Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A weekend with Sean Gardner and Nick Mitchell doing zombies.

So last weekend, I was given one of what I feel was one of the biggest opportunities in time doing caricatures so far.  A couple weeks back I got a message from Sean asking if I wanted to come down to the VA Beach Tattoo Festival this year and draw Zombie Caricatures with him and Nick.  It was 7:45 in the morning when I first saw the message, but needless to say I went from half sleep to totally up in a matter of seconds.  In the back of my mind, this was something that I always thought would be really cool to experience, but nothing that I didn't think I'd actually get the opportunity to do.  So to get invited to do this was an offer that I couldn't refuse.  I had to work some scheduling magic to pull this off, but needless to say it happened and for three days I traveled down to the VA Beach Convention center to have at it with who I consider some of the best at caricature and art in general.

I will say that I've learned a ton of stuff this weekend, not just about drawing zombies, but I'd say it was a lesson on drawing itself.  I learned a lot from watching, some great critiques, and just drawing different people.  It's real cool to see where I started at the beginning of the weekend to where I ended up.  There's still plenty of room for improvement with all of them, but overall the weekend was a huge success.  It helped me get a better grasp on certain things that stumped me for a while, and it also made me realize the importance of line work.  When you're working on stuff with the kind of detail this has, it's important to really prioritize how you handle your line quality, as it can make the difference between an unreadable drawing, and one that's great to look at.  Watching them use lines in their work was awesome, especially since there's a lot of small nuances to what they do that you're not going to really notice unless you're there watching it happen.

Whenever I get another opportunity to do these, I will definitely make sure to push the boundaries even farther than I did this time around.  In the meanwhile, here's the blood bath from the weekend, all 16 of the unlucky dead.

 No. 1  The first one I drew the whole weekend.  Tried some new ink tricks here, but I can definitely see that I could've pushed some line weights a bit more.  One thing I noticed that they did was go back over their lines if it wasn't enough the first time, and it's something that I definitely should've done more with this.

No. 2.  A little bit better than the first.  Hair got a bit too stiff for my liking though.  And like before, could've used some better lines in spots.

 No.3 and 4. The first one I was really feeling.  Also the first double zombie sketch too.  So far it was all B/W drawings, but I feel like that was a good thing as it really made me work on my lines.

 No. 5  The undersketch had more life than the final drawing did.  I betrayed it's flow a bit too much, and got lost with some crucial things.
 No. 6 and 7.  The first color sketch, and the first one to incorporate blood effects.  It makes a world of difference and is totally worth the extra charge for it.  I like the expression on the guy.  And that side of his face looks really nasty.
 No. 8.  Fairly simple, but pretty solid drawing though I wish I detailed the exposed skull on his chin a bit more than I did.

 No. 9.  My favorite of the day.  Stuck to the undersketch pretty well, didn't shy away from the angle I wanted, and the likeness was pretty damn good.  People watching were really liking this one too.

 No. 10, 11, 12, and 13.  Walked right into this one right off the bat.  Actually got a little scared at the start from the idea of doing 4 on one, but I made it happen.  The beauty of doing it this way is letting your exaggerations and/or ideas fit the people on the page as opposed to four boring circles.  Creates a dynamic look for your work.  Also liked how I didn't have to shy away from a kid's actual facial quirks on this one.  Especially with the mouths and how the muscle makes it look underneath.
 No. 14.  Tried another downward view.  Pretty successful likeness, and a fun pose.
 No. 15 had a request.  He didn't want a double chin.  I can make that happen for you!

 No. 16, the last one of the convention, and the ONLY B/W one of the third day.  He wanted something involving tattoing on his drawing, so I made sure to get it out of his head.  Literally!  Tried some new exaggeration challenges with this one, and it almost totally came out like I originally envisioned it.

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