Friday, 31 May 2013

Day 6: One of the original Avengers....

José Buenaventura Durruti Dumange 14 July 1896 – 20 Nov 1936, or simply Durruti. Mechanic and anarcho-syndicalist revolutionary, Durruti was a key figure amongst the Anarchist faction of the Republican army during the Spanish Civil War. An inspirational character who died in disputed circumstances during the defence of Madrid against Franco's insurgents. There's just too much to say about this guy. Oh yeah, and he helped set up 'Los Justicieros' (The Avengers) in 1921, so Captain America can just fuck right off.

Graphite stick this time- 8 minutes again, so that's good. I confess, the Spanish Civil War and Mexican Revolutionary images seem to me to be part of the Strontium Dog inspiration- at least as much as the whole Sergio Leone spaghetti western. Look at that hat and the big collar- Kreeler, anyone? Oh the Irony! One more in this category to go, then it's a change of theme, I still have no clue what the next weeks portraits will be about.  

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Warming Up...

Last week I completed my first bit of comic work in maybe 2 1/2 years or so, for Strontium Dog fanzine Dogbreath, 2000ad's longest running fanzine. Now that's done, I thought I should concentrate on getting back to where I was at before illness struck. For no particular reason at all, I thought I'd do a quick character study of Laura Gonzalez- the nose-less, Latina, mutant Search/ Destroy agent. Regular Dog-Breathers might remember her in 'Shadow of the Mutant' and 'From Below'. I've said before that I like the character and I decided to mess about with her costume a bit as I still wasn't totally happy with bits of it in From Below. I did the usual drawing and inking, but this time inked it more for colouring- i.e. less black line shading.  I haven't really done a lot of photoshop colouring to comic stuff before, so it was just a quick and dirty job. Anyhoo- here's the results so far...
Click Image to enlarge

Day 5: Pancho Villa

Born José Doroteo Arango Arámbula 5 June 1878 – 20 July 1923, Pancho Villa is the other great figure of the Mexican Revolution. Met with a lot of initial success, but eventually deserted by most of his men after a catastrophic defeat where many of the Division del Norte were lost, they accepted an amnesty. Villa and some 200 of his men retreated to continue the fight, allegedly raiding American territory. I guess it's from this that we get the large bands of Mexican pistolero's in The Magnificent Seven and lookalike movies.

I liked that blue pencil so much, I used it again- should have sharpened it first though! 9 minutes this time- it was a blurry source photo- but I liked the pose- the crossed bullet straps and sombrero won it for me!

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Day 4: Red Clydesider MacLean

John MacLean, 24 Aug 1879 – 30 Nov 1923, legendary Scottish Socialist imprisoned in Peterheid for sedition for vocal protests against WW1, Subject of songs, poems and fitba chants and honoured by the Soviet Union with an avenue in Leningrad and an appearance on postage stamps.
I was quite happy with this one- 8 and a wee bit minutes, which was a surprise- weapon of choice was a blue colouring pencil of the el-cheapo variety. It was actually quite nice to draw with and seemed pretty effective for speed. I also like how, with different pressures, the blue seems to have different colours-it almost looks like two different pencils. Kind of reminds me of phthalo blue paint.

Day 3: Woodcock

George Woodcock May 8 1912 – Jan 28 1995, Canadian writer, historian and Anarchist thinker. A pacifist and WW2 conscientious object, called 'The Gentle Anarchist'.

Graphite pencil this time- broader tip made things a bit faster- 14 minutes this time. I'm looking to get the sketches down to the 10 minute mark. Once I can do that I'll start being a little more concerned about accuracy.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Day 2: Kropotkin

Next up, still with mechanical pencil, Prince Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin (9 Dec 1842 – 8 Feb 1921). Russian zoologist,writer, economist, scientist, blah blah and revolutionary anarcho-communist. Noted as believing that the authoritarian-communism of the Bolsheviks was a disaster for the revolution. Predicted that any state founded on such would eventually crumble and revert to Capitalism. Em... kaching!

18 minutes this time- trying to pare it down to 10, I think a normal pencil will help- maybe a 2b- the larger point should give me faster coverage.

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Back From Luna-1 (again)...

I just finished my first comic strip in over two years. Again, it's for Dogbreath- a 3 pager to get me back into the swing again. Still some rust needs worked out- but I'm glad I took the plunge and enjoyed doing it. In the meantime I got to thinking on ways I could get back on top of it again, and I remembered Matt  Soffe doing a blog on a sketch a day for a year. His work improved dramatically over that year, it was an inspired idea, so I'm going to give it a go. Starting with pencils for a while, I decided on this weeks theme being 'revolutionary figures'. First up, Emiliano Zapata Salazar- (8 August 1879 – 10 April 1919) was an important figure of the Mexican Revolution; leader of the Ejército Libertador del Sur and purveyor of finest mustaches.

Not the greatest likeness, but it's a start and the object is to improve on things. Mechanical pencil (yeah, I still manage to make it all messy with the anal-retentive's art-tool of choice) in about 25 mins or so.
I have some ideas for tomorrow's choice too.