A Sasquatch in the Suburbs (pp. 4 & 5)

click to enlarge (2 images)

Concept Obviously, I’m still working on the whole “Sasquatch” thing; but part of the concept here was that I wanted to try out a two-page spread.

Setting it Up Basically, I just really draw people too funky if I draw them from memory rather than from life.  I have a tendency to elongate and exaggerate, and the parts don’t always fit on the way they should.  I was lamenting this shortcoming when I decided that the best way to overcome it was to get back into drawing from life as much as possible.  Well, I haven’t had a lot of time recently, but I did sit down in front of a large mirror and sketch up a couple of images of myself.  The one you see in this page is the one that I thought would work best.  I had also gone to a local park in order to look at trees and things.  Frankly, I think this page came out pretty good, even though there’s still a lot of work that I need to learn

Layout Once I placed the central figure, I kinda just tried to place other objects on the page in such a way as to try to create a balanced composition as well as a sense of depth.  Frankly, the sizes of the people and the look of the trees could be a lot better, and I’m not sure that you can even tell that it’s a shoe; but I do like the overall structure of the page.  The text is in a bad spot, because it’s difficult to tell what you should read first, but it is general enough that even if you read it out of order, I don’t think it hurts too much.

Inking Every time I work with the brush I feel like I get a little better.  I feel like these two pages are a big leap ahead of even the page that preceded it.  Some of that is because of (what I think is) a better layout, but also because I feel I have better control over the brush. 

I now have two sable brushes, and I feel that I need increasingly smaller ones in order to do the detail that I want to do; but the odd part is that sometimes I’m able to do the more detailed work with the larger brush.

Let me tell you, the sable brushes are about twice as expensive as the rest, but they really are markedly better.  I still have a hard time managing my point (keeping the bristles from splaying out, rather than coming to a point), because stray hairs don’t always obey.

Also, I think I’ve found that my ink tends to dry out in the brush and in the inkwell very quickly, so I recommend having ink open only for short periods or having a short dipwell.

The control I have over my lines is still pretty shaky.  I look at real artists and I can’t even believe how crisp and “straight” their lines are.  When I ink a line, it still comes out really wavy and shaky.  Maybe with time…

The good news is that this entire picture, except for the border lines and text is done with a brush.  Some of the ground cover is done with a brush that has mostly dried ink in it which gives it that mottled and grainy look.  I also used white ink in areas, although I still don’t think that the white ink is all that great.  It looks really good going on, but once it dries, it doesn’t seem to cover real well (some of the black bleeds through).  Maybe I just need to be more patient and use more “coats.”

Lettering Still not happy with the lettering.  I do think it was a good idea to lose the large capital letters, so the text looks a lot more even.  But if you look closely you’ll see that I screwed up the line spacing.  I think part of the reason that the lettering is “off” is because now I’m doing bigger letters (just when I was starting to get better at the normal size ones!).  Plus, once again I screwed up the text.  The original text did not use the word “idea” twice.  It’s a small thing, but it annoys me.  Because of these two mistakes, I thought about going back and re-doing the text on stick-paper, but I didn’t because I mostly like the pages overall, and it was getting late and I needed to move on to the next AR.

Overall I’ve been working like a dog for the past 7 weeks on some damn project for work, even so, I feel like I managed to produce a pretty good page.  Yes, the kid looks too old and the lettering sucks and there’s a long way to go with the inks, but y’know, if I was to spend even a fraction of the time I spend at work on the things that I really enjoy, I know that I’d get a lot better at this.  Now, if only I could make money at it…