Tuesday, October 9, 2012

More new stuff, and some changes being made.

 Pirate couple.  Both turned out well, but the dude was really nailed in this one.
 Random smoker at Festa.  Drawing this made me realize just how much better I've gotten over the years.  The sketches I did for the previous Smokers collection were all under sketched prior.  This one was straight to marker, and looks 10x better than all of them.  I want to do a few more of these before the season is up.
 He wanted to be holding his beer.  I threw his hand off a bit, and I should've had the foresight to bring his arm over a bit so it would make some sense.
 Simple style sketch.  Only took about three minutes tops.  There's a reason this is included amongst the group.
 Zombie practice.  Trying out some tricks to see what would come of it in case I actually did get someone who wanted to be a zombie.  And yeah, this was inspired by Sean Gardners approach.  Got to meet the guy in person a little over a year ago.  Absolutely fantastic artist.
 The results of that practice.  I've done these sketches before, but this is by far the best one I've ever done IMO.  I think I have a pretty good grasp on the coloring technique now, especially when looking at the woman.
Co-worker.  No undersketching at all, which meant if anything went wrong with it anywhere I either had to start it over, or just eat it.  There's a few things I might have done differently with the sketch if I drew her in tier 3 form a second time, but I do like how it came out in terms of likeness and risk taking overall.  A "doh" for making the shirt long sleeve when the official shirts are short, though given the weather that day I doubt she would've had an issue with it.
 Another fast, simple sketch.  Really sloppy looking, especially for my own personal standards, but they couldn't get enough of it.
 Quick kid.  Mom liked the first one so much that I ended up drawing his brother below.

And last, but not least, a drawing of one of the clowns in the scare squad this year.  And like with the zombie drawing from earlier, Petey the worm makes another appearance.  I honestly think he looks scarier than the actual clowns.

So, this year at the park has proven to be very challenging in a lot of ways.  It seems like people have been more fickle than ever about this stuff, and as a result of that I decided that I was going to knock down the amount of "good" sketches that I do in favor of the quick stuff.  Why?  Let me explain.

An issue that has cropped up time and time again for me over the years was people questioning the validity of the sketches that I do.  Now, I'm definitely not saying that every sketch I've ever done in the park was pure gold as that would be a boldface lie.  However, even when the sketches were dead on to the subjects I've overheard more people than enough this year making comments like "Does that look like him?"  "Do you think that looks like that guy"  "I don't know if I see that or not..." What I've come to realize is that for the average Joe and Jane, all they really want is a simple face sketch.  Doesn't really have to look like them, as long as it's cute, flattering, and says VERY little about them.  So for a little bit, I've done sketches for people this way...

This sketch was done in less than 2 and a half minutes in an effort to see just how low you could go.  I was honestly expecting this to be flat out turned down and rejected.  It's sloppy.  The coloring is half-hearted.  There's little to no likeness whatsoever.  So what actually happens?  Mom LOVES IT.  Thinks it's her little boy to the extreme, and gets the sister drawn right after.  Needless to say I was in shock.

All of a sudden I was making good money on a regular out there when I could get a crowd started, but damn did it take a toll.  Those sketches were making me absolutely sick to my stomach.  There had to be some sort of a compromise, as there was no way this would ever be acceptable to me in the long term.  So what I've done is decided to split the kind of work I do into three tiers.

 Tier 1:  The sketches that the average Joe and Jane will get.  Everything is simplified to where it's easy for anyone to process.  Features are more symbolized in this method, and the only method of sketching I'll do here is front face as it's the quickest way about it, and also the most straightforward for the average person to understand.  These shouldn't take anymore time than about 3 minutes tops, color included.
 Tier 2:  The sketches that people I know, but don't work with us or people that actually understand art a bit more.  Structure is emphasized more, and the coloring is slightly more elaborate.  Some shortcuts are still taken for the sake of time, but a little bit more time is taken with these.  Will do ones like these in either a front or 3/4 view depending on the face and what I feel is appropriate for the specific subject.  These sketches tend to take 3 to 5 minutes in B/W and 5 to 8 minutes a person in color.  Granted, past the 3 minute mark most people at a theme park are ready to go why this isn't done for just anyone anymore.
Tier 3:  Employees ONLY.  I know you and you work for us, specifically for my department.  Depending on the subject matter, I might spend every bit of one to two hours on it. I really try to push my boundaries with these, as IMO there's no point in doing anything like these if you're not trying to get better.  I only stop work on these when I feel it's either done, or I need to put it on the back burner so I can make some Tier 1 sketch money real quick.

That said, I HAVE been working on the tier 1 sketches to make them more digestible to my senses.  Especially as of the last couple weekends since I've been messing around with a more graphic style.  Still seems to appeal to the senses of the masses without offending so I guess at this point lets see how far it can be pushed before I have to pull back.

That said, that's all the news that fit to print.  Any comments or advice that you want to leave me, feel free to do so as this is a topic that I'd definitely like to get into a deeper discussion about.