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 TWO of a 52 week experiment to see how well I can learn how to draw.
I'll admit that I have already broken the "one hour a day" sketching regime rule, though this week it was because of the holiday and family responsibilities, and as selfish as I can be, I can't really say, "hey kids, I'm going to ignore you during this Thanksgiving vacation because I have to copy some French guy's pictures of people wearing funny hats."
I did spend a few nights with the Moebius books cracked open in front of me and that pen and ink flowing, but it was not even close to a full hour each night.
For most of these sketches, I skipped the pencil stage entirely. Except for Arzach on the top left, I drew all these directly with a fine point marker. I wanted to focus more on texture than structure this week, and I found this week's sketches to be an interesting contrast to the bombastic anatomical contortions of the John Buscema Marvel figures.
You may be wondering why I went with Moebius this week, and I suppose I am too. "How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way" was an obvious, and sentimental, first step on this experiment of mine, but to go with Moebius second? It's not like Moebius is my favorite artist, or even an artist I necessarily had planned to emulate in the long run. It might have made more sense, from a building-from-the-ground-up approach, to go to Eisner next, and do something with his how-to books. Or even to go with Kirby, which is really at the core of the lessons Buscema was demonstrating. Or to go with someone contemporary, as a contrast to the classic superhero style. Quitely, perhaps.
Yet Moebius seemed like the perfect contrast. And though he's not my favorite artists, I do like his work a whole heck of a lot. With Moebius, particularly the work I chose to focus on, which comes from the Epic reprints from the 1980s (though I avoided Blueberry, mostly because that seemed more conventionally illustrative and less Moebius's signature style), you get the anti-Buscema in a lot of ways. His figures are reservedly posed, compared to the dynamic anatomy of Buscema. Moebius noodles around with detail and cross-hatching and stippling, while Buscema is all bold lines and masses of shadow. Moebius also goes clear line with some of his comics, and the clear line style is the antithesis of the curved, pencil-thick holding lines of a Spider-Man in action.
And, ultimately, I just wanted to try something new. Texture over form. Ink more than pencil. And see what came out.
NEXT WEEK: With America and Europe already represented, dare I make my way to manga territory so soon?