Monday, June 30, 2008


You know, I really think I'm getting good at this drawing lark.

Here's a drawing I did three years ago when I first got my tablet. Bear in mind that this was an example of my best work and took me around an hour, not including inking and coloring:

Not great, right? Proportions are off, totally wonky nose...and you'll notice the hands are behind the back, because I totally sucked at drawing them (I still do, although not quite as badly).

Then today, I sketched this (fellow geeks may recognize her as Emma Frost from X-Men) in approximately 20 minutes:

I know it's not exactly fantastic. The left hand (her left) looks a little wonky and I have a real problem with foreshortening (as you can see on her right arm)...but I think you can agree there's a significant improvement. The best part is that this was literally a twenty minute 'sketch'.

As you can probably guess, 3 years ago I couldn't have drawn that on my best day, even if I took hours.

Plus, I took almost 18 months 'off' drawing in between the two pictures, so this is only about an year and a half's worth of improvement.

Yep, I'm totally just posting to pat myself on the back... but ... Who cares?

Oh, and before someone stumbles across this and decides to 'call me out' and tell the world that I 'copied' this picture or wants to accuse me of tracing... I totally and freely admit that I used an Al Rio drawing as reference for the second sketch.

I did not, however, trace a damn thing. I just printed out the original drawing, taped it to my drawing table next to a blank sheet of paper and sketched away. Considering a lot of professional comicbook artists use photographs and other reference for difficult poses or splash pages, I don't see it as a 'cheat'.

Anyway, just a quick note to any other aspiring artists out there. This is why I never compare my own work to established artists. One of the reasons I stopped drawing for 18 months was because I would hold my own work up next to something by Adam Hughes, Al Rio or Jim Lee and get totally frustrated.

Then I realised what I was doing. Jim Lee was drawing professionally for Marvel comics when I was about three years old...He's an artist with literally decades of experience under his belt...and I was getting frustrated because I wasn't good as him after only 6 months of drawing 'seriously'.

My point is, if you want to stay motivated, only compare your work to your own earlier works. That way, you see how much you've improved...instead of wondering why you're not matching up to 'the masters'.

1 comment:

Sunny said...

Yeah- I used to think you were really good when you drew your FIRST one- now the difference is awesome.

(If they saw your first oil painting they would be amazed too.
I'm STILL jealous!