This dude came out of screwing around with Painter and Photoshop to test a few things, but mainly to try to feel like I am still imaginative even though I am drawing Aquaman (no offense to Aquaman, or Aquaman fans. Both of you.)

I started sketching digitally and ran through a bunch of different ideas, erasing as I went- monsters grimacing, mythological action heroes leaping forth- but in the end, they seemed like too much work and I felt pressed for time, so yet again I went with my standard "headshot of a guy with slightly exaggerated features and one piece of vaguely medieval or fantasy costume so that I might feel like a fantasist" approach, and thus we have this. I shall call it "Viking in a Sears Portrait Studio".

I need to work much, much harder on my drawing and stylization. These little headshots, like this viking and the wizard below, although largely bullshit, do serve a purpose in that they are attempts to break out of old habits when constructing a face and head shape. I sometimes like my "go-to" forms, but lately, I have realized that the shapes I am seeing in my head are being lost as soon as I put the pencil down on the paper, like a guitarist stuck on the same patterns or riffs when the music they want to hear is made up of different scales entirely. I am defaulting to "my face" when that's not always the face I really want anymore. The only way out is to force my hand out of those damn invisible tracks my pencil seems so compelled to sink into.

Tune in next time for a druid in front of a wagon wheel.



Scott Forbes said...

Wow! I can completely agree about the default face artists sometimes tend to get stuck on. Lately I have been experiencing this as well. It's a hard rut to get out of, but an artist like yourself should have no trouble getting out of it. For me it's my lack of experience, and the fact that I can't draw males.

Anyways, I wouldn't worry about it (if I were you), just experiment with the lines: messy, clean, etc.

Scott :)

PS I would be honored if you came and visited my blog.


Federico Bertolucci said...

Wow! So beautiful light!

Allan Josh Mills said...

It's nice to break away from the monotony of work pieces and explore the artist within. That sounds way cornier written out, but whatever. Good job! Keep them coming.

Frasier Olivier said...

great work...

Chrispy said...

You know man, its great to hear you talk online about your stuff forreal.

I mean i remember me and my brother coming by and talking to you all the time at the conventions and you talk the same way at those, i like that, REAL!

Oh yeah also i dont remember if i actually gave you the link to Cory Walker's blog, its www.corenthal.blogspot.com, so go ahead and check that out.

Oh and if you ever call your work Bullshit of any kind again, i might slap you when i see you again, lol. HOLLA!

chuck said...

awesome! id love to see you do a book of this high fantasy type jibba jabba! rock on dood!

Paul said...

Wow, it sounds like you're quite dissatisfied with your work at the moment?

I know just what you mean when you talk about those invisible lines that the pen tries to follow. Like the ruts of a wagon's wheels, they only get deeper the more you travel the same path too :(

You mentioned that "These little headshots ... are attempts to break out of old habits when constructing a face and head shape", from which I assume that you've become dissatisfied with the default look that your drawing produces?
I'd also guess that the drawings you're referring to are largely unreferenced?

In which case, it seems that you're trying to break out of old drawing habits in a very frustrating way. By using only your imagination and memory to create a drawing, you're relying on and enforcing those same habits, but simultaneously trying to correct or change them.

I find that when my drawings get stale, I actually need to stop entirely, and reconfirm what it is I'm trying to achieve with them.

I'll go back and look at my old inspirations, try to find new artists to inspire me, and think about my sort of 'place' relative to everything I love and aspire to in art.

Then when I come back to drawing, I find it best to build things back up from the ground... relying heavily on life reference, so that when I experiment with new permutations of style, I'm building them from the ground upwards, rather than bolting them onto or forcing them out of the habits I have already.

All that being said, the results of your drawings look fantastic to me :) Your work has always been one of the things that ceaselessly inspires me to push mine as far as I can, and it's fascinating to get a glimpse of the process behind your finished work ^_^
Thanks so much for blogging it, and I hope what I've said is some help and not too presumptuous.

Fabrizio said...


it's the first time I come and visit your blog. I knew your name frome the comics and it's a plaisure to discover your blog!

Great stuff!

Greetings from Torino The Olympic City!


Natalie said...

Excellent viking dude. Actually, all your work is excellent!

I have to agree with Paul's comments. When I find myself stuck in the proverbial rut, starting from the ground up is the best way I have found to breath some new life in to my artwork.

Hope everything works out! :)

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