VIDEO: Today I’m a little burnt out from too much computing. I’ve been working in Photoshop and Illustrator all week doing super slick digital stuff for a graphic design client and I’m pretty over it. So since I haven’t drawn anything in awhile, what I really want to do is break out the analog tools and make a mess… You know, just loosen up and go to town with some down and dirty stuff I don’t have to care about.
You know how most of the time when you’re working on a project you want to be doing something else? If you’re designing the branding for a wine bottle you’d rather be painting. If you’re making comics, you’d rather be drawing in your sketchbook. If you’re doing some pen and ink stuff you’d rather be on the computer… seems like the grass is always greener when you’re looking over the art fence.
Well yesterday I was pretending to listen to a conference call about designing a sales brochure for lamps and furniture. Even though I do like and care about designing sales collateral, I found myself reaching for the nearest pen and paper and started sketching Eddie from Iron Maiden riding a unicorn.
Happens every time. Well, not Eddie on a unicorn but you know, I just start mindlessly doodling.
Anyway, the closest thing I could find to draw on was a magazine. I drew a couple cartoon heads and half of that Maidencorn and thought, “Hey, this glossy surface makes some cool effects and I kinda like the lines of text in the background. Plus, I don’t have to be careful or worry about screwing anything up cause the paper is cheap as hell so I can just go nuts and who cares?”
Drawing and painting in a magazine would be perfect for loosening after being on the computer for a week and a half.
This painting was done in acrylic with a black Prismacolor pencil on top for the line work. I was gonna use ink but I didn’t want to make a big production out of it and the pencil was easy, just grab it and go.
I started by blocking in the main shapes with Sap Green for a base to work from. This step takes the place of a pencil drawing, you can just roughly sketch in the basic image. It’s a good way to keep you from getting too detailed too soon.
Whenever I sketch on the phone or secretly in a work meeting, I usually just draw my greatest hits– leather jacket punks, skulls, motorcycles, cars… Everybody has at least half a dozen easy, favorite things to draw that they automatically go to for comfort. You know the ones, they don’t take much thinking– you can just zone out and doodle. Today’s image happens to be some good old rock n roll jams, one of my other favorite hits.
Next, I roughed in the lighter color layers on top of the base shapes to start defining the image a little more.
I knew there would be a big word balloon on the top of the right side, but the KRANG and YEAH YEAH YEAHs I just made up as I went along– and it looks like it. But again, this is just a fun warm up so who cares?
Then I laid in the black pencil line work to pull the shapes and brush strokes together. This image was different than my usual way of working. Normally I draw it in pencil, ink it and then color it. So starting with the color on this one was backward for me which was kinda weird but pretty cool.
I did get a little carried away and it got overworked and the effort started to show about half way through. I wanted to keep it loose and rough but it got too noodly and locked down by the end. So I guess you could say my art butt was 50% unpuckered on this one. Actually, don’t say that… especially not out loud in a grocery store.
Next I put in some highlights and added some fancy pants details here and there
And lastly, I added the lettering for the big word balloon. If you check out my sketchbook tour videos, you can see that I put tons of word balloons and sound effects in my sketches– just gives ‘em life and makes it more fun.
I don’t want to brag or anything, but I’m probably one of the greatest songwriters of all time. These two mind blowing verses took me at least 3 minutes to come up with. So put that in your pipe and smoke it, Bob Dylan, Carly Simon and Neil Young.
My playlist for working on this image included: Megadeth/ Rust in Peace, The Haunted/ Haunted Made Me Do It, Prong/Cleansing, and Pentagram/First Daze Here