|The original Lost Skies logo. Seeing the sailing ship lost among the clouds gives a better idea of what I meant by the term "Lost Skies". I think it may be time to bring this l'il guy out of retirement.|
It’s been a long, crazy month. We’ve been dealing with a myriad of home repairs that I won’t get into here, but suffice to say it dominated most of my time. Outside of that, we just went through the busiest time of the year for my day job. While I enjoy it, it really makes for some stressful days. A vacation is certainly in order!
All that said, up until recently I haven’t been able to put the time I want to in drawing. I did take at least a half hour every night to do some doodles to unwind, mostly heads and some gesture work. I normally work from my imagination. I have picked up an exciting art commission- I’ll talk more about it when the time is appropriate.
I’ve been giving quite a bit of thought as to my professional future. My good friend Robert Schaupp has given me some great advice and encouragement. He is certainly on the same journey as I am, we are taking different approaches and some what parallel but different paths. He has his sights on the big two: Marvel and/or DC. There is no doubt in my mind that he will achieve his goal. I, myself, want to become a Star Wars comic artist or a book cover/interior page artist like Michael Whelan, or Clyde Caldwell, Larry Elmore, Boris Vallejo, Frank Frazetta... aiming the arrow high! But that's what you need to do in order to achieve great things.
So a big part of all this is gearing up to work professionally. I certainly believe that solid draftsmanship skills are essential. And that comes with practice. But how do you know if your getting any better? One piece of advice that Robert constantly gives me (and I’ve heard and read before) is so deceptively simple that we need constant reminders to use it. Mirror your work. What does that mean? If it’s in Photoshop, flip horizontal. If you have a mirror at your desk, look at the work's reflection… or do what I do- hold it up to the light from the backside. ALL of your drawing problems will become very apparent!
The thing I see mostly in amateur work are lopsided eyes. It’s plainly evident to me when I see them… and it’s the first thing I check with my own art via the mirror method.
So what’s next? After this commission, I have some small freelance items, then back to the graphic novel. To be honest, I wouldn't mind doing some more finished painted pieces- it seems to truly be my first love (aside from my gorgeous wife, of course).