Drawing Table Tuesday

In lieu of time today, this isn't a photo, just a scan of the top half of a drawing I happened to be scanning when I remembered it was Tuesday. I've gotten into the habit of scanning drawings after I've finished them to mirror them and try to spot things that don't look right. I didn't need to redraw anything on this one. That's why it's reversed; I just cropped it and resized it.

I'm four drawings into this series. I think there'll be twenty four when I'm done with them. If things stay the same as they are now, they'll probably be finished just before the book is.

Also, the Northeastern coast is the more interesting of coasts in the US. Beaches are boring.

About Drawing Table Tuesday.


I was scanning a couple sketchbook pages, got and used what I wanted from them, and was getting ready to close it- without saving, until I saw this seal up at the very top of the page. This is really, really tiny. I thought it was pretty good for a two second doodle of a seal. So here it is. A tiny seal head. The seal was related to my secret project, but the idea changed in the sketchbook, so this won't ever be used for anything.

Drawing Table Tuesday

Let's see, how do I explain this... I've been trying to decide on a side project for what seems like a couple years now. I've chosen recently, so I've been working on it for a few weeks now. 

It seems like there were about a hundred thousand things that led me to it, but I'd guess it started a couple years ago, when I was talking to Staci about ideas for another sketchbook.

I'm not sure what they'll be used for when I'm finished, but I think they're going to be a little more meaningful than I originally intended. I think the idea really came from wanting to give popular culture the middle finger; sort of a rage against the machine ideology. Eventually the idea evolved, and I settled on a little more complex idea, really liked it, and sort of ran with it. I love the idea and, simultaneously, it's against about a thousand things I've grown to hate roll my eyes at (hate's a strong word, more like grown tired of). I love things where the more you think about it, the more there is to think about. These are, to me at least, like that. The more complex and seemingly fitting they are.

One reason for these is warm ups; it's great to have something to warm up with before going right to work on a real drawing, like a page or something. So I'm always going to be working on a stack of these while I'm working on the book. Also, these are probably going to take over a year to finish, because I'm not in a hurry and they're more or less just for practice right now. 

And they're going to be great practice- this is literally the hard stuff no one seems to draw, or at least, has enough skill to draw well. Which is the point; I mean, if you're trying to get better at something, it better be kicking your butt or you're not going to get better at it. If I can do these well, I think it shows I can do anything well.

I guess sort of like a self imposed test. Anyway, I'm not sure what the end result of these will be, I'm still weighing my options, I guess, so, right now, I'm playing these pretty close to the chest. I know there are probably only a few people that check this, but I still feel like I should only show ambiguous segments of the work. At least until I know what it's going to be for.

I'm considering submitting for a gallery show, maybe here somewhere in Charleston, but I'm really sure I'm gonna hit a lot of the stigma I met with in college. And because of that, I'm going to have to write some sort of scholarly thesis about why this isn't what they think it is.

But meh, we'll see. I'm not too concerned right now. And anyway, that's the reason for the ambiguity above. And yes, that was on my table- I just moved the real drawing out of the corner of the photo.

P.S. Those aren't real inks, that's just a sketch I used to trace some foundation drawing (blue lines) onto the paper. Just thought I'd clear that up just in case.


It's almost embarrassing how long it took me to think of using transparency sheets to smudge proof pencil lines. I've never seen or heard of anyone using them for that, but I'm glad I thought of it because they're a heck of a lot easier to see through than tracing paper and they smudge pencil lines a lot less.


It looks like I got carried away with the scratches, but I was in a hurry and those are the only scratches I had on the spur. I have a folder somewhere on my computer full of nothing but paper textures and scuffs and folds, but I can't find it. Those are textures I found online quickly. I think Staci has some cheap newsprint somewhere, I need to ask to scan some. This would look better if I had some real newsprint for the texture. Here's the working size version. The texture on the black would look better if it weren't so blurry, but that's all I could find quickly.

There's some stuff I'd change if I were doing it again, but it was practice, so who cares. The halftones could be bigger. Smaller than a certain size, it's pretty much impossible to do recognizable faces. Not horrible for a second attempt at it, but I need to scan my own papers so I can get some high quality textures I can use in the long run.

Also, 80's.

Drawing Table Tuesday

 Lately, (the last few days), I've been researching color. I won't get into it, I'll probably get around to it eventually thought, but I really don't like contemporary comic book coloring. Not to say I don't like it all, there are some people that make amazing stuff, but I think a lot of it looks like crap. So it never really interested me much except that I should at least be able to put some sort of color on things and be halfway satisfied.

Lately, the more satisfied I am with a drawing, the more I'm like, "Hmm... I should at least be able to color this if I had to, and still like it." So, I sort of cleared away everything everyone else does, started fresh, and decide how I want to color things. There's a long rant/essay on style (that I've been thinking about a lot recently because of some reprints I've gotten a while back) that I'm skipping that'll I'll probably get to eventually, but I decided that the coloring I like best, was traditional, cheap coloring that comics used for about five decades that didn't change until the 90's (and for the worse, I think).

So, about two days ago, I started fresh, and with some deliberate thought (and research), came up with a system for coloring stuff and not hating it. I looked at how old comics were colored, the actual process of either people cutting shapes out, or, colorists/separators painting layers of different percentages. All of the shortcomings of that process were what made it. I think keeping in mind those limitations is the secret. I think that's key to authenticity; the errors are the hard thing to reproduce. A lot of people that try to 'have a retro, vintage look' just slap the color halftone photoshop filter on it at the end (myself, until recently, included), but miss a lot of the details that are hard to pinpoint. I think I've gotten it down pretty well, well enough to be comfortable with it at least. I mean, I want to keep getting better at it, keep pushing, but I can at least get something I'm okay with at the end. I redrew this and used it on that. The black tones with color are tricky though, I haven't gotten those down yet as well as I'd like. 

Anyway, the system I came up with is way more complicated than I'd have thought, but I think it works. And it's still faster than the way I was coloring stuff before. I wanted something else to try it on, something small, then I found a sheet of nice paper I'd apparently used as squiggle paper and thought it was a shame. And, well, there you go. I took the picture of it on the desk from last night and thought "Well, ten more minutes and I'd have the drawing." So I took another one ten minutes later. Not meant to be a masterpiece, but something quick and small to throw color onto. 

Also kinda related, I'm leaving out another rant about the b in b-movie meant budget, not bad. I've been trying recently to be able to exactly pinpoint why I absolutely love b-movies, but why I will never watch Sharknado, just on principle. Kind of the same reason I think all this bikini cosplay comic con crap is detrimental to comics in the long run. Liking superhero movies isn't liking comic books. I wish all these idiots were reading comic books. Kind of like why no real nerd/comic book fan/person with brain (okay, that last one was mean) would ever watch Big Bang Theory. Again, another rant entirely.

Might post the finished colors later today. If I get around to coloring it after I get some real drawing done today.