Thursday, June 23, 2011

Never stop the learnin'

One aspect to my job I never thought I would love so much is the research that is involved in drawing comics. Each project or book I work on takes me to new places, across all walks of life. With every script I get, I do an initial read through to get a feel for the story. I immediately read through it again and start sketching in the margins page layouts, poses for figures, facial expressions or scenic shots that come to mind. I also highlight or circle all the things in the script that I don't know how to draw off the top of my head. Turns out, that ends up being quite a few things!

Then comes the research. I usually hit up Google images, or various magazines and reference books I own to compile an image bible for each issue. I keep that with my script as I work through the book so I have it handy whenever I come to that particular scene where I need to make specific things look.... well...specific.

Here in Snake Eyes #1, for instance, I have never gone mountain climbing. I've done it indoors or repelled a few times.  But obviously nothing to this extent growing up in Illinois where the highest elevation is the quesadilla I just dropped on the ground. Hence the research.


Or in this case, for the Savage Sword anthology for Dark Horse comics I had to draw a convincing 15th century France.  Convincing being the key word. I'm not an expert, or even incredibly educated on the subjects I research out by simply compiling photos. But I like my work to seem real enough that it's a believable scene, and a believable environment. That means I need at least a base knowledge of how things look and work to convey it properly.




That also means that when I have to make something up and fill a space with a combination of real objects and fictional items, they look believable together.

Stark Industries (Iron Man)



Village in the Mountains (Forgotten Realms)




The PITT (GI Joe)

4 comments:

  1. You seriously seem to excel at this aspect of drawing. I am most impressed with being able to "fake" tech and things of that type and still make them look believable, I would never be able to do that!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thats why I only have you do my commission backgrounds. Can Popa draw buildings?

    ReplyDelete
  3. We just need some templates and we'll be fine!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I totally forgot that you had done Forgotten Realms, amazing environments as usual. Pretty Jealous...

    ReplyDelete