I love playing with proportions. I used to struggle with really letting myself play and would try to make things look realistic. Here’s a secret: sometimes realistic sucks. Exaggerate. Have fun. This character looks bigger and more powerful because his head is so disproportionately small. It’s an old trick. Pick up your favorite comic with a big bruiser character in it and see if his or her head isn’t ridiculously small. Looks awesome though, doesn’t it? Go. Play.
This little character has an axe to grind–a big axe. I drew this way back in 2011 and always meant to color it, but never got around to it. I had a lot of fun with this drawing and let myself play with the details like the belt buckle and armor. He’s got a little Paul Bonner vibe without the mustache and a touch of Rackham’s flavor–the French game company; not the author/illustrator. I was into their stuff when I had a minor wargame addiction and was disappointed the game never really got traction in the United States.
If you haven’t checked out Paul Bonner’s art book Out of the Forests: The Art of Paul Bonner, I highly recommend it. It’s one of my favorites. Look for a book review soon!
I did this sketch for fun. I was drawing a lot of sword and sorcery stuff centered on violence, weapons and monsters and needed a change. So, I doodled these guys up to kickstart my creative flow. Sometimes it’s important to change it up. I imagined that the big guy is telling the girl “Don’t worry, I got all the moves right here,” as he points to his head. She’s probably worried he forgot their routine.
I doodled this up with Col-Erase Blue Pencil and then inked it with Micron Pigma pens before scanning it and coloring it in Photoshop CS6. I used an older version of the Wacom Intuos Tablet (medium size) at the time.
You read a lot about the value of thumbnails. It took a long time before I really started to appreciate the utility of thumb nailing. When you do small drawings to work out the idea that is bouncing around in your brain, you free yourself of the constraints of actually doing what you consider to be a good drawing. Letting those concerns go often allows your creativity to flow and you wind up with something better than you would have if you’d just started drawing a larger piece that you hadn’t worked through in your mind yet.
The thumbnail of the swordsman in the pic is a great example of that. It turned out better than I expected because I didn’t have any expectations. If you work on an idea and let yourself plow through twenty or thirty of these exercises, which really only takes a few minutes, you’ll be much better off when you start to design your finished piece.
Every now and then it’s fun to sit down and doodle up characters. This particular pair came out of an idea for a role playing game. I enjoy doing things that contradict stereotypes and thought it would be fun to have a dwarf (my dwarves don’t look like the stuff that comes out of the Tolkien universe) that has a wandering monk vibe. The big fella in the background it sort of a sidekick. This sketch has that Of Mice and Men feel and the big guy is the brute/Lenny stereotype, but I wanted to avoid that. So, I tried to give him an expression that didn’t come off as dopey in this quick doodle. I never did flesh these guys out any more, but I may do so in the future.
Prismacolor Col-Erase Erasable Colored Pencil, 12-Count, Red (20045)
Prismacolor Col-Erase Erasable Colored Pencil, 12-Count, Blue (20044)
BIC Round Stic Xtra Precision Ballpoint Pen, Fine Point (0.8mm), Black, 12-Count