Monday, November 22, 2010

Sketchblog Week 1: The Marvel Way

Each week, I spend one hour a day sketching, building up a set of skills that should, we all hope, show improvement over a one-year period. Sometimes I'll draw by copying comic book artists, sometimes I'll draw from life, sometime I'll draw from how-to books, and other times, I'll just sketch with whatever is at hand. This is WEEK ONE of a 52 week experiment to see how well I can learn how to draw.

I didn't have trouble deciding to start by working from "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way." This Stan Lee/John Buscema joint runs deep in my veins, and as I was copying some pages from the book and relearning from Stan and John, I realized how much of my casual drawing approach (in margin-note doodles) comes directly from the lessons I learned as a 12-year-old when I first read this book.

Back then, I didn't actually do any of the exercises. I mostly just copied the face structures and the Buscema-human-form-proportions to create my own characters. I never used this book to play around with composition or shading or balance. This time, I did, and some of the results were better than others.

I certainly can't draw women at all.

But this Marvel approach of Kirby-by-way-of-Buscema does feel somewhat natural to me, and it was pretty easy to loosen up with this classic book in front of me. And though it's an out-dated drawing style, and though it has Stan Lee's hyperbole on every page, it's actually a good primer on the way to draw exciting action in the Mighty Marvel Manner. At least, the way it used to be. Fluid and dynamic and bombastic.

I'd like to revisit Buscema later in this experiment. Perhaps copy some finished sequences from the height of his first "Avengers" run, or some of his more illustrative "Silver Surfer" work. We'll see if I end up coming back to this comfort zone, once I've acquired some skills.

Also, this is probably the most images I'll scan in for one of these Sketchblog weeks. It's too tedious. So, expect maybe three or four representative drawings at most, from now on. The good, the bad, and some of the in-between.

NEXT WEEK: I will copy 20 Moebius drawings. And introduce some ink.

1 comment:

Drew said...

God I used to love that book. Our library still has the same copy in the collection.

I did what you did. Copies the final product rather than actually follow the steps.

This looks to be a cool idea.