Monday, January 16, 2012

Getting ahead of myself

A little over a year ago I was reunited with a friend from junior and high school, artist Michael Sacramento, with whom I shared many a long bus ride home from Berkeley to Richmond. One things we shared was a love of comics and drawing, and Mike was always a few steps ahead of me. We now hold monthly sketching sessions, alternating between various locations in Berkeley and San Francisco. The Rising Tide Sketch Krew was the brainchild of member JJ Jose, whose line drawings address the plight of street kids in places like Manilla in the Philippines. JJ joins us from Stockton, and his commitment and enthusiasm is infectious. We met last Friday night at Au Coquelet on Milvia and University near Berkeley's downtown arts and entertainment center. This is a page of head sketches I managed to further develop during the session using the paltry selection of markers and pens I happened to have on hand that night.
I imagine that any one of these could be developed into a single expression sheet, and possibly even a quick sculpt using Sculpy. Structure and expression continue to be a challenge for me, although a few of these seemed to come to life a bit, especially after giving them a hit of color. I'm using Prismacolor markers from a set that's at least ten years old. Although, I must say that a drying marker is not necessarily a bad thing, and has some advantages over a fresh one.

I should also note that because I am left-handed, I work from right to left and keep the wire binding of my sketch pad to the right whenever possible. I've discovered through the years that the spine or binding of sketchbooks gets in the way of my hand as I draw unless I flip them to the non-traditional side. Sometimes I use a book with the binding at the top of the page in order to free both sides of the sketchbook from obstruction.

Every design comes out of a loose scribble that I then respond to and refine. I have no reference or goals in mind when I do these, other than filling the page, and pushing the variety of head types as much as possible. I'm not sure why, but my favorite, is the yellow-haired girl on the lower right. I think it's the overall shape and bounciness of her head.

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