6/20/07

Lost girl


I was looking for a couple of specific sketches to send to a friend when I came across this one, which I neglected to post with the other girls a while back. In this example as in the previous entries, I was just trying to get a feel for the character and didn't put too much thought into the details.

Often times, I try to focus on the atmosphere of the character first, then worry about how exactly they will wear their hair or their clothes after I understand who they are. Knowing the "feel" of a character really helps in deciding the details. It is easy to get lost in or hide behind the costuming, whether it is excessive accessories or superfluous costume details. It is fun to work through the process when designing a character or world, and having the time to edit down and refine one's ideas is a precious luxury not often afforded to mainstream work.

On the other hand, it can sometimes be a problem dressing characters when the inspirational sketches are overly atmospheric or impressionistic; any exact details seem to overwhelm the figure. I try to look for the balance between the inspirational sketch and a clean, consistent design which can be turned around and moved throughout a page.

There is no harm in cheating the design or going "off-model" every now and then, however. For example, if it is a more effective shot to lengthen the hair, the cape, or even the limbs of the figure itself in a particular panel, I try not to be afraid. Pushing the drawing when necessary brings life. Sometimes it is good to draw what we think we see, or what we "feel" we see, rather than what is, or what we think should be.

At least, that is what I am telling myself this time.

J

26 comments:

Scott Forbes said...

I really admire you as both an artist and a teacher you could say. Not many other artists provide such a great insight towards both their skill and the advice that they might have learned.

This entry has helped me a lot, since I am on a 10 hour drive going from New London to Canada doing nothing but drawing and writing, specifically the characters in the story, and your help in fleshing them out has helped a lot.

Thank you, and that's an awesome drawing, when will we be able to know what it is for?

Joshm said...

I have no insight to offer, but one thing I know is when I need inspiration I come to your blog and read what you have to say or watch your sketch videos. In summation, I'm grateful that you love to share your process with us. Thanks!

Fritz said...

Looks like the file name confirms what some have been speculating in the comments on the other posts... Can't wait for this, the sketches look awesome and I love Carroll's original books. Please don't make us wait much longer ;)

Michael Mason said...

Beautiful piece, and I agree with what you say about taking time to get to know the character. Even when making a character up, I find it's nice to think about who they are first..this often leads to costumes that I would never have thought of in the first place.

The same goes for made up creatures..what environment do they inhabit etc.?

Joaquin said...

Me envanta, me gusta mucho las chicas que dibujas.

Mishkin said...

Great one, as usual. Very beautiful!

Fabrizio said...

YEAH, I agree. She's cute and great. She seems a little sad too.

Very expressive

Ashley A. Woods said...

cool! almost looks like a costume i wore back at ACEN earlier this year...

BLAS said...

Great Works!! Congratulations! I buy NYX the nex week!!
Impresionantes los trabajos!! Saludos!!

Richard Ortiz said...

Great art as always! It is incredible what you do with your pencils Josh, you just make them talk and sing and dance.
I love this character, I think she fits you perfectly.

Frasier Olivier said...

wow! très sympa ce dessin...
Bravo

Rodrigo said...

Hi, i'm kinda new to your art,its really cool. wondering if in the "making of a sketch" video you used wacom or tablet pc?

EGO said...

Another amazing work!!!... You are really GREAT!!!

Good luck

Kyle said...

Hi Josh,
I just wanted to drop by and say "I really like your work". It reminds me a little of Arthur Rackham meets Winsor McCay with a hint of Mucha. Well done!
Kyle

pik said...

I found the link to your site while looking the blog of Humberto Ramos, and i think that your style is amazing, very clean and... sorry i can remember how to write the word "detalle" in inglish, but the point is that your drawnings and the final work is great.

Randy Bantog said...

I like your works. Your style is unique and refreshing.

ausonia said...

I adored NYX.

orionlesc said...

Your drawings are amazin, can express in english what I feel. Really.

Joshua Middleton said...

Thanks everyone for the nice comments. I am always so pleased to see so many folks from around the world. The internet really is a powerful thing.

I have been super busy wrapping up a comic for DC (just coloring now), and will get around to posting some new personal drawings in the next week or so. I might post some of the DC pages as a little preview, too.

More soon, and thanks again. No matter how many times I say it, I can never properly express my gratitude for all of you taking the time to look at my work. Your comments are always very much appreciated!

J

nati said...

i've always been a fan of your illustrated and sequential works, and i'm looking forward to seeing that new "Alice" project you're working on!
kisses from italy.

COMIKXGUY said...

HI EVERYONE, THIS POST IS COMING FROM SKOTTIE YOUNG'S BLOG -



I THINK THIS NEEDS TO BE READ:



"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the desire to be very grown up."


C.S. Lewis said this when people asked him why he wrote books for children. This reminds me to keep in mind the origin of what I love most...drawing. Before I knew what Marvel or D.C. was, before I knew what a comic book, or super hero was, I drew pictures. I love drawing. I can't recall what I liked drawing the most, probably because I drew so much there is no way to remember. I drew all the time, with any tool that created a line on paper.

Amongst the contracts, negotiations, signings, failed projects, good and bad reviews, deadlines, tussles with editors and studio execs., 35 airports a year, the same convention halls over and over, and anything else that goes along with the professional artist label...it is easy for me to forget what I wanted to do this for.

I love drawing.

That's the end of it really. I love it. I love the kid that lives here no matter how many books I sell, or how much money I put in the bank. I need to remind myself to put away the childish "desire to be very grown up." and just put pencil to paper. I never used to need anyone to like what I drew. I didn't know to want it. I just wanted to turn a blank piece of paper into something, anything, just as long as it looked fun. An animal, a world that I have never seen, a twist on the world I have. Amongst all the things that have over shadowed that ideal, I have lost the child.

After hearing this quote, I wrote it down and pinned it on the bulletin board in front of my table. That's why these warm up drawings started happening. I always told myself I didn't have time to draw anything for fun, I had to work. But, like those parents who have kids and need to make time for them no matter what...I am reminding myself to do the same.

PLEASE GO TO SKOTTIE YOUNG'S BLOG AND COMMENT THERE

AND REMIND YOURSELF TO DO THE SAME

THANKX

Marco Hasmann said...

Sweeet! I loved your job on Superman-Shazam, and still NYX is one of my favourite books.

Su said...

Terrific!
I love your works.

Congrats.

Kiss,
Su.

Diantres said...

wow you have a blog!! amazing!!!

+added to my favourites' blogs!

great style man!

Ivan said...

Que bien dibujas, Cabronías.
Un saludo desde Spain, de un dibujante que te admira!

Pablo Hernandez Delgado said...

Wow!! your work is amazing! Ilove it your character designs *_*