Every once in a while I draw things for other people! Sometimes they’re characters I don’t recognize, or even understand. Sometimes I understand all too well.
I have a dare going with the universe: Surprise me! Confuse and shock me! Astonish me with something nobody’s even imagined! Thus far the universe has declined to participate.
“No, not a wolf,” my wife told him. “You sing constantly. And randomly. With songs you make up on the spot. You love sunshine and shiny things and the colour yellow. You are a canary. You are the most canary!”
Michael agrees that this is true, and this Christmas commissioned me to draw him as a canary character from Gatchaman, an anime about ninja teenagers with bird powers. Michael’s powers include the sonic tweet, a grappling-hook iPod, a small mirror with which to reflect devastating solar ray attacks, and a small dish of water to take baths in. And something involving cuttlebones.
I am told I am, for the curious, a large long-haired calico housecat, the type who are fastidious, take up a lot of space around the house, and are alternately aloof or giddy on our own mysterious schedules.
Future… Spider-Girl? Is comforting future… Scarlet Spider… who is a girl? Because Black Cat is dead. Which certainly would be bad.
Okay, as is probably obvious, I’m an avowed DC boy. But when I get a commission–which is what this was–I’ll draw whatever! That’s what Google Image Search is for.
I needed to update my pricing for commission sketches at conventions. And by update I of course mean rip off completely from my wife.
The premise is logical, and is one of those things that seems obvious in retrospect: it’s not nearly so much effort or time to draw a character’s head or bust than it is to draw a full figure. Therefore it should cost less.
I wanted to do a new ink drawing as an example and decided to do a gargoyle pinup since I hadn’t done one in a while. (And listening to Gargoyles Reawakening makes me nostalgic!)
So then of course I had a new ink drawring that needed Illustratoring. Just for funsies! I also made her a blonde and coloured her all bright gold, which I never do. Also for funsies!
For more funsies, spot the differences between the analog pen version and the finished digital version!
I don’t really get anime.
However, I do get anime commissions from time to time, which is mystifying because my wife’s table is right there. This commission, the first one from the Edmonton Expo last month, is quite appealing: a young girl from one (movie? video game?) standing back to back with a guy wearing implausible and probably compensatory armor from a completely different video game. In a field of sunflowers. Awesome!
It wasn’t hard to find perfectly nice reference material for the girl. But then, of course, anime reared its ugly head. (Mom, don’t click that.) And that’s why anime makes me sort of uncomfortable and itchy. I know it’s not all like that, it isn’t even mostly like that, but when I think of anime this is what I think of.
Nevertheless, commissions are fun! Two more left to go! And then a River Song magnet.
Hello from MisCon in Missoula!
This was a pencil-and-ink commission I did at the Calgary Expo. I’m always a little envious–if envy is the right word–of artists who can work in natural media, because they can generate finished full-colour art while sitting at a table in a convention centre. I really can’t, unless there’s power. And a very patient client who doesn’t mind waiting around while I fiddle and fiddle with bezier nodes.
I’m a fiddler. Even Photoshop’s multiple levels of undo isn’t enough: I need Illustrator’s ability to tiddle around with every single object, all the time.
Anyway, once I finished the Rogue and gave her to the client I decided I wanted to do a Rogue print, fixing all the errors I could see in the inked drawing the second I finished it. (Sigh.) And I wanted to play around with the WWII nose art that Kyle’s been doing lately. And I thought, who would have Rogue painted on the nose of their plane?
Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, of course! In the sense that no, they couldn’t possibly, it’s a completely different galaxy and also in the past.
I don’t care, I amuse myself greatly!
This is the second of my Calgary Comic Expo commissions: a girl named Jaime asked me to draw her as everyone’s favourite My Little Pony. Fortunately she was already dressed as Rainbow Dash so not a lot of artistic license was required!
I did have to do some artistic research, though. It’s pretty interesting to google anthro My Little Ponies. Don’t do it at work!
The first of my post-Expo convention commissions is done! (link at furaffinity)
Kind of the best part of commissions is that I often have almost no idea what they mean. It just adds to the fun! All I know about this is that it’s a height joke–which makes it all the more appealing to me, as my whole life is a height joke.
I do this every time.
Here’s a sketch for a swim team’s shirts! I initially drew him wearing a shirt because I felt a nude muscular shark-man was a little saucy for a kids’ swim team, and of course pants would be problematic, logistically speaking. But I was outvoted and the shirt came off because it was pointed out that sharks don’t wear them. True enough!
I was hired to create a cover for an e-book called Bert the Barbarian by Brent Nichols: go check that out on Amazon! And try not to fall off cliffs onto swords; there’s nothing good about that idea.
This was a tricky pose, I had to take a couple of swings at it. I could visualize it but I couldn’t hack it out properly. So finally I had Lisa take a picture of me dangling off the bed and that worked a lot better.
I’m not posting that picture.
And so we come to the last of my Comic Expo digital commissions: Mina Harker (née Murray) from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, commissioned by Robin as a gift for Maire which explains the knitting.
Well, it explains it if you know Maire. If you don’t, take my word for it: the knitting reference is extremely witty and clever.
If you don’t know The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, you should know that that is also extremely witty and clever and you shouldn’t judge it by the movie, which wasn’t.
This was a commission that I can now post, since the convention it was for was last weekend. Evidently Michael Dorn and Brent Spiner once put Marina Sirtis’ pet Yorkie, Skilagi, into a microwave as a practical joke. (They didn’t turn it on.)
The commissioner wanted to commemorate the moment as a cover to a 50s pulp comic. He had Marina Sirtis autograph it at the convention, and reports that she liked it.