Hard Hairpin Left (Maybe)

It looks like I am starting up a web comic. A friend of mine and I have been discussing it on and off for a while, and we both have just enough time and technique to do it. :)

It’s called Hard Hairpin Left (Maybe). Andrew is writing the comic, which is a pseudo-autobiographical surrealist farce thing. I’m sure these terms have exacting definitions from formal criticism that I’m not quite right about, but you get the general drift.

There’s a gallery for it over here. We’ll also have our own hosting for it eventually, but for now I’m just posting materials here in dA.

I even finished our first strip (or least its first iteration?)

From a general artistic perspective, I was surprised. Most of my attention has been going to painting, either digital or traditional. When I decided to start dorking around with line drawings and illustration again, I found that my ability to render what I saw or imagined was much improved. The same was true of my pen control.

I’ve been using MyPaint to draw and ink the cartoons, and GIMP to lay out the frames and straighten up the final image before uploading.

Measurable Improvement

61b436fa47273fe1e06a3ec413be2536.cacheYou know what they say, practice makes perfect better.

I started my next painting yesterday at Brushworks. This one is a plaster cast (taken, one assumes, from a statue of some kind) of one quarter of a face. It contains the eye, cheek, and eyebrow.

It’s really quite similar to doing a still life.  The difference here is one of focus.  In still life, you’re interested mostly in composition.  There are also questions of color, shape harmony, negative space, etc.

Casts, on the other hand, are all about value.  (insert Barenaked Ladies reference here)  My own value scale is pretty tight, particularly in the mid tones.  This means that I have a tendency not to make the steps in value in my paintings large enough, resulting in a flat-looking, boring image.  Since the cast is white, all you have to worry about are the values as shadows proceed across the surface.  This ability to focus will be very useful, I think.

0572293a70fe5b392d2f1cc2c4b0c6c3.cache Yesterday I did the initial charcoal drawing.  Once again, I learned fun new things.  My charcoal is way too soft and dark for initial underdrawing; vine charcoal is on my shopping list for the future.  I have definitely gotten faster at the initial drawing.  I’ve also gotten far more accurate.  When I did my first sight-size drawing for the still life with vases, I had to redo almost every measurement by the time it was over.  This time, I really only had one set of measurements that were off, and the most complicated part (the eye) was fine after the first try.  I’m pretty proud of myself.

Next week, I should start putting paint on the canvas.