Thursday, February 22, 2007

Harvey Nominations

Are you by any stretch of the imagination a comics/cartooning professional? Then may I gently draw your attention to the fact that the 2007 Harvey Award ballots have been posted? And that a certain minimally drawn sailor is available for consideration?

No need? You're on top of it already? Thanks, you're the best.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Supergirl Studies

Well, the Supergirl meme is bringing in a lot of new traffic to the blog, so, I thought I'd double-dip and present some of the sketches I made on my way to the design I eventually chose. Most of these were drawn during airplane rides to and from Toronto.

1 I was trying to go for a dancer's look with this costume, but it's way too... um, skintight.

2 Too Fifties cheerleader, right?

3 My attempt at the skirt-and-tights solution that a lot of other people have worked with more successfully. Also, Streaky and the Kryptonian bracelet make their appearance.

4 An attempt at more of a schoolgirl approach. I like this design, but I thought it entailed too much revision of the Supergirl concept.
On the facing page, you can see the first thoughts towards the costume I eventually went with.

5 is a little more of the ganglier, fourteen-year-old schoolgirl Supergirl.

And 6 is the costume I took to finish.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Painting Procedural pt. 8

In contrast to the watercolor stage, where I was slopping down the paint willy-nilly, during the gouache stage, I spend a lot of time mixing. This is especially true at this point in the painting, where I'm making the little tiny details. I'll spend ten minutes mixing the color, make a couple brush strokes, spend another ten minutes adjusting the color, make another brushstroke or two, and so on. In fact, most of the time, the painting is shoved off to a corner of the table, and I'm just looking at my palettes.

One of the tricky things about mixing colors with gouache is that it changes value as it dries. Some colors lighten, some darken. But the great thing about it, as opposed to, say, acrylics, is that dry gouache can be re-wetted. So, if you have enough palettes (no, I don't consider the amount pictured to be enough. And, yet, I'm embarrassed to buy more), you can keep all the colors you've mixed and dip into them when mixing new colors.

And here's the painting as it stands today. This is not a scan, but a digital photo taken under sunlight; I was trying to avoid the weird color casts I was getting from my scanner. The result is a little washed out. Le sigh. Reproduction is hard.

I haven't looked at this thing since December, and I now see several things I'd still like to adjust. But I don't know that I'll get around to it. There's always the danger at the end of a piece that you're not making constructive changes, you're just fussing with it.

All in all, it was a fun side project, kind of a palette cleanser after wrapping up the final McGraw-Hill job. If I ever get a decent scan of the thing, I'll probably make postcards.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Internet, Internet, Burning Bright

What immortal html could frame thy fearful symmetry?

My William Blake story has been posted, cozied up in a warm blanket of intellectual inquiry, over at ImageTexT. I haven't had a chance to read the rest of the journal yet, myself, but I'm looking forward to it.

Fun Fact from the introduction: Bill Everett, creator of Namor the Sub-Mariner, was named after William Blake, and, apparently, a direct descendant. How perfect is that?

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Painting Procedural pt. 7

Okay, So, now that Valentie's Day and Supergirl have reminded me that I have a blog, I suppose I should continue with the young lady we left in the woods.

So, I'm still popping out highlights from the watercolor layer--namely, her hair, skin, blouse, and left shoe. The blue cast to this image has more to do with my inept color calibration than the paintingitself. The next image is more representative.

Filled in her red thought-bubble. This was my plan from the start, but it has proved controversial. Most people who have seen this painting have asked when I was going to add the words. I intended for the color alone to show our protagonist's state of mind (that is to say, pretty dang pissed about something).

The addition of the strong red made many of the other colors in the painting look washed out, so I've darkened the weeds in the forground considerably, and have begun to increase the contrast in the trees.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Maid of Might!

Remember the Batgirl Meme? That was some kooky Internet fun. Several superhero art memes have cropped up in the past year, but none quite captured the magic of the that first spontaneous eruption of Internet creativity. Now, there's a Supergirl meme in the offing, and it carries a certain urgency, due to the fact that the official version of Supergirl running around in the funny books is an unmitigated, mysogynistic trainwreck.

So here's my attempt at a Supergirl who is fun, sporty, and, uhm, a girl. Some specifics:
1. She is, of course, accompanied by Streaky the Quantum Cat, a higher-dimensional life-form whose location and velocity cannot both be known.
2. The costume incorporates culottes, so as to avoid any of the upskirt issues that plague other flying women.
3. She's sporting a bit of Kryptonian crystal tech in the form of a bracelet. I'm not too sure what it does, but I suppose it should act as a Super version of whatever personal technology is big with the teens at any given moment.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


A happy and love-soaked Valentine's Day to my own personal Sweetie!

And to all of you, as well.