I’ve decided to get back to basics: robots comin’ to town!
What love about robots in a city, aside from the obvious, is that it’s a great opportunity to test easier ways to draw cityscapes. You see, gentle reader, while I love looking at cityscapes, as I imagine many of ye do, I find drawing them labor intensive, time consuming, and sometimes boring. So the “robots in a cityscape” exercise is a three-pronged attack: practice cityscapes to become faster and generally more proficient at drawing something that can be un[pleasant to draw; discover new short cuts along the way;draw some robots.
I’m pleased to announce that I will be a part of an anthology done by my colleague Lauren Davis. Called SciFi San Francisco, this anthology is a collection of science-fiction comics set in the Bay Area. Lauren has done a great job of curating this anthology, and I cannot wait for it to come out. I do not have a definite release date as of this writing, but I will keep everyone abreast of changes!
My piece is called For Rent, and it is about inter-dimensional realty as a solution to the current housing situation in the Bay Area.
A few weeks ago I posted a black and white version of this cover, which is part of my thesis. I have since colored it and I now present it to you! I leave out the text to highlight just the visual elements.
Sound effects and “emanata” are my favorite part of the cartooning process. I don’t focus as much on the “words” themselves, but I try to draw them in a manner that evokes the feeling I want to elicit. My favorite type of emanata/SFX is when there is no real need for a sound or mark. For example when someone’s face lights up, as in the example below, it might warrant emanata (rays of light) but a sound effect seems totally unnecessary. Or is it?
The following are most of the hand lettered sound effects and emanata that I have used in my thesis.
I had the great pleasure to reunite with Rosie the labrador. She’s a very sweet pooch: whenever you hold her leash, she takes her end gently in her teeth to lead you to where she wants you to go. Rosie is also an avid water pooch.
I also finally got around to sketching and washing this water tower. My girlfriend and I pass this on the freeway fairly often, and it’s a very cool subject, with a lot of direct and indirect light sources. I wanted to make some trees, too, but I really didn’t want to put a lot of effort into them. My solution: blow some ink around.
And I thought I’d get back to my comfort zone and draw a Robot. It’s destroying a city for good measure.
Having been fascinated by the subtle changes in light and shadow that ink wash affords, I find myself lately drawn to mediums and sales of higher value. Thus, I have been trying out spot reds on high value images. While these spot reds don’t have the range of light and shadow, they give otherwise very stark, high value images another shade of light and shadow.
As for subject matter, I’ve been sticking with human subjects, particularly faces, since the light play on faces is a little more predictable than on other subjects. The first picture is Steve Buscemi in the introduction to Boardwalk Empire. The second is an unreferenced study of a muscular face. Finally, the last imagenis a quick sketch of a cave man, also unreferenced.
I photograph many cityscapes, for they are great for ink washin’ (the apostrophe means it’s fun). Ink wash is very quick to render large areas of light and shadow, and it’s a lot of fun. What I like to do is to get a reference photo and render it well in pencil. Then I do a quick pen sketch, followed by a wash.
A few months ago, a startup contacted me to illustrate them some designs for their blog. They ended up not using the designs, so I now share this with you!
This is an ink wash and technical pen mash up. What I love about the wash is that it takes on a warm tone even though it’s diluted black ink. It’s great for more subtle shadows, and for a supernatural, ethereal feel.