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.
Posted by Joshua Middleton
Boy, it has been a while since I posted. I apologize for the delay. I have been anxious to share some of the stuff that has been keeping me busy, but sometimes I have to wait until projects are announced before I show off artwork, and it seems everything I have been working on lately is being kept under wraps.
Luckily, DC has just released solicitation info for one of my current assignments, so I can now post some art. Above is the final cover (the cover up on Newsarama is an earlier version with a slightly different Aquaman; the color is also screwy in their JPEG) for a special issue of Outsiders. Yes, I said after Superman/Shazam that I probably wouldn't draw another superhero book, but here we are. No capes, though. Does that count?
This is a one-shot issue which takes place in the Sahara and features magic and lots of elemental battle. I'm halfway through the interiors, and things have been going pretty smoothly on this particular issue, though I always wish I could have more time to put more into the art. Having sand dunes as most of my backgrounds definitely helps, however.
As a bonus, I managed to put together a little movie of the cover process. I don't know how educational it is, but hopefully it is at least mildly interesting. This cover went through some growing pains, with Aquaman as the point of contention.
Originally, I was told that the new Aquaman is a teenager, so I drew him as such. Not surprisingly, editorial became uncomfortable with the non-stereotypical comic book proportions, so I was asked to bulk him up and add some years to his face, which is not an easy task after an image is drawn and colored. In the end, I rendered more details on his face, and thickened his neck and waist. It wasn't a perfect fix because his proportions are now a little wonky (it still looks to me like an older dude's head on a kid's body with a thick waist), but that is how it goes sometimes.
There is much more to come, so stay tuned.