Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Back To The Drawing Board

When I was a kid, I drew a lot. I mean a lot. Buried somewhere I have a giant stack of illustrations of superheroes, mostly my own creations. The quality varied: I started out awful, and got better over time, as one would expect. I was never great, and eventually, long after determining that I would never be a professional comic artist (an early goal of mine), drawing drifted off, as the time taken by music and computers expanded.

I still doodle endlessly, and draw bizarre stylized faces. Recently I've been tossing around the idea of starting up my own webcomic, but nothing has really sprung to the front of my mind that I could 1) make consistently entertaining and 2) draw consistently recognizably enough for my own tastes. I sketched a little and moved on.

A couple days ago, though, something interesting happened. I have, of late, been frequentint Warren Ellis's message board, Whitechapel. Whitechapel is populated by a ricoculously talented batch of people. Late last week someone posted an art exercise idea: forum members would post pictures of themselves, and others would draw them.

The thread has been a huge hit, and the aforementioned talented folk have done some amazing stuff. Fortunately, due to Warren's firm "Don't be an arsehole" policy (a rarity on web forums), even those lesser artists among us are able to post our portraits to encouragement rather than mockery. So I whipped out a pencil and paper and gave one a shot. It turned out, well... hideous. But I kept trying. And man... I had forgotten how much I enjoy just sitting and drawing. Even pictures that turn out crap.

So here's my first page of Whitechapelers (not the first one... it was on a different page, and it sucked - really, truly). Hopefully this will get me off my ass coming up with a webcomic idea.


Darren Struthers said...

I tended to find this post inspiring, until I saw your sketches at the end, and realized they were far superior to anything I could ever draw.

Anonymous said...

@dstruthers: Everybody starts out drawing badly. Or at least mediocre-ly. And everyone improves with practice. I think most people have the ability to draw what they see, but when they pick up a pencil they don't always "see" what their instincts tell them makes a good drawing. Part of what practice does is train your eyes.

Nice work, Joe. Keep drawing.

Monkey in a Spacesuit said...

You should be inspired nonetheless. I can vouch for Joe when he says his early work was crap. His current work: Far from crap.
Nice work, indeed, Dude.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joe,

Glad to see you getting back to the drawing board! Nice stuff happening here . . .