I’m sick. I hate being sick.
It’s nice to get a day off of work, but it sucks to not being able to do much with it. I have a comfy bed, though, and lots of books that need reading. So, I should be alright.
Drawing is not something I do well when I don’t feel well, but blogging doesn’t require much energy and I do have a little drawing from this weekend that I thought worth sharing.
This is for a friend who broke her arm recently. It’s based off a mascot that she cares a lot about, and I thought she might like a little cyber-zombie treatment to make the bull a little more interesting. I don’t think I can transfer this to a cast (on the arm), but it might make for some good nightmare-fuel while healing.
Hey! Busy, busy, busy. I’m determined to get more posts out, though. Lately I’ve been working like a madman and sleeping very little. The weeks fly by and I find myself nearly into the second month of 2016 already, with no real recollection of what happened to the month of January. I still find myself thinking of what I’m going to accomplish in the new year, and then realizing I’m well into it. Accomplish I have, though! Most excitingly, the printing (finally) of issue #3 of Father Robot. I’ve been waiting for the publisher to put out the digital version, to no avail. I have no idea what’s going on there…
Anyway, in the spirit of all things FR, here’s a sketch from way-back in the development days of the series. I don’t know why he has no arm.
I’ve got to get back to work, but I hope you enjoy the drawing and please feel free to drop me a line here or at sam@samgarlandillustrations… especially if you’d like to acquire a copy of the new issue!
Throughout the 80’s, Hayao Miyazaki created a comic called Nausicaä. I didn’t discover the series until about 10 years ago, but I was blown away by the style it was done in. There was a lot of hashing instead of solid blacks (for shading) and everything was done in a kind of loose, organic line work. It created such a unique feel for everything, and really even created a mood for the whole world. I feel like these 3-value drawings of Father Robot I’ve done in the past couple of days remind me of how Nausicaä made me feel back when I first read it. Not that it’s in the same style or anywhere near as well-rendered, but I do like how this has come out.
Again, this was done with Copic technical pens and sketch markers. I got a little more variation in value by blending the markers together when I could.
Someone asked me at the last comic convention my process for creating drawings. At the time I was working on commissions I had received at that event, which could be anything from superheroes to caricatures of the attendee, but normally they were good ol’ robots. This is what happened when both your table banners feature giant robots. At the table, I work a lot faster than I do in my studio and erase all my pencil lines, but I thought I’d share my ideal process, when I have more time and all my gear, here for you all. So, let’s start at the end. Then, scroll down and I’ll lay out the process a little but more. Here’s the end-product, a hand-drawn bust of Father Robot with value (shading):
To get to this, I first lay down a bunch of wild sketches with light blue (non-photo) pencils. Because I am an extremely messy sketcher, I prefer a very light pencil that erases completely. Some brands are very greasy and, even if used lightly, don’t erase very easily. This is important if you plan to “color” directly on the original drawing later. This pencil lines need to be able to be removed, or maybe I just want to be able to correct the shape with an eraser. I prefer Prismacolor Col-Erase pencils. It ends up being very vague and light:
Then I come back with either a soft, dark lead either in normal gray/black graphite or a drake color of blue. I like art pencils, but any ol’ pencil will do, preferably (for me) 2B or harder. While traveling, I carry mechanical pencils with me, with a variety of leads preloaded. With the right tool in-hand, I render a clearer drawing that’s going to be pretty close to the product I want to end up with:
After that, I can draw right over the top on the pencil lines with ink. Sometimes the paper won’t take the ink if the pencil was to greasy or too much drawing was done. So, I can just lay a piece of tracing paper, vellum, or, in this case, marker paper over the sketch and draw clean, inked, line work. This process is also good if I want to make multiple drawings from one sketch or I know there’s something I want to fix in the composition. Here’s the result with Copic technical pens on some Bienfang Graphics 360 marker paper:
As you can see, I wanted to turn the eyes a bit and feel free to sketch some more details of the neck and the body around the head, but for the most part it retains the point of the original sketch. Then I get out my Copic markers and just have fun. When I’m at conventions, I try to bring at least a dozen different values with me to do commissions, but on this, non-con, trip I’m on currently, I only carried three values, or shades, with me. I can compensate for this lack of variety by working fast and laying down, then blending, two values together with the pigment is still wet. I think I got a pretty good result! Here it is again:
That’s about it. If I work fast, I can get a piece like this done in a little over half an hour. I spent more time on that for this one because no one was waiting for it. Hope you enjoy a little peak into my work process!
I did some drawings of Father Robot’s head yesterday and, after I finished, I decided that I liked one for a new profile pic of FR’s Facebook page. It’s nice to feel “back in the saddle” with this book. I think I’ve had some real hang-ups about finishing the series, but even doing a couple of little drawings of this big lug have made me realize how much I like him. So, look forward to lots more of this kooky automaton and enjoy this image.
I drew the line work traditionally, with Copic technical pens, but cleaned it up in Photoshop and Illustrator. The coloring was all done in Photoshop, using my buddy‘s Cintique (it was my first time to use one for coloring!) Of course, all lettering is done in Illustrator.
Just warming up with a little Father Robot today. I miss this guy!
I forget how hard he can actually be do draw. When I designed him it was from some very static poses, which I was able to set up with some profiles and shapes I found very pleasing. Twisting and turning him all around, though, makes some problems for me. I always preferred him without his rocket-launching backpack. So, this is a little variation on the robot you see in my comic, with some new shoulder patches and forearm cannon as well.
This was done the old-fashioned way, with technical (Copic) pens on paper.
I’m trying to get momentum up and going for the next issue of Father Robot. So, this morning’s warm-up is this funky sketch of some poor, robot bastard who with lost the rest of his “jaw” or just had a real wicked designer. Because, what ‘bot doesn’t need some scary tusks to make his daily existence easier?
I started with his arm, which is my favorite part of any robot drawing. I don’t know why… and then I moved on to the creepy head. Once I got to the “waist”, though, I kind of lost interest. He deserves more care, I think, but it’ll have to wait for another day.
Have you heard that when you live in zero gravity for extended periods of time, you’re eyeballs start to squish? That’s amazing! I’m a pretty big fan of all-things-spacey, but this is news to me. Not good news, I guess, but still interesting…
So, I assume that any career spacers would need robot eyes pretty soon. I sketched this guy out this morning, inspired by the need for my space-suited characters to have mechanical lenses instead of stupid, squishable, meat balls for seeing all the awesome stuff out there in the cosmos. Also, it seemed right to give him a little cone head too.
Still loving the pillowy, fluffed-ot space suits for now.
It’s been a crazy month of traveling, visiting, and trying to make sense out of work. I’m finally getting to a place where I can start being productive again, and I promise there’ll be more posts with new awesomeness soon. In the mean time, here’s a little treat form my sketchbook:
If you think you may have seen this one before, you could be right. One of my favorite things to do when I just want to warm up in the morning is to throw some vellum over and old sketch and try and cleanly work some lines with technical pens. The sketch was done years ago, but I felt it had more to offer. So, I inked this on the bus… or maybe it was the train… definitely NOT the plane, though. I hate flying so much.
I’m not sure if this is a spacesuit or a robot. It looks like it might work for a different, alien species, or perhaps it’s really huge and a human pilot fits somewhere in a little shell of a cockpit.
I found it hiding in another old sketchbook, and I can’t believe I haven’t posted it before. If I have, please let me pretend this is new, as I just couldn’t find it anywhere in the archives. Anyway, I love those big arms! Also, what a freaky head. I love it.