Saturday, August 31, 2013

About Face 2

Well, I think I might actually have finished the commission... well at least the two layout pages, now a portrait page to go. But still, this means I can lay off the  graphite technique and get back to watercolor as well as ...uhm... paying jobs. But among the fixes tonight were details like this guy's ear, as well as his fluffy new bangs. I abandoned trying to re-style the hairstyles I hated so much, but I think I found a way to draw them in a way that I found somewhat more palatable.

Friday, August 30, 2013

About Face

After finishing up the second spread (well two poses of it anyhow) I'm unhappy with the rendering of the first layout and now want to redo their faces, away from the more Stavrinos abstract I had planned to do. Doing the models faces just seems more current, but those hairdos are still a dealbreaker. So I'm hoping I can keep the stylized hair while making the faces more realistic. I hate those bangs!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Second Position(s) 4

This is the second figure in the composition. I think I'm going to leave his face as an outline. I spent about 15 minutes refining his face from my sketch of it yesterday, then decided I liked it better the original way. I adjusted a few features here and there but it's funny, upclose I'm getting more of a likeness, but from afar, the things I corrected - the mistakes - gave the face more character than the updated ones.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Second Position(s) 3

These are coming hard and fast now - I'm just copying photos, is why. It's what all the cool kids are doing these days! But seriously, this thing about rendering runway shots in pencil is pretty common, and I really don't get it, so I'm trying to find my spin on it but so far, aside from doing it all digitally and hopefully not looking it, it's really just rendering -  but with my deadline looming, I'm just gonna do it as it for now. I want to make it like Stavrinos, who developed a more stylized take on how he rendered fabrics, for example... which is ironic, because I loved his more realistic drapery and disliked the stylized before. But lately, I want the stylized. Funny, that.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Second Position(s) 2

Well this happened rather unexpectedly. I didn't like the shot of the model I was working from, so I didn't really care as much how much of a likeness I got, but I still tried. The technique worked out better than I had expected, esp. since it's almost exactly what I had planned on doing a few weeks back. I have to admit, I'm quite pleased with myself.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Second Position(s)

With just a week to spare, I've started on the second layout of the commission. Just limiting it to 3 figures, I think. My initial layouts were a bit ambitious, and didn't necessarily take into account the denseness of the technique, which adds a lot more weight when rendered.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Mad For Max 14

I was having a hard time deciding how to block Max's pose and outfit for this view, but after painting in the head, I didn't need to refer to the photo anymore, which I think was influencing me a bit too much because I was too accustomed to the hand positions I photographed. With just his face position, I was able to map out a rough pose and lay in the colors spontaneously. And I think this could work this way. Just need to transpose it against the other poses to make sure they all complement.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Hair Treatment

The styles I'm working with for this spread are not finding their expression for this hairdo from the show. It's the one thing I can't seem to get around: these Eileen Brennan (RIP) bangs circa Private Benjamin that I'm trying to reconfigure to become more art deco-esque shades just look like 80s art deco shades. Ugh. I hope I figure something out soon.

Friday, August 23, 2013

In Arm's Way

I took a break and then I fell out of sync with my drawing groove. so I'm hitting it a piece at a time in hopes of getting said groove back. This is about the missing arm from the large figure in the composition. I'm usually very good with hands but for some reason these fingers weren't coming together properly and I had to redraw them about 4 or 5 times...

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Been feeling less than inspired these past two days because my throat's been hurting again. Wonder if it might be allergies...? Anyhow, this is just a space filler... I like it as a doodle though.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I've held off long enough on the top part of this figure so might as well get started! But I'm not too pleased with how the head is forming. I like the top rendering but no the face. It's looking a bit too dated... I don't want my homage to seem unintentionally retro, as opposed to intentionally referential.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Crimp 3

I didn't want to draw tonight, but that arm on the right needed tending. It's good to have a specific task. I just don't feel like being creative tonight, and it's good to know that you just have to get something done a certain way and not try to recreate the wheel.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Mad For Max 13

Wanted to do a bit of my watercolors for the other spread I'm working on concurrently, as I don't want one to lie fallow too much (even if I have a tendency to want to finish one versus the other). However, both have similar deadlines - end of this month. Dunno if I'll make it, but I suspect it will be a photofinish for at least one of them.

Went back and redid Max's profile for one of the triad of poses I have in composition. I think this one resembles him better. Now if I can only recall how I was rendering these watercolors... I can't recall if I want to do them more stylized like Antonio, or just go with the likeness and paint like I do unconsciously? I have a feeling i will let nature take its course.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Compose Yourselves 3

I really should draw more during the day - I get so much more energy lately than when I sketch at night. Anyhow, last night I laid down the rudimentary shading for the top on the right, and today I just went to town and fleshed it all out. I rather like it, and am wondering if I can take a break from this one and go do the watercolors that are also pending...?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Compose Yourselves 2

Since the sketching is easier than when I plan my watercolors (just more tedious since I have to be more meticulous than my regular styles allow), the positioning will be more important to determine exactly what I'll be drawing. I do have the advantage of Photoshop allowing me to redo the composition as long as I keep things in layers. I don't want to render a lot then realize it would be best to leave things cleaner and more open, and as I go I'm rotating, scaling and repositioning everything to relate to each other better. And hopefully, well..

Friday, August 16, 2013

Crimp 2

Well I'm getting a stride on this piece. Since it will be composed in a collage style layout, I just added that circular shaded detail to play, but now I might keep it. Happy accidents!

Thursday, August 15, 2013


Continuing my commission, but with a terrible sore throat. Ugh, so uncomfortable, I can barely concentrate...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hold It

I was sitting in front of a mirror the other day and I liked how my hands looked, casually clasped as I sat. I made a mental note to sketch the position soon, and that day is now. This initial study looks like crap though.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Phil and his friend Heron

Phil and his friend Heron can be so shady on set.

Monday, August 12, 2013


My friend/ex trainer and I have been planning a new shoot for him for months (at his behest) so I've been thinking up possible poses to shoot whenever I get inspiration, usually from the pornoriffic Tumblr blogs I follow. This is one of them. Will it ever get shot? Dunno, but there's quite a few of these pose plans here on this blog.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Compose Yourselves

I often wonder how I might work if I wasn't so into working digitally. When I do collage style layouts, I don't think of how I might just draw them on a page, but I think now in terms of drawing each piece individually then composing them later as layers in Photoshop or whatever program. It's easier, but maybe that's part of the problem, and I should have the skill to render them all together in a page.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Desperately Seeking Stavrinos 2

I think I may have found the technique I was trying to develop, but it's less George S than Antonio Lopez in his graphite period (well, when he did graphite). It has that very 80s feel with the flow of the pants. Having lived through that period in fashion and fashion illustration, I'm not so sure it's a good thing. But maybe it will feel new again to the kids? Who knows. Let's see what other elements I bring to the pieces...

Friday, August 9, 2013

Desperately Seeking Stavrinos

I found a brush that mimics George Stavrinos' crosshatch style, and now I'm experimenting with it to get as close as possible to his technique so I can dissect it and then hopefully remix it in my own way to get something that's not just copying his style but more originally mine.

The problem is one of scale - where do I stop zooming into something, stop resizing the scale of the crosshatches, to get it to look right? The gray parts on the leg on the left feel more right than the multiplied smaller strokes on the right. Plus the fluidity I wanted for the pants seems at odds with the Stavrinos architectural volumes. It doesn't help that I'm designing the folds of the pants on my own, and not copying  from a photograph. Of course, I could just not be talented enough to figure it out. I hate finding out my limits. :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Walk My Walk 2

Going to run with this commission in my 'watercolor' technique for now. Will try and see if I can merge more pencils into it as well. Part of me still wants to try my hand at a graphite look, but I have to contend with the scale of the brushes. I can't just do a piece and reduce it as necessary, because the texture needs to remain constant, I feel. For now, for example, the closeup of the bell bottom looks much better than the shrunken view of the same image... although, as I feared, it's hard to make something that shaded look flowy.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Walk My Walk

I decided to give watercolors a shot at this piece. As much as I envisioned someone else's technique, last night I thought, I should do what I'm (still barely) known for.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Drapey Trousers 2

I have to practice my shading on these trousers, as I have a very specific vision of how it should look, which is very precise like a mid 80s Stavrinos. But it's not really my normal style, and when I do a quick sketch, I get enamored with how loose and expressive the line can be. This is where I fight what I assume is my natural style, and I only do so because I admire someone else's. It's a battle to try and develop - and be happy with! -  you own style. So I'm posting the contour sketch here.

Meanwhile, I'm SO not happy with my shading!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Storm Reimagined 4

I'm seriously out of practice drawing superhero costumes!  Who knew? I can't recall what's the right place for blacks, my former SOP strokes are all distant memories I can't drum up... agh!  Illustration atrophy! And it's only been less than 10 years!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Drapey Trousers

Part of my upcoming commission involves a lot of flowy trousers, which is why I'm doing it in graphite. I feel like I can make it more architectural that way. But I'm having a hard time getting the technique to look right - it's less Stavrinos than some anonymous fashion illustrator types working in pastel (hmm, maybe that would be the correct description for me!). Guess I need to practice more before I finish the actual layout.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Storm Reimagined 3

Designing more looks. Might as well do it up!But then again, I can't really show everything yet so Ill stop at the pose (which will theoretically show off how the cape works... when I get done with it!)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Storm Reimagined 2

Part of me is fearful that someone may just knock off my designs again, but the other part of me says, well, it's not my character anyhow, and they're not redesigning her anytime soon, so might as well show what I did...

I had her clip her mohawk down in the version below just for fun. It's not like I think it's integral to the look , but people who have mohawks nowadays play with it. Hair isn't the same everyday, and that should be part of the fun.

Edit: I had posted the entire costume and thought, this is the perfect thing for Project Rooftop... and lo and behold, they're having a Storm costume redesign contest!  So I edited the image here down, and will submit it there, and post it entirely when I've submitted her...

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Storm Reimagined

I've started reading a more mainstream X-men title again (aside from Wolverine and The X-men, which is more like some New Mutants parody book) mostly because of Storm's new costume. I finally like a new one she's got, as it's both completely new while it alludes to her past looks. Maybe the mohawk is part of it, but I also love her skirtcape...except it's really impractical so I'm wondering it it would work better a little higher, as a train. This is an initial sketch croquis, I just want to explore the design a bit.