Saturday, March 30, 2013

Winter Window Redux

Now that its officially spring (even in Michigan) I thought I would re-color this winter scene.
I rescanned the original at a higher resolution, cleaned up some of the rougher parts of the trees and got rid of the frost patch from the original, as no one seemed to be able to figure out what that was supposed to be.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Reaching for the Stars (also Wonder Woman)

At the start of the month, Project Rooftop, a website known for redesigning classic superhero costumes, but recently has been having theme posts for various comic characters.
At the start March, they announced that they were doing a theme post for Wonder Woman. This seemed like a good opportunity not only to have some fun with an iconic character but to have some new people see my work. Not wanting to merely feature the famed heroine against a featureless background, so I began brainstorming what kind of situations I could draw.

My first idea involved Diana in a situation that was less "fish out of water" and more "big fish in a small pond, which her attending a classy museum exhibit featuring ancient Greek artifacts (perhaps an a exhibit on the Amazons themselves), with Wonder Woman in costume, standing between some bemused visitors, pointing to, or perhaps picking up an item from the display (a piece of pottery or something) and talking about it with some experience or memory.

For a time I briefly considered having her converse with some famous statues in a museum setting, as originally she was a clay figure given life and power by the Greek Pantheon. Perhaps she could try and get in on the Three Grace's circle or make a joke about how the Venus Callipyge is always talking out her ass.

This idea didn't really seem to go anywhere, so I started considering some other options. These days with movies like The Dark Knight and the New 52 Reboot, comic book heroes have been geared towards more contemporary origins that can be "related to" by the reader, so I thought I'd make a effort to feature the character's titanic strength through a comparison to some force of nature.

I started adding color in these roughs too, like this one of Wonder Woman scattering stars in the sky.

However, I thought scattering stars like seeds would be more appropriate for Superman, who grew up on a farm. Then I remembered how the Greeks believed that the sky was a velvet dome, and the stars were holes to let in light in the evenings. So I hit on the idea of Wonder Woman literally cutting holes out of the sky with a pair of scissors, with the sunset producing red rays the resembled the American flag's red stripes to match the five point stars of her patriotic roots in World War II.

Unfortunately, I think it may be an idea thats ambitious beyond my present ability, as attempting to polish up the rough has been exceptionally frustrating.

While its great to have an impetus for such ideas (especially ones that are more surreal and fantastical than my usual fare) , at this rate, I'm not going to make the deadline and may have to revisit these concepts at another time.

Party of Two - Process and Progress

Its been a while since I've posted any finished work, so I thought I'd provide an update on what I've been doing lately.

With my last piece, I tried to streamline my process, but drawing directly over my pencils in Photoshop to save steps on inking, scanning and adjusting the appearance of said inks. Also, I got a new desktop computer to replace my dying laptop so I figured it might be high time to look into using my computer as something other than an oversized clipboard for my reference photos.

Using Photoshop, I started sketching roughs, were I could add or subtract details, scale elements up or down, and get a general idea of what I was after before I "get started" and better visualize what I was after.

Heres an idea I've had in the back of my head for a while, loosely based on an experience from my own life. Set just outside an apartment building were a loud party is taking place. In contrast we see young couple sitting on the front steps, shooting the chilly evening breeze and getting to know each other better.

Sketching in Photoshop also gave me the advantage of being able to plot out  a grid for perspective. However, a problem that I came across was measuring out a set of steps that our couple could comfortably sit on. Along the same lines I had trouble figuring out the proper proportions of these kids to the rest of the building. I'm working my way though the tutorials for Google SketchUp to help me out with the architectural consistency. 

For some fun on your way out, here is my "inspiration collage" featuring a number of illustrations that I looked at for subject and staging.

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