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).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New(ish) Blog

It's been a while. In the interim, I've decided something (again): I like drawing. Strangely, it's quite enjoyable when someone isn't telling you that your sketch of Batman or a picture you drew using a reference photo you didn't take is plagiarism.

Project: Rooftop has inspired me to get back into it, and really, it's a heck of a lot of fun to get creative and let your mind run. So here we are. I really want to have fun, and I think it's going to help me reinvigorate this blog.

I've been working on something for the new P:R contest. I think I've come up with a design I quite like, but I'll post the failed attempts first, and some other stuff that's made its way into my sketchbook soon.