Saturday, December 4, 2010

Superhero Coco - Scarlet Witch


I submitted this to Superhero Coco. They do superhero redesigns, but usually with a themed twist. This time, it was literature. So I recast the Scarlet Witch as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Anyone checking this out via SHCC may be interested in checking out my superhero redesign site, Superhero of the Month, where each month we have one superhero on the block. Readers of the site get to choose the winner. Check it out at http://www.superheroofthemonth.com.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Illustration Friday - Sneaky


The theme this week for Illustration Friday is "Sneaky." And really, what's sneakier than Batman?

If you're checking this out, be sure to check my superhero redesign website, Superhero of the Month. One superhero each month is chosen to be redesigned. Check it out, I'd love to have you contribute!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Illustration Friday - Spooky


I posted this back in May, but am posting it again for Illustration Friday. The theme is "Spooky." And really, what's spookier than The Joker?

If you're checking this out via Illustration Friday, be sure to check out Superhero of the Month, my other site where we take fan redesigns of classic comic book characters. First to be redesigned is Robin, and entries are due by November 20 at Noon. We'd love to see your redesign!

Thanks for checking out my IF submission, I hope to submit a bit more!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Superhero of the Month

Hey, everyone -

I just wanted to take some time on my personal blog and fill you in on a little project I've started called Superhero of the Month. You may have seen some of the art I did here as submissions for Project: Rooftop. Since then, I've come across the Superhero Costume Coalition (or Superhero Coco). Both sites offer awesome takes on superhero costume redesigns, but I felt like I could offer something different. That's where SHotM came in.

SHotM is similar in offering fresh redesigns of classic superheroes. What is quite different is that SHotM lets the public decide who they think deserves the top spot in each monthly contest. SHotM will have a regular schedule, offering redesigns of a particular hero or villain each month (hence the name).

The first contest is to redesign Batman's sidekick, Robin. Details can be found here about the contest. I really hope to get a lot of entries. I don't want the site to be successful for my sake, but because I want to share very cool artwork with people on a regular basis. Superhero redesign art is a very cool, very particular niche among comic artists and fans, and I'm excited to get artwork from people and to help spread the word about their art.

SHotM has already had some fantastic support from Dr. Volt's Comic Connection, who is sponsoring our first contest by providing the winner's prize, and Big Shiny Robot, who posted a fantastic summary of SHotM here.

I hope that many artists can find out about and contribute to SHotM. Let the fun begin.

- Alex

PS - By no means does this mean that this blog is over! :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Marcio Takara's Power Girl

Marcio Takara is a professional comic book artist, having done work for Marvel and Image comics. He is currently doing the artwork for The Incredibles, based off of the Disney/Pixar movie of the same name. He also seems to be one of the coolest people you could meet, regularly answering questions from fans on Formspring and Twitter.

Recently, he posted a new illustration of Power Girl on his blog that I loved. I've never really gotten into the Superman side of DC Comics, but the character seems like a cool deviation from the rest of the Super-family.

Nonetheless, I was surprised when I asked if I could give a go at coloring the Power Girl drawing, and was given the go-ahead. So, here is what I came up with.

Art by Marcio Takara, colors by Alex Getts.

All in all, I'm pretty pleased. The hardest part, I thought, was working with the white of Power Girl's body suit, since I'm just not used to that. I also tried to emphasize more light coming from above and from her right, with less light coming from her left. Hopefully my coloring does the beautiful artwork some justice.

You can check out Marcio Takara's process here: pencils, inks, and color. His style of coloring is so unique and enjoyable, so please check it out! And a HUGE thank you for letting me color this piece!

I know it's been a while since I've posted anything original of mine. I didn't finish in time for Superhero Coco's Skeletor contest, but I hope to get a Storm redesign cranked out and submitted by September 5. Hopefully I can get back into the sketching swing of things and get some new stuff posted within the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The First Amendment

Things have been busy here since my last post. I thought that with a couple of weeks off of school, I'd be able to get a lot of drawing done and update the heck out of this thing, but ultimately things just got busy, and I found myself hardly at home. In any case, maybe school will bring a little stability to things as the semester begins on Monday.

So while I haven't made the most of the "sketchblog" aspect of this page, I am going to make some use on my political thoughts. The last few days have brought about quite a few developments, all of which I think are absolutely ludicrous.

One most recently is the continued rumor that President Barack Obama is secretly a Muslim. In the AP report I just cited, it states that Pew Research found 18% of Americans think the President is a Muslim. This in spite of affirmation after affirmation after affirmation that the President is a Christian.

Even Reverend Franklin Graham, who muddies the waters a bit in stating that Obama was born a Muslim, admits that "[Obama] has renounced Islam, and he has accepted Jesus. That's what he has said he has done. I cannot say that he hasn't, so I just have to believe the president is what he has said,” further stating that "...the president says he is a Christian, and we just have to accept it as that.”


I have two large problems with this whole thing. First, since when was a religious litmus test instituted for the Presidency? The First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion, be that Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or whatever. When Mitt Romney was running for the Republican Presidential ticket, questions were raised regarding his LDS faith, and whether he was qualified for the Presidency because of it, culminating in Romney's speech on the matter. Many people were upset on the matter. Why should it matter if Romney is a Mormon?

Which brings me to my second point: why should it matter if Obama were a Muslim. Which he's not. But if he were, why should it matter. Yes, faith plays an important role in people's lives if they ascribe to a theological belief, but I believe our country was founded in a way to prevent the Presidency from operating as a theocracy. It would, I believe, actually be unconstitutional. So should Romney be elected to the Presidency, or a Muslim, or the Pope, according to our laws, theocratic rule would be impossible. I think people actually fear that religion would be forced on them in some way. It won't, and can't. The First Amendment strictly prohibits that. But it also grants people to worship as they choose. So they can choose Catholicism, Buddhism, Mormonism, Evangelical Christianity, Islam, Scientology, Judaism, or whatever else. Or nothing at all. That's their right. And since there is no religious requirement for the Presidency, if a person meets the qualifications to become president, they can do so. Obama meets these requirements. He's a natural born citizen, over 35 years old, and resided in the U.S. for fourteen years. Qualified, Muslim or not.

(He's a Christian.)


Second is this whole mosque at Ground Zero debate. To begin, this is factually inaccurate. The "mosque" is actually an Islamic cultural center, and it's two blocks from where Ground Zero stands. The outrage is over the fact that it's an Islamic center, and Muslims orchestrated the 9/11 attacks.

What strikes me the hardest is tying over one billion people, who largely denounced and denounce acts of terrorism, with the actions of a few radicals with twisted ideas of what Islam is. Anyone who attends the cultural center didn't plan out the 9/11 attacks, and they certainly didn't execute them. Yet the cultural center is being labeled as insensitive to those who suffered on 9/11.

While I can understand this to a degree, I fundamentally disagree. You can't tell me that, out of the three thousand who died on 9/11 -- in New York City, no less -- there wasn't one innocent person that died that wasn't Muslim. Or that no one that suffered injuries in the aftermath wasn't a Muslim. There is no way that I find that plausible. Arguably, every American suffered that Tuesday morning, and in the days that passed, including members of the American Islamic community. So Muslim Americans suffered, too. As much as you can't equate Islam at large with the few who carried out 9/11, you can't exclude them from those that suffered because of those madmen's attacks.

So it comes down to, "should they build a 'mosque' near Ground Zero." That's much more debatable, but regardless, it's their right. First Amendment guaranteed. The President, a Constitutional Law scholar, declared this same thing late last week. The right to build an Islamic cultural center falls under freedom of religion. If all other laws and ordinances are followed, the American Islamic community has every right to build a cultural center or a mosque near or far from Ground Zero, just as the Christian community has a right to build a church or the Jewish community a synagogue.

Finally, we come to Freedom of Speech, also guaranteed under the First Amendment. Let's wind the clock back a little bit. A while ago, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel found himself in hot water for using the "R-word" in a private meeting. Sarah Palin, who's youngest son has Down's syndrome, rightfully took offense to its usage. We all should. There is no need to use that word in a derogatory manner.

What was ridiculous, though, was when Palin gave Rush Limbaugh a pass for doing the same thing. Clearly, both have the right do say what they want under the First Amendment, but should they? And what makes it okay, really, for Rush to use the "R-word," and not Rahm?

Recently, Dr. Laura Schlessinger used the "N-word" eleven times, on air, discussing interracial relations with a caller. The controversy ultimately led to the cancellation of her show. She claims she's been unfairly censored, but ask just about anyone in the country, and they'll tell you that it's not okay to use the "N-word." Strangely enough though, Sarah Palin stepped up to Schlessinger's defense


The hypocrisy here is astounding. The "N-word" has a long and ugly history in US English. There are calls to abolish it completely from our language. Is Sarah Palin really defending someone's right to use it?


I suppose, under the letter of the law, we are protected in using it. That doesn't make it right. But it's also not right to call for Rahm Emmanuel to be fired, and then give Limbaugh and Schlessinger a pass and cite the First Amendment, particularly in the latter's case. 


Which brings me to my conclusion. I think I'm starting to really think that some people who are rallying around the Constitution really don't understand it at all. I'm not claiming that I do, but I understand that freedom of religion means that anyone, regardless of their theological beliefs (or lack thereof), has a right to be President if they meet the Constitutional requirements, and that freedom of speech, whether what is said is right or not, applies to everyone, not just those that you agree with politically. You can't proclaim the Second Amendment wholeheartedly, and then pick and choose what you want to adhere to when it comes to the First Amendment.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I'm Done

I'm done with school for two glorious weeks. Not nearly as much time as I would like, but that's good enough or me; I'm kind of sick of school. But I really hope the next semester is better.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Apple Marinated Lamb

Wanted to give you a bit of a look into what I made tonight. We modified a Fannie Farmer Cookbook recipe, and added a few of our own touches to it, but all-in-all it turned out great, and we enjoyed a really tasty dish! 


Lamb marinated in an apple juice mix, adorned with red bell peppers and granny smith apple bits to the side.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Should Chuck Continue Past Season 4?

Thanks, Wikipedia!

Recently, we discovered Chuck. We picked up Season 1 on Blu-Ray a while back, and finally got into it. We blazed through the thirteen episodes of Season 1, and quickly rushed out to pick up Season 2.

Prior to this was the Subway campaign to save Chuck from cancellation, which I was vaguely aware of. Thank goodness it worked and that NBC decided to renew Chuck for Season 3. What was nerve-wracking was watching a similar thing happen after Season 3 ended, only for Chuck to be renewed for Season 4.

I honestly wasn't sure it would happen. You see, after the way the conflict with The Tonight Show was handled, I had little faith in NBC to renew Chuck. Nonetheless, they pulled through, and we'll be seeing Chuck Bartowski and his colleagues in action this fall again.

What I'm wondering is, should the creative team behind Chuck intentionally wrap up the series this season? Of course, I'd love to see that not happen. Chuck has been a great show, but the Nielsen ratings, the outdated system that they are, aren't always there. Since the Nielsen ratings still seem to weigh heavily in a show's chance of renewal, I'd hate to see Chuck end in a similar manner as My Name is Earl.

As bittersweet as it sounds, if ratings don't improve I'd like to see Chuck end on a high note. Leave the audience begging for more. It would be better than a cliffhanger ending that is never resolved, or seeing the show decline in quality.

What do you have to say? Let me know in the Poll to the side.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Concert Review - Silversun Pickups - July 27, 2010


As a rather nice surprise, my friend Patrick called me up around 6:30 P.M. Tuesday night and asked me if I wanted to go see Silversun Pickups. The show started at 7:00, so I quickly agreed, and off we went.

What a show! Opening were the Henry Clay People and Against Me!, both of whom I was unfamiliar with. I had heard one Against Me! song before, and we heard another one in the car on the way to the show. HCP were performing when we got there. They played a decent set, and were followed by Against Me! Their set was a bit harder, but it was more of a melodic type of punk rock, but not quite pop-punk or anything like that. You could tell their singer was having a blast. My major complaint regarding both HCP and Against Me! was that their keyboard players were drowned out in the mix, but that's more of a mixing complaint than it is regarding them.

It was hard to get a picture of just Christopher Guanlao! 
Silversun's performance was more than I thought it would be. It was all energy, all night. Drummer Christopher Guanlao was arguably the most energetic drummer I've seen live. I've never seen a drummer perform open-handed before, so it was pretty cool to see and recognize this technique.




One of the highlights was watching bassist Nikki Monninger play -- what a talented bassist! I also enjoyed the crowd's enthusiastic response every time she sang a lead vocal.




Bandleader Brian Aubert was right on, enjoying performing for the crowd, telling us that the band always got excited when they planned a stop in Salt Lake City. While his guitar playing was great, the highlight of his performance was his unique voice.


Often, due to my position and lighting, it was difficult to get a decent picture of Silversun's keyboardist, too.
Unfortunately, I was unable to see keyboardist Joe Lester for the majority of the performance, but unlike with the Henry Clay People or Against Me!, he was able to be heard loud and clear throughout the whole performance.


All in all, though, it was an absolute blast of a show to attend. I hope to catch Silversun again, they're a phenomenal band. If you haven't listened to them before, check out their music!

Update 7/31 - Here is the video I shot of "Well Thought-Out Twinkles," the second song in their set. Sorry for some of the sound distortion, there wasn't really anything I could do about that.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Film Review - Inception

After seeing Inception twice, I finally feel comfortable giving an official review.

I can't in good conscience tell much of anything about the film without giving much away, and not knowing anything really is half the fun. You know it's about dreams; what fun would your dreams be if you already knew what was coming? That's why I recommend going into Inception not knowing anything. And if you think you know anything based on the trailers, forget it. The trailers are, of course, entirely out of context, and really don't give anything away. If anything, they actually mislead you, making you think the movie is something else entirely.

And that's brilliant in a way, too. Christopher Nolan is a master of deception. Rewatch The Prestige and The Dark Knight; there is so much going on, and you're deceived at every turn. So it is with Inception.

What I can tell you is that this is a film that will make you think, and one that is one heck of a thrill ride from start to finish. At the midnight screening I attended, I felt the two-and-a-half hour run time breeze by; the second time was just as brisk. So don't be deterred by that.

All in all, you won't feel your money is wasted. If you're like me, you'll want to go right back to the counter and pick up another ticket. It'll take a couple of viewings just to wrap your head around what you've just seen. And the final scene will have you wondering what you've just seen.

4/4 Stars. Inception is rated PG-13 for violence and profanity (relatively mild aside from a handful of religious exclamations.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

New Old Stuff - Banner Girl



If you drive by Dr. Volt's Comic Connection, you will see this image hanging in their window. No joke. When the store was being moved around or otherwise decorated as a comics emporium, I was allowed to do an original image that has been hanging in the window for several years.


This image comes courtesy of the Dr. Volt's website. You can see her hanging in the window in the left-hand side of the picture.

I didn't want to draw another person's character, so I came up with my own. I think she embodies the spirit of comics, though; that sense of being close to our world, but there is something magical and mysterious about her that sets her apart from the real world.

Since I have it on file, here is the original line art, as well.


Thanks for checking out the old stuff! Hopefully before long I can get back to posting some new things!



Saturday, July 3, 2010

New Old Stuff - Supergirl

This is an old Supergirl from 2004. My style's changes a bit since then, which is something you can tell particularly within the way the eyes and hair are drawn, yet I think the overall style is still very much "me."

I'm just going to apologize for the ridiculously short skirt and attribute it to the fact that I was 19.


One thing I really like are the eyes, even though they're an unrealistically bright sky blue. I think they bring out what I perceive to be the jovial nature of Supergirl.

Friday, July 2, 2010

New Old Stuff - The Painter

As I mentioned, we're moving. In cleaning out and getting rid of a lot of old stuff, I came across a CD that had a few old drawings on it. So, since I mentioned I didn't have time to do anything new recently, I've decided to share some new old stuff with you all over the next few days. :)

This guy is something I did for the newsletter we published when I worked at Dr. Volt's Comic Connection. (You can also check out the Dr. Volt's blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages!) He would get cropped for the banner, but it was something I thought was fun at the time, and something I think still holds up today.

The original image


This is how it would show up cropped on the newsletter.

I also just realized that this is kind of similar in style to my Joker drawing I submitted to Project: Rooftop. Maybe I inadvertently have the urge to do a graffiti-inspired drawing every four years, as the similarities were completely unintentional; I forgot about this drawing until I rediscovered it last night.

Also, if you're into comics and are in the Salt Lake City area, check out Dr. Volt's at 2043 East 3300 South. They will take care of you. :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

P:R Update, and a Regular Update

Canary on the Catwalk runners-up have been posted on Project: Rooftop. Alas, I did not make the cut. Congratulations to everyone who did, though.

I really thought I was doing well on keeping the blog updated on a semi-regular basis, but then life hits you and it takes a back seat. I got really busy with school; now we're moving, so it'll be crazy getting things organized and all of that, too. So I don't have a ton of time to draw right now. I do want to keep the blog going, though, so until I can really get situated, I may just post more reviews, critiques, thoughts on life, etc. Before long, though, I hope to get some more drawings posted on here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Color Job


Sara knocked out this cool drawing of a girl and posted it on Facebook. I liked it a lot, and she was kind enough to let me color it. She was happy with how it turned out, so that was good!

It was really different to try coloring someone else's work. You obviously have your way of doing things, but you also want to compliment their style and really make their work come alive.

I tried a couple of different things with this one. I tried a (clearly off-screen) light source to the character's right, hence stronger highlights on the right side of her body and minimal highlights on the left. Conversely, you might notice stronger shadows on the left, but not as much, since I didn't give her super-strong shadows to begin with. Also, I used a different brush to try to give her gauntlets a wear-and-tear, dirty/used effect.

My favorite part about this coloring job is how the makeup around her eye turned out.

Overall, working on someone else's drawing was a fun exercise that I'd like to try again. It kind of makes you think differently and try new things, and helps you play up to someone else's strengths, while building your own skills up a bit.

Monday, June 14, 2010

"5 Minute Marvel" Black Canary / Update

A few months ago I joined Twitter to follow Conan O'Brien as my little way of showing support. I've also found a whole bunch of other people to follow, and found some cool sites in the process. 5 Minute Marvels showrunner was nearing 500 followers, and the 500th got to request a character to draw for the site. 5MM's concept is really cool: an adult and a kid take five minutes together to draw a comic book character. That's it. Then they can send them in and get posted on the Interwebs. So, seeing that the follow count was at 499, I jumped on board and got the lucky number. I requested Black Canary, and you can see the awesome results here!

I should have some stuff to show (hopefully) next week. This last week was incredibly busy, and the first half of this week looks like it might be the same.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Marcio Takara's Catwoman

Marcio Takara is a comic book artist that has done work on The Incredibles: Family Matters comic book, as well as work for Marvel and Image Comics. He regularly updates his Twitter feed, and recently asked for suggestions of what to do for a warm-up sketch. I suggested several characters, and he did one of them! You can check it out by going here!

As for me, I've been busy lately and not had much time to draw, outside of what I need to do for class. I'll try to remedy that, since I have a few ideas that bounce through my head from time to time.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Whole Lot of Sketches

I had an old sketchbook in one of my bags that I don't really use anymore. Part of the reason is that it is a bound sketchbook, which is fine, but I've switched to the ringed book, which I think makes it easier to work with. Additionally, my ringed book is, I believe, 11" x 17"; this older one is an 8 1/2" x 11" book, which isn't bad, but now I can do full-body illustrations without having to forgo detail and/or splice two images together, which I think can be a pain in Photoshop, regardless of how well everything matches up on paper.

Anyhow, the following are some of the better sketches for you to check out; a lot of them are completely unfinished, so keep that in mind. There are a couple of non-comic ones towards the bottom, too.



Wolverine



Gambit



Spider-Man



Robin



Clockwise, from left: Batman, The Joker, Commissioner Gordon, Harley Quinn



Harley Quinn (This Harley, as with the one that preceded it, was a sketch for a comic sequel to The Dark Knight.)



Spyboy



Bombshell



Batman (This was part of a Project: Rooftop-concept redesign, as are several of the following Batman-related drawings.)



Robin



Nightwing



Batgirl



Harley Quinn



Jim (The Office)



A Girl

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Amazing Spider-Man



This was something of an experiment (that I deemed a success!), in that I only used non-photo blue pencils to do my drawing, adding the inks over those, rather than tightening my roughs with a regular lead pencil. For the most part this worked, except where I started tightening the pencils with heavier, darker lines. Nonetheless, they were easily removed in Photoshop, so everything worked out the way I wanted it to.

You might look at the above and think, "Man, you screwed up! Spider-Man wears red and blue!" True, but this wasn't always so! Here's a little bit of nerdy info for you: Originally, the blue was used to highlight the black, intended to give an illusion of three-dimensionality. Eventually, the blue spread out to be the dominant color, and the blacks ended up looking like shadows. The same thing happened to Batman. I guess it makes sense for Spider-Man to wear red and blue; I mean, the guy operates in broad daylight. In the case of Batman, on the other hand, the change never made sense, since darkness and shadows are where he operates. Bright blue just doesn't flow with the character. Anyhow, I kind of prefer the black in both cases.

The line art is below.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Go Green Supergirl

I was going to wait until the end of the month to post this stuff, but then I thought I'll just post it as it comes. I think it'll still be fun.

This Supergirl was sent to me from Jeremy English. We grew up in the same neighborhood, and now he gets to be an artist for a living, which is really cool. He whipped this up the other morning and sent it to me, causing my mind to explode with awesomeness. I love the green theme, which is something I never would have expected.



Check out his blog here.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

"Off-Duty" Joker



Project: Rooftop has a bunch of regular columns, in addition to contests (such as the recent Black Canary contest). One of them is "Off-Duty," depicting heroes and villains in plain clothes. I chose the Joker, and I'm pretty happy with how the final version came out.

I wasn't sure what the Joker would wear, especially since I decided to go with The Dark Knight style Joker, but I decided to dress him in a "Property of Arkham Asylum" t-shirt. My main thinking behind this is that I think he would find it funny, the fact that he could be considered their property, when he's likely to be pulling all of their strings.

As always, here's the line art version. There's a couple of changes, particularly in the Harvey Dent poster.

Batman



Redesign of Batman's costume. While it may look like he has a gun attached to his utility belt, I intended it to be a taser. Why wouldn't Batman use a taser?!

Friday, April 30, 2010

P:R Update - Black Canary Results Are In!

The results are in over at Project: Rooftop! I didn't make the winner/runner-up cuts, but it's clear upon seeing the winners. The winning pieces are top-notch, and congratulations go out to them!

Keep watching P:R, honorable mentions go up next week, so maybe my submission will be featured there.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Supergirl



So here's the deal: I kind of liked how this one came out, but I have no desire to color it. Part of that is because I have a couple of other projects I have going on that I want to finish first before I tackle this. And if I try to tackle this, I'll end up with three things that aren't getting done soon enough. But I really want to see this colored. So if you or someone you know has maaaaaaaaaad Photoshop skills (or just decent Photoshop skills -- I'm not that picky) feel free to take this and give it a go. Add your signature to mine and e-mail it back to me at getts182[at]gmail[dot]com, and I'll post what I get here. And keep it clean! ;P

I'll wait until May 31 to post the submittals.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Harley Quinn



Here's my cartoonized version of Harley Quinn, accomplice to the Joker and adversary of the Batman.

I wanted to stray from her classic costume of the comics and animated series, but not go as far as they did in the recent Arkham Asylum video game. I think I was able to retain a lot of the classic elements of the costume, but make it look a bit different at the same time. I'm particularly fond of the gloves and boots in this one.

Of course, here's the line art, before I colored it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

P:R Canary, Captain America

News is in over at Project: Rooftop. Submissions for Black Canary are over. Apparently over 100 entries were submitted, so wish me luck! Even an honorable mention would be sweet! Next up is Captain America, so we'll have to see what I can do for that!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Batman Line Art



This is the immediate predecessor to what I'm working on now. I really liked this cartoony version of Batman, but for my current piece I went with more of an action pose, rather than just a standing position.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Works in Progress

It seems like it's been a while since I've posted. I have been working on something, but I don't want to share it. Yet. It's a very fun piece -- the most fun I've had drawing in a while -- but I'm not ready to give it an Interweb go just yet. It's several characters that I'm compiling into one drawing, so I'm doing each one individually; therefore I don't want to post anything just yet, because I don't want to ruin the fun of seeing everything just yet. I'm hoping to post it soon, hopefully next week early on since I still need to draw two more characters and color the whole thing, but it's coming along and I'm really enjoying it!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Project: Rooftop - Black Canary

Okay, it took two late nights of coloring, but here's the final version of my Black Canary redesign:



(Click the image to go big!)

As you can see, it doesn't stray too far from the other sketches, but there are some differences. In this version, I added a faux skirt to the mix, starting where the suit zips in its distinctive fashion on the right of the body. I thought it worked well with the character, but it's also functional since it's not restrictive. The open right side and slit on the left (and it can be correctly assumed that the skirt continues on the back) allow for running without hindrance, which I would think is a requirement if you're a vigilante in Gotham City.

What's also a bit more distinctive in this version, as opposed to some of the others, are the higher gloves, which I wanted to give a more reinforced look with extra protection on the forearms. I imagine them to be some kind of lightweight metal alloy or other protective material (with a glossy shine). I also imagine the fingertips are made of a similar material. The boots follow a similar fashion, but don't cover as much of the leg.

Really, going into it, I thought two things should stay the same: 1) she needed to be wearing black (otherwise, the name doesn't really fit in my mind), and 2) she had to be wearing the fishnets, which are iconic of the character. I did want to highlight more than the current costume affords, though, so I went with the yellow piping that I feel accentuates the character, but doesn't otherwise distract. (Again, useful while operating in Gotham.)

Lastly, when I thought about it, I realized that as part of the Batman family, Canary doesn't carry much in the way of tools. Since she operates under the former Batgirl (Barbara Gordon), I thought it would make sense to incorporate some of the tools of the trade. In m redesign, she sports a few pouches on her right arm and left thigh, as well as a loose-fitting utility belt that I think could be worn or left behind to suit whatever mission she may be on.

Below, you can check out my final version of the inks before I darkened and colored the piece. Please wish me luck! This is my first submission to Project: Rooftop!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Project: Rooftop - Black Canary Redesign Sketches

As I said before Project: Rooftop is doing a new contest, featuring the Batman-family character Black Canary. My final design is about 75-80% done (color and everything!) but here are some of the preliminary drawings I did.

This whole thing was a bit harder than I thought it would be, because Canary's current costume (below, art by Ed Benes) is actually pretty cool. It fits the character's history, but is completely modern.




My first attempt came out a little too similar, I thought:



The piping was to be yellow, not black, but overall it just felt too similar to her current uniform.



The above quickly became one of my favorites, and is probably what I would have stuck with if I hadn't noticed its similarities to what the current Batgirl (art by Phil Noto) wears:



That totally sucks, too; a little while before, I started doing some Batman redesigns (before the new Batgirl premiered) and my design was quite similar to what DC ended up using.
Anyways, I thought of the exposed siding/ribbing to be something like exposed Kevlar of the body suit. The whole suit was to be Kevlar with leather over the middle sections and arms, but exposed on the sides and underarms.
Also, this design had a cool jacket:



The next design didn't fare much past the penciling stage:



Unlike before, this was to be covered entirely by leather. However, it just didn't work for me, so I passed on it.

Finally, my next-to-last design. It's the closest to the final, but is also largely flawed:



I liked this pose; it looks relaxed, but not just a dead-on frontal shot. However, she's leaning in an awkward way. Secondly, if you look at her right leg, you can see a line that was originally for her upper leg. I drew this late(r) at night, so at the time it looked fine. It wasn't until inking it that I realized I'd unintentionally given her a "thunder thigh," especially compared to the more balanced left leg.
Additionally, I really screwed up the fishnets on the right leg. This is quite noticeable on her knee.
Ultimately, these mistakes (and a lot of white-out) made me rethink this version. However, like I said, it's the closest to what I went with, but there are major differences. The pose is roughly the same, but the uniform is slightly altered. The gloves and boots are pretty different and, unlike in my illustrations above, Canary has long hair, instead of the cropped 'do she sports here.
It's been a fun experience, though. What I thought was fun was that each version seemed to have some element I wanted to incorporate into the final design. I hope to have the final version posted within the next day or two, with both the final line art, and colored version (which has some digital alterations from the line art).