Tag Archives: eyes

Gratitude: Solitude

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Today was a weird day. This is a weird picture. 

The picture and the title don’t really go together, except inasmuch as you can see the corner of my office—bookcase and window—reflected in the eye, and my office is where I most often enjoy my solitude.

Some people have difficulty being alone, and some people have difficulty not being alone. I can cheerfully spend entire days without human company; it takes at least 3 or 4 hours of solitude a day to recharge my batteries. It takes a while to really settle into that quiet place, so I’m grateful for solitude.

This lovely blue eye belongs to my friend Scotty, who always shares my blog posts. I still don’t know how you light a person’s eyeball so you can really see all the detail of the iris in a macro image.

 

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I have a headache and now you can have one too

Alien world or weird filter? You be the judge.

Alien world or weird filter? You be the judge.

One of the hardest parts of drawing webcomics, for me, is the constant staring into the screen. My eyes, as I’ve written before, do not work all that well. They certainly don’t work like normal people’s eyes, and sometimes they betray me. Migraines, nausea, that sort of thing. When I was just writing 4 or 6 hours a day, it didn’t bother me, because I touch type, and by and large I don’t look at the monitor anyway, but I’m a much better typist than artist, and drawing a hand, or something like that, means squinting at the pixels and erasing and redrawing and shifting perspective, zooming in and out and erasing and redrawing again.

I’ve got a big analog project I want to tackle, which I will share when it’s ready, and tonight seems like a good time to start. No webcomic, no eye strain. There will be tiny scraps of fancy paper involved, but they won’t be backlit.

Instead, feel free to enjoy this weird portentous beach scene I painted about a year ago. My painting always looks pretty rough and experimental, because it is. I know nothing about painting. If I could afford it, I would take a class, at least something basic about technique, because I’d love to paint more, but it’s an incredibly expensive past time.

For that reason, I’ll probably be sticking to my Wacom tablet. You can have any size canvas, and any color paint, and it’s free.

Dragon Comics 33

I suspected this would become a problem early on, no matter how great Dragon looks in profile.

Professional comic artists, people who draw better than I do but perhaps not quite as well as they’d like, typically maintain massive clip files of art, so that they always have references for whatever pose or setting they’d like to draw. Fine artists usually spend a lot of time with live models, again providing them with extensive data on which they can depend when sketching. At the very least, many artists make use of articulated wooden models, which help them understand how the human body is put together and able to move. Barring that, today, if you’ve got a good connection and basic Google-fu, there’s a decent chance that you can find a photographic example of whatever’s inside your mind, if what you want is a fairly common thing from a fairly ordinary perspective.

Even so, you can’t find everything. Certain angles are just not represented in GIS. For example, in Dragon Comic 29, panel 3, I knew that I wanted to draw The Man squatting as he picked Dragon, and I was easily able to find many visual examples of this pose online, but most of them were intended as instruction for athletes, and for educational purposes shot either straight on from the front, or slightly angled from the side. There weren’t as many direct shots from the side, which is what I needed, so I had to extrapolate. And even so, The Man still curves his back in a non-ergonomic fashion. I image that he straightened out before he began lifting, so as not to hurt himself. He’s bigger than Dragon, but Dragon’s no featherweight, either.

Sometimes, I take pictures of myself in certain poses to help me see how to draw them. The more comics I draw, the less I have to do this.

The thing I couldn’t imagine, or Google, or photograph, of course, was my main character’s head. I could guess how it might look straight on, but I couldn’t be certain because there’s no frame of reference and my relationship with perspective is tricky. When I had the idea for comic 33, I needed a way to double check that what existed in my mind made sense in the reality of the comic, which I will discuss in tomorrow’s post. Like the smashing of the fourth wall, I think this new technique in my arsenal will help add more dimension to what the rabbit correctly asserted is a rather two-dimensional set of illustrations.