Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Style or Another Thing I Learned Whilst Doing Sketch Cards

I am about 20-25 cards from finishing my first sketch card obligation.  I pray that I get more doing these after this job but thats not up to me.

What is up to me is to share the things I gave learned while doing these cards.

My previous post was the first thing I learned and that is not to do likenesses. The companies can't use them for legal reasons so don't do it.

This second thing is this. Style comes from drawing a lot the way you are comfortable.  The way you want to draw that is fun for you.
You can't "invent" a style. Or better yet you can invent a style but it won't stick.  You will get tired of the mechanics of it or the look of you new style and you will change it. I've seen pleny of artists decide they their style was "Cartoony" just to see them change it in a month to realistic. Or draw in beautiful black and white expertly inked and then decide that they want to go loose and sketchy a month later.
In trying to define your style you build a box to put your art in and creativity doesn't work that way.

Not saying its wrong to try to draw something like Mignola once in a while for fun but you are not Mignola. We all have our influences and thats good.  In the 90's the Image guys all had people in thier individual studios that drew like the founder.  Lee and Homage (currently Wildstorm) had Clark, and Choi, and Protacio all clearly heavily influenced by Jim himself. Look at those artists early work with Homage and thier work now and they stopped mimicking Lee and started drawing the way they were comfortable that was fun and let them hit deadlines.

You recognize an artists work because they have done a body of work that you are familiar with. You pick out the way McFarlane draws a face or webbing and it registers. Next time you see webbing like that you remember the artist. Odds are if you are over 30 that last sentence conjured up the vision of McFarlanne's webbing. 

The way Lee draws a mouth, Liefeld draws eyes and foreheads or Sale draws anything. You know the artist by what you refer to as his style. What you refer to style the artist refers to as "just the way I draw".

You set down and draw enough people and you will start too see a pattern in how you shape a head or a nose.  In the way a hand is blocked in.  It's not because Jim Lee is trying to draw like Jim Lee.  It's because thats how Jim Lee draws. If you have a professional comic book artist a piece of paper to sketch in at a comic con they will return the paper to you in a matter of minutes.  Sometimes seconds, and you know what? A McNiven sketch looks like a McNiven piece. Without trying, just cranking out fun art and goofy sketches

I have a few friends thru Twitter that are fellow artists. Kev Brett & Mike Jackson are both great inspirations to me and I love to see their work.  I can tell their art from other people's art now because I've seen so much of it and I know both of them just draw.   They have to draw.  It's not about finding a style to them they just draw something and the line weight or the coloring or the lines of a face all Scream Mike or Kev.  They might get more control or more skilled at thier art but you show me a drawing from either of them 5 years ago and I bet I'll recognize it. It's consistency that creates a style.
If you are not consistent then you DONT HAVE A STYLE.

Thanks for reading.



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