Archive for black and white


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.