The longer I go between drawings, the more it starts to really bug me.
2016 was the most-unproductive year, artistically-speaking, that I can remember. It had a lot to do with where I am in life, what’s going on, and a reevaluation of what I want to do with my art.
All you can do is keep working, though, right? Here’s to a new year, with new plans, ambitions, and new drawings. Gotta work out those demons before they eat you up from the inside…
I’m trying to wind myself up for a new project. It involves lots of spacesuits, robots, and ruined, industrial sci-fi settings. Really, everything I love in life… imaginary life.
One of the most-difficult ongoing struggles I face is finding enough time to draw. The last year has been so busy, I’m thinking about not taking on more freelance commissions for the near future, at least until I’ve finished drawing a few things that have been waiting for a while now and are pounding at the door on my conscience.
Enough of that, you came here for the drawing, right? So, here’s a little sketch I cleaned up to get the juices flowing. It’s going to be on the table for that upcoming project. More on that soon…
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.
Living in San Francisco meant I was one of thousands of artists roaming the city, often subtly (or not at all) drawing their fellow citizens, especially on the BART. It’s a little bit harder to sneak in a drawing of someone sitting nearby in Oklahoma City. People tend to notice and get weirded out much faster here. I guess artists aren’t quite as accepted here as they are on the West Coast…
Anyway, this guy was actually dressed quite nicely for work when I made him a quick-study subject at lunch this week. I added the spacesuit because… well, because spacesuits are more-interesting than collared shirts.
It was a New Years goal of mine to draw more and post often. Life has a funny way of getting in the way of even the most honest intentions, though. Things change, circumstances are not always what they appeared to be at first, and new opportunities come about. So… let’s try it again. Here I am, promising myself more work forthcoming.
Here’s a cute little spacesuit to keep one from dying horribly in strange places.
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!
That’s it, pretty much. The title kind of says it all. I’ve sort of settled in Oklahoma City now. I have a day job that takes pretty much all of my waking hours during the week and the freelance work takes up the rest of it. From too little work to too much. Ugh. I miss rainy days and mellow liberals. Does Seattle miss me?
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!