transformers tonight. five figures and a decent likeness and 2-3 shots at the donnie darko one this morning and even another aborted one, so i guess it is coming in quicker each time. thank god. i'm hoping i'll be ready for most gigs, once i get this down to about an hour or 4-5 per 8-hour day.
here is a little lecture/rant on the whole 10000 hours thing and what it means to an artist.
an acquaintance of mine, one of the top 2-3 movie poster illustrators in hollywood, once said in passing that it takes 10000 hours to do anything well enough to start making a living at it. here's my comments on that...
in an 8-hour/day 40-hour/week job, you work 2000 hours per year. so that means you would need to spend 5 years FULL TIME doing art. but, you might ask, what about art school and college?
let's say you're taking a full load--15 semester hours of studio art. each of those classes meets twice per week, 3-hours per session. that's 30 hours of studio work. BUT, you have to subtract from that all time spent listening to lectures, critiques, etc. AND you have to subtract all the time spent doing exercises that do not relate to what you want to do for a living. to make it worse, most college kids have an idea of what they want to do, but they don't know exactly what that means in the real world, and most of their professors don't either. nothing against them--i didn't know either.
so if you're lucky, maybe 20 hours per week goes towards something you will eventually use. so at the end of 5 years of college, you might have 4000-5000 hours under your belt. and that's the big surprise waiting for you--you have a degree, but not enough mileage to get a "real" job doing art.
this number is no joke. i studied japanese from age 16 to 26. I took every high school, undergraduate, and graduate level course in Japanese and got straight a's in all of them. I studied abroad twice. I passed the japanese kanji exam and the japanese language proficiency exam. and that took me at least 10000 hours worth of study and work. despite that, even though i can live over there without much of a problem, my japanese is not good enough to do every job i can think of doing over there. 10000+ hours, ten years, certification exams, and i STILL have stuff to learn if i want to get a job! holy f*ing sh*t!
so, if you're young or old, newbie or veteran, the only answer is to get off your butt and draw if you want to ever have it be something more than a hobby. i don't care how many pictures your mom put on the fridge, how many high school awards you won, how many friends told you that you're the next hot thing...DRAW. all the time.
practice off of the fight club poster. the hard part of doing these is figuring out the organization of the workflow and understanding the strengths and weaknesses of analog/digital media. the drawing is faster when i do it analog, but figuring out where to stop adding tones/values, modelling is hard to figure out.
right now it looks like i should only draw graphic shapes, edges and some of the smaller details with the prismacolor and leave the big stuff to painter/photoshop. larger gradations and flat even tones come out "streaky" and unpleasant, but a lot of that is my inexperience with prismacolor. marker would almost work. or it would be better if i had the double-sided mylar to work with so i could do the tonal stuff on the back of the sketch.
on the other hand, highlights, washes and gradations are ridiculously easy to do digitally if you already draw halfway decent and know where they should go.
movie poster comp study this morning after going to the la county courthouse...
(just an fyi or public service announcement--always keep your paperwork organized in your car. i had insurance but forgot my card, and it's taken me two trips to the courthouse already. 6 weeks and my "ticket" is still not in the system! lazy, f(*&ing public servants. i can't even mail the damn money in because they'll send it back until the ticket gets processed. the funny thing is that i've only got two weeks before the "court date." F'ING POLICE STATE BULLSHIT.)
and two more pics from Wichita. Illustrations for "ishi no me" a Japanese short story I translated. 30x40, oil. in my kitchen--not a good idea. luckily my hair grows pretty fast.
1. suicide girl fanboy art to show i can do half-assed pinup work
2. study from my teacher's pose book (the female figure, by mark westerrmoe)
3. bad portrait of john coltrane off of the "blue 'trane" album cover
4. study from a movie postcard of wong kar wai's "fallen angels"
5. FROM LIFE. she was the best model!, holding the apple in her hand, the mythological figures on the wall, and that crazy bellydancer/cleopatra outfit. this was before all of the "costumed" or "themed" workshops you see all over the valley. just a random thing that clicked together. never finished it, but you can see how i was taught to work in acryllic. i'd probably use certain shortcuts now, though. acryllic on masonite.
prismacolor smeared with turp and paper towel on drafting mylar. different eraser techniques--kneaded, pink, electric. 5 minute sketch head. tried stacking it behind and in front of the other sheet in the scanner.
i was sick of the limitations i had doing these movie comp studies, so i took the night off to figure out how to lay in a wash of prismacolor (pencil) with turpenoid.
it is really, really, really f'ing difficult. there are all kinds of intricacies that i don't have time to go into. i wound up with a stack of aborted crap, and it took me about three hours to figure out how to do this.
yes i know the sketches are crap. i was working on laying in even, flat tones, softening edges, and gradating. the prismacolor flakes off if you use the brush or cotton swab too aggressively, and you have to be very careful with the amount of turp. like i said, it is really, really difficult to do with control.
screwing around and getting interesting results like the last post is easy, but this part is really hard.
for the record, i don't like this dvd cover. i think there are some poor compositional choices. anyway...
no prep work--wastes time and lacks confidence. i can copy photographs easily enough and this face isn't too difficult, so i just drew jonny depp's face in cold. realy dug the blacks into the surface. laid a medium wash of prismacolor strokes where the mass of the hair is going to go.
some bullshit shapes for the edge of the messy hair. you can see the tools. turpenoid, pink, kneaded, electric erasers, black prismacolor pencils (regular and verithin), paper towels, q-tips, soft synthetic brush.
when you wash the stuff, it gets pretty streaky, you can't see the little flakes of black that float around, but you can tell that it's a lot darker near the edge of that big hair shape.
before the turp evaporates too much, i buffed the hair shape down with a wadded up paper towel. gotta be careful when you do that so you don't screw it all up.
same thing, sorry for the repeat
if i was doing this for real, i should've stoppeed here and gone digital with the rest of it.
because i am a jackass, i didn't have the foresight to wash in the background beforehand. trying to get an even tone across that big area and paying attention not to screw up the hands or the face is going to suck big time.
the wash turned out pretty shitty. (can you see why i spent all last night practicing these techniques over and over? f'ing hard!) i picked the snowflakes out with an electric eraser, and then kind of made snowy cloud indications to tie the background together and kind of harmonize the imperfections in the wash.
oops, i tripped. i think i pushed the button while i was switching from landscape to portrait grip.i can't chew gum and walk at the same time either.
end result of the analog work. i might go into it digitally and put a nice little rim light around the hair strands to give it better design. but that's what they call a "nice to have." the houses/neighborhood isn't finished either. but who cares, really?
ANYWAY, like i said above, if i was doing this professionally, i would've done the background, snow, buildings, and a couple of effects all digitally because it saves time and doesn't really make me a better draftsman this time, and i screwed up by not doing them before i drew the hand. doing faces/figures the old fashioned way will make anyone a more competent draftsman, so i just put in my mileage this way. besides, i'm greedy so i want something tangible when i'm done...