Thursday, July 25, 2013

Playing with watercolors

Playing?? More like failing!! I was never actually taught how to use watercolors so I am pretty much starting from a very low point to find a way that I like to work in this medium. I figured "if" I can actually pull this off with some success, I would be open to do some color commissions at shows and stuff. A ways off I think. I actually don't currently do any type of commission work but I think that part will change very soon but it will be pencil sketches and maybe inked with shading to start off. What do you think?? I am open to suggestions so don't be shy. Open to suggestions that don't involve me going out to buy a set of markers. Not gonna happen any time soon. I am not ready or even sure if I want to make that huge of a financial commitment. Plus, I have not worked in just over two months so my financial resources are limited.

But here are a few shots of my initial forays into sketching with some color.






Monday, July 22, 2013

The Gob Snob

I never heard of a "gob cookie" before, but when someone explained what it was, it sounded an awful lot like a whoopee pie. They claim it is not. I don't know. Anyway, some friends of mine are BIG fans of the desert and asked if I could do a quick little design so they could make a homemade t-shirt showing how much they liked it. It sounded like fun and I pretty much got full reign. I went with a retro look and minimal color as I was not sure how they were going to print it so I wanted to keep the costs down for them in that regard just in case they brought it to a printer. I only did a few quick thumbnail drawings and then went and drew this on my tablet:




I was pretty happy with it and quickly moved to a finished piece. I originally did it all in brown but was asked to make it black with red for the Giant Eagle logo and I obliged. I also originally thought it would be just a full chest print but I was also asked to make it a back print with a left chest. Not a problem. Here is what they got:




I also mocked it up on a shirt to kinda show what it may look like. Not bad.







Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My Superman. Part Five

I was going to tease you all by only posting part of the process again and drag it out but I am in a generous mood and decided to sprint to the finish line. Plus I got other things in the hopper that I need to get to. So here it is. Superman!! I like how it came out and I hope you all do as well. I was nervous drawing and creating this one as Christopher Reeve holds such a special place in my heart. The one sheet hangs right above me now as I type this with the simple tag line: "You'll believe a man can fly." And I did. He is still my Superman and I still believe.







...and the final piece.

Enjoy!!


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My Superman. Part Four

Read all about it in the Daily Planet!! Designing a whole page of type was not exactly my idea of fun but I found that not to be the case with this project. Designing and researching (maybe the other way around) the Daily Planet and all the bits for it was fun. Maybe because I only had to do it once. There have been MANY variations of the Planet logo itself so I pretty much went with an amalgam of the ones that I liked but then I went into research mode and found lots of stuff. The "Final" box in the upper left was taken from an old Daily News and the price of the paper is based on what papers generally cost back in 1978. "Vol.6, No. 1" is my way of counting Supermen. I figure Christopher Reeve is the sixth incarnation of the character. Correct me if I am wrong, but the way I counted was: The comic (comic strips would have been the same to me), the radio show, the Fleisher cartoons, the serials, the George Reeves TV show and the sixties cartoons would be one thru five. The "No.1" was citing the first Christopher Reeve movie. That all make sense?? Anyway that leads me to the date line. Obviously this is published in Metropolis and "Friday, December 15, 1978" is the date that Superman: The Movie had it's general public premiere. Falling helicopters line: I think anyone who has seen the movie gets this. If you have not seen the movie, why are you reading this blog post??? Got the lyrics to the song that Margot Kidder recites in the movie. I always liked the Maureen McGovern version myself. Had to have George in there and his famous narrated intro and of course, the lyrics to the REM (was it a cover?) song. And yes, Superman saved Hackensack!!!


Original file.



Newspaper aging added to it.



Sunday, July 14, 2013

My Superman. Part Three

With the inking done, the flat color goes in REAL fast. Just a few clicks really. Once I have this I can cut and paste smart objects into Photoshop and start painting and have nice clean selections to work from. A separate file is made to import into ArtRage so I can paint the flesh areas. Again, I have clean selections so I can paint with abandon and not worry about overspray. I'll show you all one day how I do that if what I said makes no sense.

My flat selections.

Color merged with line work.


 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

My Superman. Part Two

Work is moving along smoothly on my Superman picture. The inking stage is done and it is all ready for color. I also have to make the front page of the Daily Planet for the background element and I think that should be fun. I have received some interest in a more in depth explanation of how I do things so I am starting to think about that as well and the best way to present it. I don't really own a camera to put over my shoulder or have the software to record everything I do so I am stuck with the option of doing screen grabs and the hopes of enough written communication to go with it. I guess we will see.

As a side note, I want to share that the whole time I work on a picture, I am usually watching the inspiration. Now I only own the original Christopher Reeve movie so that didn't really last long enough. To fill out the time I have been watching the first two seasons of The Adventures in Superman. I am loving it!! I happen to like the original season the best. It's got more of an edge and not aimed at kids. Also, Lois Lane is played by Phyllis Coates. She only played the part for one season as she was unavailable when recording resumed three years later! That is when Noel Neil was brought back for the part as she played Lois in the serials several years earlier. Now I know that Noel Neil is beloved by Superman fans but she is not my favorite Lois. Ms. Coates is. Noel Neil's portrayal is the reason the character got stuck with the "world's worst reporter" tag. All she did was get herself in trouble and hope that Superman would save her, and to show how grateful she was, she spent the rest of the time trying to expose Superman's secret identity. Now I know that she didn't write or direct the show and maybe she should not be saddled with all the blame. Oh well.


the raw outline.

thick and thin lines made from the outlines.


Friday, July 12, 2013

My Superman. Part One

Not the greatest of titles for my blog post, but it really does say what I want it to. I spent my early years watching the re-runs of The Adventures of Superman starring George Reeves on television like most kids my age. With less channels and programming back then, us kids lived on re-runs!! Superman, Batman, The Lone Ranger! All of them. And I loved them!! But then 1978 rolled around and something happened. In the wake of Star Wars big budget effect movies had arrived. Hard to remember now a time when someone mentioned a sci-fi movie or a super hero program and people immediately thought it would be low budget kiddie fare. Things sure have changed and just about everything out there is a sci-fi or super hero movie with overblown effects and budgets. I don't really think that either make the movies any better either. I know I am getting old because I consider Christopher Reeve as "my Superman". Now and always. Superman: The Movie, is one of my favorite movies of all time and I still watch it. I can still remember sitting next to my Mom in the movie theatre and hearing her being amazed at all the talent in the cast as the credits rolled. I didn't know any of the names then. Not even Brando!! And I sure didn't notice William Russell in it either as I would years later as I became Doctor Who obsessed. How many of you really remember the movie?? Do you know why I was blown out of my seat when Superman personally saved myself and everyone else in the theatre as we watched it in Hackensack, New Jersey! The only newspaper clipping I failed to save from back then was part of The Bergen Record (which was published in Hackensack), the day after the movie premiered, I believe, had a full page with photo that read "Superman Saves Hackensack!". Ugh!! I wish I had that. I still have the Parade Magazine insert with Superman on the cover and story inside.

So why draw Christopher Reeve's Superman now? Well, I have three reasons. Seemed natural after finishing my Batman picture, I took a vote of Facebook and I saw Man of Steel. Now, I don't want this to turn into a rant or argument about the merits or lack thereof of the latest attempt to bring Superman back to the screen, but in my opinion it was just not a good movie. Sure it looked nice and lots of shiny stuff and explosions, but this is not my Superman. If you want to read what I thought of the movie, I found a review that pretty much sums up what I thought and told it with great humor too. Plus Bob is an awesome artist. Go read it here. And I really do miss his red shorts!! Don't give me the argument that they make no sense and that even Zack Snyder didn't think a "modern audience" found them believable. Really? A human looking, flying alien in a tight blue suit, giant "S" on his chest and a red cape and boots is perfectly acceptable until you add red shorts?? I watched my Superman the next day.


My digital sketch.




Paper and pencil drawing.





Awesome painting tho!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Dynamic Duo! 1966

BAM! POW!! It's done!! Could not resist starting off this post with the familiar written sound effects. I used to get so annoyed whenever there was a write up in the newspaper or a story on television that was on comics and they would always revert to them even when the story had nothing to do with the classic 1966 show. That brings me to my next point. Why did I suddenly add the "1966" part to the title of the post?? Well, turns out that I have already used The Dynamic Duo as a title a few years back. *Sigh*, I guess it was bound to happen.

So here it is in all its glory. I really hope you like it as much as I do. Was really fun to work on and I hope it goes over well. I am a bit disappointed that Adam West and Burt Ward are NOT appearing at the Tampa show I will be at. Oh well, maybe I can still sell a few of them.

Enjoy!






I also thought I would turn back the clock and show how long I have been a fan of Batman. Here is a photograph taken on a family vacation sometime in the early 1970's. One of the few pictures I have of all four of us. This was one of those pics you bought on site and they would place this tiny, color transparency into a tiny scope that you held up to your eye and a light in order to see the picture. I scanned it in the best I could. You can see me wearing a Batman t-shirt!!




Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Dynamic Duo. Part Five

Did anyone else out there find it hard to believe that the guy training Rocky to fight Apollo Creed used to tangle with Batman? I was blown away when my older brother told me that when we left the movie theater after seeing Rocky way back in the day. Yes. I am old!! So many of you that follow along on Facebook know that the Penguin gave me a bit of a challenge. I was too obsessed with showcasing the big nose that I could not get a pose that worked for my composition. After a night of, well, failure, I decided to not think about the nose at all and let the other iconic paraphernalia work for me instead. After all, he has a purple top hat, a monocle and a cigarette holder to focus on!! Isn't that always the way. Once I did that, it just seemed to draw itself.

So I made a picture with the progression of the drawings and you can clearly see my missteps right up front. I also included the full color pic and the value study I also had laying around.

Enjoy!

 
 
 





Friday, July 5, 2013

The Dynamic Duo. Part Four

Well, I hope you all had your fill of hot dogs and fireworks. While I plug away and try to get the Penguin done, I thought it would be a good time to go ahead and show you the Riddler in all his Frank Gorshin-ness. Is that a word? It should be!

You can see the progression from sketch to final.





I also, though briefly, toyed with the idea of not putting his mask on because it showed more "face" that way. In the end I decided that without the mask (and since you don't see much costume), he is Frank Gorshin. With the mask, he's The Riddler!


I didn't forget his eyebrows; I just didn't need them!