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Old 05-13-2021, 12:33 PM   #1
TimR
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Supes and Lex Luthor

Curious if you like or dislike this style, and why? Also any comments and crits on areas to improve is appreciated! Thanks-




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Old 05-19-2021, 12:43 PM   #2
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I am pretty familiar with your work so I know this is slightly less stylised approaches of yours I guess one could say. I like this style. It reminds me of the Mad Mag approach.
Lets look at the drawing. what jumps out at me is I am not convinced that the pose of Lex has been explored enough. I am not sure what should be done with it because I can not tell what you are going for. It seems too nebulous.
Even if the pose is right Lex also has too much going on with folds of his clothing which is distracting because you are trying to focus on the little sliver of face we can see. All those lines especially the lines cutting through or going against the flow to the face and distract from the focal point with their busyness as well as not conforming to how cloth works.
Super has some issues with anatomy around the arms and shoulders. Needs a little shaking out to find how it works,
Now you might ask, how does one shake out a drawing? Here is a little trick that Harvey Kurtsman did. Tracing over and over. Today we can use layers on the raster editor of your choice.
What I do is do the rough layout and while it is in the gesture stage I just erase. An arm or a leg are just one or two quick line so they can be changed quickly wiped and replaced quickly. As I get to a more complex stage I start to use a new layer and make a slightly more polished version and also for checking pose tweaks. If I think the head needs a little different tilt or what ever I dim the old layer and try the new head tilt.
After going over the drawing may times, many of the issues going on with this drawing can get shaken out. Harvey did ten or fifteen layers quite regularly just to get the pose right. I use more than that at times
This process gives me a chance to explore things like anatomy issues and pose options which I think any cartoonist should be concerned with as well as getting a clean rendering. That little tilt of the head can really sell something sometimes.
You have a few different approaches to style and this being more geared towards realism it requires more attention to thing like poses because people are more able to see the things that are out than they would be with totally stylised approach. You have a good sense of character so I am sure you can figure this sort of thing out.

Now some about your colouring and rendering.
The colouring is blotchy and not organised. the values are haphazard.
I am not sure what is going on with that green for instance. It seems to be a light by the reflections on the figures but it is not bright enough the be lighting anything. The green reflection on Lex make no sense. If that was a light source that green would be the predominant colour on the side of Lex that faces it.
Another issue is the saturation and values of the reds of Super’s suit and the back ground. You have the back ground darker and more saturated than the focal point[Superman]. This makes superman drop back in the image and is lost as the focus.
You have a complimentary colour scheme which is good but the red and green are same the saturation and value which makes them compete with each other and ends up making the image flat and over done at the same time.
I would like to see this fully inked. You have a great graphic sense and I think you should use that more. Get those shapes clear and define them well with an inked line and shape. You can fade them out later or colour them if needed. Right now they are inconsistent so the effect they have on the picture is different in different areas. If you are going to use pencil rendering be more consistent. I like your inks.
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Old 06-02-2021, 10:21 AM   #3
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I like the sketch, good layout/skill...
I'd clean it up a bit before coloring, but it could be a technique also... I've used a similar style before sometimes it works sometimes not.

JAM......................................

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Old 06-04-2021, 05:00 PM   #4
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Apologies for the slow reply... Forgot I posted this here.

artsnake- Thanks very, very much for the in-depth critique! Great insights. I will have to think on all of that. Will save to reread later too, maybe if I do another drawing in this style - things to mull over/ stay aware of.

JAM- yes, exactly... I sort of hit on the "style" by accident when I found this art pencil I had gave a nice shading effect, AND would accept wash/ watercolor without too much bleeding or smearing. Would like to try to develop it more. Sigh- so many projects...
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Old 06-06-2021, 01:18 PM   #5
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P.s. I'd be really curious, artsnake, if you wanted to hit this with a quick "shake out" sketch as you describe Kurtzman doing... I mean, if you felt so inclined. Obviously, don't do it if it's a bother.

Especially w/r/t the folds in the suit... Curious how what "fold theory" would properly say (I admit I'm not an expert on fold theory, I've read a little, but mostly just wing it.)

Or if anyone else wanted to take a stab at it...!
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Old 06-13-2021, 02:45 PM   #6
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here is my working over of this drawing.
I did not know what to do with Lex. I started with trying to spread out the limbs to establish the pose in silhouette better. no need to worry about any technique or anatomy at this stage. just tying limb placement.

I started to define things a little in the next layer. Cut this one short because I had another idea.

start again.I seem to have lost my ability to draw and reverted to to some protozoic state. this is where everything happens and I try a different foot placement and try placements for the hands.

the next layer I try to clarify some of the new pose but I am still recovering from the protozoic state. but it does show the possibility for oxygen breathing vertebrates.

next layer proves there is a possibility for this drawing to work though it is hacked out with only a rough technique just getting some of the shape placement down

The next layer is refining and moving things around as well as getting some of the details placed a little. start on Super here as well mostly getting that elbow in the right spot.

Next layer refining the pose getting the gun to stick out and making sure that shoulder is rotated back enough.
refine Super a little.not happy with Supers face and i think Lex's left leg is to long and if shortened would help with staying on chatactor design.

I am not sure if any of the desitions Imade here were the right ones you can see how one could "shake out" a drawing. This are all the layers I used and would probably do a few more before rendering.
no actual humans were sketched or drawn in this demonstration.
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Old 06-14-2021, 10:56 AM   #7
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I think you're overthinking things. The ones in your drawovers looks off balance, has a muddled silhouette (specifically with the gun and the arms) and isnt even looking at Superman.
I think Tims original Lex was fine....I maybe would've repostioned his right arm so that it clears up his silhouette. And maybe even have that specific hand gesture overlap the globe on the desk...which could work as a bit of a metaphor for Lex's super villain aspirations. Anyway my 2 cents.
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Old 06-14-2021, 06:04 PM   #8
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Dc you could be right. this was not an attempt to fix every thing it was more an attempt to show how one could find a pose.
I think Lex would probably work with him more twisted so his gun hand would be behind him and raised a little and that would give him a very solid silhouette but again this is just an example not trying to be a finished reworking.
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Old 06-16-2021, 04:58 PM   #9
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That's awesome! Wow! Thank you, artsnake, for demonstrating the "shakeout" process.
I do agree with Danny a little as far as it seeming laborious - I'm loathe to give myself new obstacles to "just gitting 'er done", when I'm already so unproductive as it is!

Though it's interesting, and I can see how Kurtzman, say doing layouts for the meticulous Will Elder, might want to have everything as "perfect" as he can get it. And with the Playboy magazine rates they got, could afford to do.

Also, I maybe should have emphasized - I was really after a visual insight into what you meant by the folds in mine "not conforming to how cloth really works"!
(But please don't trouble yourself more, what you posted is of great interest, and fun to see, to boot.)

DC- appreciate your 2 cents.. I value it far more highly than that :-P
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Old 06-16-2021, 10:20 PM   #10
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Oh yeah i forgot that part. First the theory of fold that i use is best described by Bridgman. I saw it in the back of his "Complete guide to Drawing from Life" there is a chapter on drapery. you can get it on line as a pdf.

As for what is wrong with the drapery in this drawing. The folds on Lex's upper sleeve are the kind one would get if the sleeve was twisted around the arm at one end. they are too pinched and bunchy to be hanging on the arm normally.
The coat coming down the back is not hanging on his body. It seems to be bunching and flowing randomly. I am not sure why the folds along the lower back going like that and the bottom of the coat looks ripped or something. I know intellectually what is going on by examining it closely but again because it is random it is not describing the object very well.
Bridgman Is the best start and maybe all you need. For anatomy also copying Bridgman drawings is amazing. I recommend copying every drawing in the "Bridgman's Complete guide to Drawing from Life" too anyone needing an anatomy lesson.

I understand it might seem laborious but to me to seems more freeing in that I can figure out one aspect of a drawing at a time. I can make sure the story telling of working before I have to make the anatomy work for instance.It also give me a structure discover things about the drawing that a quick run through might miss. It is usually preferable to visualise well before starting but sometimes hacking at it can work very well.
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Old 06-21-2021, 12:36 PM   #11
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YESS!! I love the dynamics of the process that goes into the creation of a stunning cover. I would go through the same to get the right posture and movement and impact. You did a great job, brother. Keep up the great work.
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