Monday, October 31, 2011
The Detailed Drawing
I took a couple of days over this detailed pencil drawing, getting everything as right as I could and trying, for once, to delineate everthing that could be described in line, not excluding some interior contours. I mentioned with regard to my crazy animator painting that I tended to be sketchy and vague about background and architectural detail at this stage, but I recognize that that can ruin an otherwise impressive piece.
I had almost no reference material that I could work with. For example, a Google search for vaulted stone chambers got me nothing that I could use. The walkway, however, is patterned after the structure of Roman aquaducts; I just reduced the scale. The entry archway at the back is the only architectural feature that ended up changed in the final painting.
As we will see, there were very few major deviations of any kind from the drawing. Besides the arch, the other significant example is the face of the fellow third in line. I will talk about that when we get to it.
Of the faces, all but one are imaginary, including the guy in front who turned out looking like Lex Luthor as drawn by Wayne Boring, a major DC Superman artist of the '50's. (Boring's characters were drawn rather stiffly and with a narrow range of expression, and his Lex was allowed to be chunky and a little sweaty, as compared to the sleek and stylish creature which has now evolved.)
The exception is the face of the young woman second in line. Though imaginary also, she is, as nearly as I could make her, an H.J. Ward girl, which is almost to say she is to pulp art what the Gibson Girl was to Edwardian illustration. Here are a couple of H.J. Ward cover details to illustrate:
Disclaimer needed here? As these examples illustrate, pulp magazine covers of many genres, including weird, detective, adventure, western and science fiction, involved the depiction of people threatened, people in fear, especially women. It was seldom that the stories fulfilled the titillating promise of the covers, but the covers sold the magazines, and that was what mattered. By today's politically correct standards they were outrageous, but I do not apologize for them; they are what they were.
Next: Adding Color