In the last Easel Update, I promised that the next post in this series would feature more exciting subject matter.
Well, consider that promise fulfilled, as this month, every sketch features an actual, bonafide superhero or villain – all taken from the (admittedly obscure!) stable of artist Andy Smith’s 90s comics series, The First Man.
First up, we have a sketch of superheroine Penumbra. This was my first attempt at a more polished figure drawing, and as such, there are some issues with the basic anatomy.
The main problem area is the torso, with the waist much too chunky, and the breasts poorly rendered, too. The inking is also a little off in places (especially in the face), and the colours are very basic (although as with all these pieces, the colours weren’t meant to be the focus).
That said, the foreshortening here isn’t too bad – all the limbs are in proportion and the perspective is about right. All in all, not a terrible first effort.
Moving on, and we’ve got a sketch of main hero Apollo. The anatomy here is a lot better, and even the colours are much improved.
On the downside, the inking is still a bit erratic, particularly the feathering to indicate the transition for light to shadow.
Still, this constitutes a step up from the previous doodle, so no frowns here!
Now we’re talking! Here we have my take on The First Man‘s big bad, Monarch – and it’s pretty good, if I do say so myself!
The anatomy is solid, the inking – whilst far from perfect – is less heavy-handed and more varied, with more elegant feathering. Likewise, even the simplistic colouring effort works nicely.
It’s not 100% successful; the pose (including the foreshortening) could be more extreme, and the muscular structure could still use improving. But again, moving in the right direction here.
And now we hit a snag – I wasn’t overly thrilled with my rendering of rotund hero Blubberboy.
This is why the colouring is even less skillful than usual: to be honest, I kinda just wanted to wash my hands with it all!
On the other hand, for all its faults – terrible feathering everywhere (especially the gloves), a too-reserved pose, and shoddy anatomy – it has at least one pro.
It’s a decent stab at trying out a different body shape to the typical uber-ripped superhero figure, and therefore, I can’t completely hate it!
Fortunately, we get to finish on a positive note! This sketch of slender speedster Stick is far from perfect, but it’s a good collection of scribbles nonetheless!
The pose is nice and dramatic – even if the anatomy around the waist doesn’t quite hold up to close scrutiny! – the foreshortening is pretty much spot on, and the basic colours do the trick.
The inking is decent overall, as is the feathering; although unfortunately, the rendering on the neck is much too heavy, which is a shame.
Even so, there’s a lot in this sketch – and the others above it – to suggest I’m making good progress, which is the main thing!
That’s all for this entry; I hope you enjoyed it. The next Easel Update will probably represent a marked departure in content, however.
That’s because not only have a moved on to focussing on perspective, but I’ve also started an intensive art course!
Until then, keep following The Studio on Instagram for further updates!