Thursday, February 12, 2009

speaking of reference

the top panel is mine from my "the Tragedy of Wild bill Hickok" page that's getting published by Top Shelf in the SCAD anthology and below is Weshoyot's caballero page from DeviantArt. though she did change a lot and her hand is better than mine but storytelling-wise, layout, compositionaly its the same.

you can see her whole page here and decide for your self. i left a comment on her page and she says she did the pencils almost a year ago, she showed me and she had. anyway i kinda gave her a hard time about it but i guess im just paranoid.

In other news, as I had mentioned in the previous post, I needed to change my pose for the pg. 9 splash pg so it didn't look as close as J. Campbell's, who i did not draw it from but had seen before. Here's my final page

Maelstrom: Iss.3 pg.9, SPLASH by ~xaqBazit on deviantART
and here is his.

Danger Girl Natalia by *Blasterkid on deviantART
I still have to say its about as close as I've ever come to looking like I was straight up copying and it's scary. But to think I put all the work into drawing and redrawing that pose several times, even getting my girlfriend to pose and then to find someone who had already done it better is almost worse.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

batman cover tights and style choices

these are the tights that ill be pencilling for thursday. ill be inking one of them and ill be inking one of someone elses, as well as they will mine. not to mention i have to ink teh 1st 4 pages of maelstrom (iss 3) by monday and finish pencils for 9-12 by tomorrow.

this 1st cover was the 1st version of the other cover after i found out i put the grizly side of two face on the wrong side, but i couldnt just flip it because the face on teh coin pointed the right direction in my picture so me and tom talked and settled on teh one below and to teh left.

people have been telling me my style seems to shift too much from cartoony to realistic, and it does but i think i found a nice medium with this shot. kind of combining mark weringo and peter cheung. i did some similar faces on the 1st two pages i did for phil.
here's a link to the finals

DC Cover, Iss.738 TWO-FACE 2 by ~xaqBazit on deviantART

DC Cover, Iss.738 TWO-FACE 1 by ~xaqBazit on deviantART

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

x-men, star trek phil's pages, rendering and stories

Here's the link to the final pages in case you didn't get here from my DA page.

10 hrs for four pages, from the tight rough stage, that's actually a lot for me. and I'm really proud of them. some pages i actually spent hours on certain panels, like the sentinel crash. i've kind of changed the way i work and the way i render a lot since doing the spider-man pages. Now i blow up my tight roughs using an artograph so i can resize stuff, like i always did but i trace it using a mechanical pencil, finish it using a mechanical pencil and x-in all my blacks, some side of pencil stuff but not much. also i was getting a lot of comments that my spider-man pages looked very dated, as far as rendering went, very 90's. that's not a bad thing, those techniques worked and they got the job done but there is certain connotations with a 90's mainstream artists that i did not want my work labeled with so i spent a lot of time looking at some new stuff and kind of found a new way to render. its something they don't really cover in school but has, i think, helped this project tremendously. i stared at this piece by Frank Cho

and this one by Bryan Hytch

Ultimates 2 - Inks sample by ~retardacon on deviantART
quite a long time to see it and then realized even some of my Favorite contemporary artists like Oliver Copiel and Shawn Cassiday use it as well. so from what i can decern its a kind of sketchiness with straight lines, moving different directions to describe a core shadow. it kind of helps to think of it in a planar way. its actually really fun. I think i pulled it off especially in shots like the close up of cyce's face. I also spent a lot of time on my metal textures and making the sentinels look metallic. I drew a lot of inspiration originally from Adam Kubert's run on some of the first issues of Ultimate X-men, (you can tell he works so fast). And I tried for some of the same aesthetic/simplistic and quick rendering he did, with sort of thick thing wiggly lines around the outside and towards the core of the form but it just didn't fly, so I went back and looked at some JR+JR and Niel Adams etc and saw the circles they would cut back out of the blacks, and after looking at, coincidentally, 90's stuff enough I think I got it. The actual artist for the page had good rendering skills but his storytelling was atrocious, and he played it so safe with all of his camera shots, no real angles, as i tried to push A LOT, he kept the figures far enough apart that he never had to do an up or a down shot. It was good reference for the costumes though. Here are the actual pages in case you actually wish to compare, only pages 8 and 9 are on there though of the pages I did.
X-Men: Deadly Genesis VariousSee More X-Men: Deadly Genesis Various at
X-Men: Deadly Genesis VariousSee More X-Men: Deadly Genesis Various at

On another note, my new star trek cover is out. You can see the colored version on my DA page, here. A completely different style altogether than the X-men pages but its still cool in its own way. Lots of dry brush and a kind of cool design. I've heard from a couple people at Pendant that they think I come up with some of the coolest covers, conceptually and I've heard the next few episodes should be a very different tone and shorter - less reading for me, more time for art - yay! Anyway this image is based off of a photograph and I inked it in my sketchbook, lol. I blurred things further away to give it the effect of depth of field, and because I didn't really draw anything back there, lol. And then layed a light texture over the Blood to make it look liquidy, and sadly yes it is potato-colored and it took forever for not even that great of an end effect. However the inks were really fun and I was very pleased with how they turned out.

I've also had a little while to work on Phil's book, and got a few pages done, or as done as I'll do them before inking, during which I'll add a lot.

And I've also been writing some one-act plays for my "Writing for the Screen and Stage Class" that can also be viewed on my DA page here.

Monday, February 2, 2009

coppying, tracing, reference and plagurism

now unlike most artists ill tell you i started learning how to draw by tracing. my mom bought me a small 8x10 light table and i was also lucky enough to have a small projector. some times i did copy line for line, like if i wanted a poster of a certain shot. it gets your hand used to the proportions that other artists are using especially id you sketch on top of another artists work.

then i moved on to compiling shots and mixing tracing to make a story, this, however is where i started to really learn, because you have to break down the figure and start to make it look like your own and make the clothes/costume/hair etc. fit the form. i used to feel so bad about it, because i wasn't confident enough to draw each panel and i couldn't stand the idea of drawing inside a certain sized box - which why tight roughs have been cool because i will draw it, and resize or move certain elements around to make it fit as a whole. Ive also seen artists draw all their stuff in a sketch book and then resize and trace each element onto the final, like Adam Hughes normally works. if you can keep the energy of your original drawings this is good because you will have the confidence you need to draw it yourself, by whatever means you need as long as you can accomplish that it doesn't matter what you do.

drawing from comics has always been a mixed thing, some say do it, others say you'll pick up bad habits or wont know what your describing. and id agree, but i did. i think its especially important when picking up rendering and textural techniques. Ive also been looking at a lot of inking recently.

then the next step would be trying to draw and original picture and use techniques you found when looking at someone else's work, and trying to apply the same ideas but make them work. then you'll relay start understanding what they were trying to do and where to use them. or i used to like to trace a figure and try to change the light source, or if he is cropped trace what you have and finish the rest of the body.

you can also trace photographs, or draw on top of them, or with comic book sand follow background and objects lines back to a vanishing point and find the horizon line, we did this for school at scad, and then even try to "hang the figures" on that line. <-its a techniques for figures in perspective, if you dont know what it means look it up.

Reference for your pages should be like i said for textures and rendering, but applied to your drawing (ie: a different angle, different environment etc)don't find a character that fits the perspective of a separate background and then trace them together. though that could be helpful, don't use it for your finished pages, maybe just for practice. i think i did all these tings when i didn't have any friends who knew how to draw and i was kind of making habits and building techniques, but i didn't know what they meant.

look at a lot of stuff as well, i used to subscribe to wizard magazine as a kid and go through the 10 cent bins in my comic shop, though it was the early/mid 90's, now its the dollar bins, to get a ton of material from a lot of different artists and compare and see what they are doing well that is the same, you'll start to learn the conventions of comic books, layouts, storytelling, composition, and you'll see who is taking risks, who's playing it safe, who is not doing so well, and what is too much.

now recently when doing the tight roughs i did alot of sketches for the splash page where Karen makes her dressed up, flirty, sexy entrance to entice the doctor into leaving her husband alone. but when i went to go do it, it fell flat. its like i was trying for a stereotype and it didnt work, like the witter of aliens said he first wrote a comedy but it wasn't funny, so he turned to horror. but i stuck it out, and liek i said earlier, started referencing and comparing artists who drew great looking females and then applied those same techniques in my work, once they had become normal, and in my head. i used the reference for my sketchbook but just the memory for drawing it, that is important. there was a certain pose i was looking for and i looked at tons of models, my girlfriend even posed, but it just wasn't clicking. i changed a few things and bam, there it was. a few weeks later i was looking through an issue of danger girl and saw a pose almost exactly like mine, in fact i had toyed with the idea of giving her a fur coat just like the image i was thinking, though it wasn't next to me and i hadn't seen it for some years, i was unconsciously referencing that image. this seems to happen alot when i come up with story ideas, something will happen too easy then ill realize it is because it is just like something i liked and forgot about. so here is the image and here is my image.

Danger Girl Natalia by ~Blasterkid on deviantART

they are strikingly similar and i scared myself. however i felt like the way i had worked and the differences in the images, (campbell's is way better and sexier than mine) allowed me to stick with it. but i promised myself not to look at that image too closely when i did my final, and i wont, ill draw from my drawing. i was actually more trying to reference teh whole idea of the scene from the old Romita sr./stan lee, spider-man issue/scene where he finally meets MJ.

however the other day i was searching deviantart and found an image that was ridiculously close to another student's of mine. i found his myspace and found his drawing and compared it, he had traced it, he had zoomed up a bit and changed the costumes (a bit), but the whole thing was WAY too close to even be a drawing based of a drawing. However, I am friends with this student, I will not disclose his ID or what image he referenced. i thought of that, of turning him in to SCAD, i felt it was my duty and i was so conflicted/mad at the same time. and yet if i said anything i knew things would be weird, and he might get in trouble. he's been through a lot these last few quarters and just like anybody in that situation he probably cut a few too many corners and was on a tight deadline, but in the real world he is going to get sued and fired. i just wanted to look out for him but i cant find myself to tell him in a way that will seem like i am trying to help and not trying to turn on him. i didn't even want to know if the same technique applied to the rest of his work and stopped looking right there, i figured ignorance was bliss.

anyways to sum up, a few of the big "no-no's" in comic books can be alot of help IN YOUR SKETCHBOOK, you can learn alot about how comics work and artists you like IN YOUR SKETCHBOOK, but when it comes to drawing your final pages make sure those times you look at other artists stay IN YOUR SKETCHBOOK!

some links you may find interesting related to this topic are as follows, particularly with Greg land and Adam Hughes (AH!).