Archive for October, 2008

Character sketch

Posted in Uncategorized on October 27, 2008 by jddennis

This is Rupert. A plastic flamingo who’s going to feature in one of my webcomics. I don’t think I’ll tell you any more.



Posted in Sketches on October 25, 2008 by jddennis

This is a kind of special picture. I came upstairs last night, and found my little brother sleeping in his bed. He’s a real active kid who’d never really consent for me to sketch him while awake, so I grabbed the opportunity while I could. It was especially neat because, if you know him, you’ll see a lot of details that tell you about him. I won’t say much more, but I find it really sweet and touching.

Tasha the Hippo

Posted in Sketches on October 24, 2008 by jddennis

For Fridays, I thought I’d do something a bit different. Rather than post a picture that I randomly choose draw in my sketchbook, I plan to ask someone different each week what they’d like to see and then post the results.  To start off, I asked my four year old sister what she wanted to see me draw, and she said “Tasha from Backyardigans.” 

For those of you not hip to the viewing proclivities of the Nick Jr. crowd, Tasha is a yellow hippopotamus who’s got a bit of a sassy, controlling edge to her (it’s easy to see why my sister identifies with her). The more I see of the show, the more she seems to be the main character for little girls to identify with. 

I don’t really have a lot to say about the sketch itself. My sister liked it, so the main goal was accomplished.

If you have something in particular you’d like to see featured on a Friday, shoot me an e-mail using the form on the contact page, and I’ll see what I can whip up.


Posted in Sketches with tags , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2008 by jddennis

Gotta admit it — I’m something of a Star Wars nerd. I can recite major lines, I’ve read most of the books, I read the comics, I play video games, I have close to 10,000 posts attributed to my name on the official Star Wars forums… the only Star Wars related things I haven’t done are costuming, large-scale toy collecting, and the paper-and-pencil RPG (and that’s not for lack of desire). 

As part of my fall to the dark side, I picked up the book You Can Draw Star Wars earlier this year. I’ve dabbled around with it a bit, but not much. I had an early sketch of a TIE fighter that was moderately successful, but didn’t really wow me. Today, I decided to sit down and do a sketch of Yoda. It turned out to be quite good for a first attempt, if I must say so myself.

To touch on some of the more technical aspects, I used a 2B pencil to first do a quick sketch of the basic outline. Then, I inked it using an ultra fine point Sharpie. Sharpies are my pen of choice when it comes to writing, but I hardly use them for actual drawing. I don’t like how they bleed through to other pages, and also the ink isn’t archival (meaning that it will fade over time). Additionally, I find the lines to look fuzzy. I typically use Pigma Microns, which is a more expensive but overall better pen for the kind of work I want to do.  This year, when I went to Baltimore Comic-con, I was really surprised to see how many people in Artist Alley were using Sharpies to ink their sketches. So, I thought I’d give the Sharpie another try.

Overall, I think the inking is okay. The Sharpie allowed me to fill in the blacks rather quickly, but there still were some of the original issues that I disliked earlier. I doubt I’ll be using the Sharpie as a go-to pen, but it’s an okay resource for a little variety.

I like the picture quite a bit, overall. So far, I think its probably my favorite of the ones I’ve showcased so far. I think the eyes are a bit cattywumpess, but other than that I’m pretty happy.

Chester the Bear

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 22, 2008 by jddennis

My mom love teddy bears. As long as I can remember, we’ve had them scattered throughout the house, not as playthings, but as decorations. So, I guess it’s kind of natural that a couple of them have shown up in my sketchbook from time to time. This one, according to my dad, is Chester. He typically lives on the den couch, but I brought him up to the dining room for this particular piece. 

I’m actually fairly happy with the way this turned out, especially the face. It’s actually a pretty close approximation of him. I used a Pilot EasyTouch ballpoint pen to do the sketch, and I was glad with its responsiveness. I had tried a Pilot G-2 07 ballpoint gel pen earlier this evening, and was less than satisfied with the results. 

There are some things that I think could use improvement, of course. For example, I think the shadows could  be better. There’s no real clear delineation on Chester’s torso at all, and the piece suffers from it. I wish I’d brought the folds out in the tie a bit more, but like I wrote yesterday, that’s an area I need to improve on overall.

Moon Knight

Posted in Sketches with tags , , , , on October 21, 2008 by jddennis

This is a sketch of Moon Knight I did tonight at work. I had originally meant to ink it, but the pencil work became a little too frenetic for me even to try. I like the basic layout of the piece, but it shows where I need to do a lot of work. For example, I need to do a lot of work on my cloth folds. It’s something I’ve been aware of for quite a while, but I’ve never gotten around to doing it, and I think it shows. I did like how the smoke turned out, though. I used a paper towel, to smear it, and it made a nice ashy grey. If I had known I’d have been doing this as a pencil piece, I probably would have brought a blending stump, but like I said the piece kind of took a life of its own.

Another area that I found really hard tonight, and never really got to a point I liked, were his feet. I think they’re a bit to small for the body.

I definitely want to work some more on my comic book style art. It’s okay for an amateur,  but I want to push it to a more serious level. I’ll probably try to do some more of that on a weekly basis.

Is there a Monster?

Posted in Sketches, Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 20, 2008 by jddennis

This is just a basic sketch that really captures how I do things now — buggy eyes, dumpy body, wild hair. What would I like to improve about this? I don’t think the text is so hot. It’s legible, but it doesn’t look nice. I’m also not thrilled about the panic marks on the left side of his head. They’re a little too bulky too really be effective. Also, I think the picture would’ve been more dynamic if I had turned that single line into a corner. It would’ve added a bit of pop that it’s missing.