So when I'm drawing, I'm trying to recreate that experience for myself. Most of that comes down to my inking. I study a lot of exceptional artists like Williamson, Frazetta, Klaus Janson, Jorge Zaffino, Alex Nino and Toppi. I love that old skool look. I love evidence of the inking tools like the brush and the pen nib. I don't want my work to look like "a computer drew it" - which is what artists sometimes hear every now and again. If it's too clean, it lacks humanity, poetry and playfulness. Where is the mystery if you know or can guess how an artist will handle the lines and tones that create a particular form? An arm, a face, a rock or a tree?
In my early days I wanted desperately to display a precise and clean line. Ultimately, I believe that because of the practice and precision of goals like that I developed solid control of most inking tools. Brushes, pen nibs and rapidiographs. But when I left the comic book field and pursued design and advertising - I relied less and less on the finished look I crafted for superhero comics. I found myself drawing more and more like the artistic heroes I had as, basically, a child. I liked John Buscema's Conan. I liked it when he inked himself or when Tony DeZuniga did finishes on him. Bold lines and plenty of Zip-a-Tone. I also poured through the Ballantine Frazetta books and studied his work endlessly. That lead me to Al Williamson. I was introduced to Alex Nino later on [ before I was even a teenager ]. Later I was shown Toppi and my father introduced me to the advertising illustration of Bob Peak. As a fan of Klaus Janson I was naturally a fan of Jorge Zaffino's powerful and dramatic inking style. Reckless, strong and uncompromising.
So, years later, when I returned to comic books I struggled. My first attempts looked like cousins of my earlier work. I was very dissatisfied. I quickly discovered that I could draw in the style I developed outside of the comic book world and it wouldn't be disregarded. Instead, I was nudged to go further by artists I respected like Dave Johnson. Today I'm still trying to narrow down a specific look. But I never want my work to be mistaken by anyone that maybe a computer program was used. My goal is to reawaken the fan in me. I hope to keep things interesting so that anyone reading the comics I draw looks and wonders a bit.
Blah, blah, blah. Ramblings of a never satisfied artist.
Thanks for sharing, Dan
That said, I don't believe you wrote this. Robo-Dan, computer-man wrote this.
I'll just be over here twirling my guns, trying not to shoot my own toes off.
When I finally decided that I want to work in comics something that I had put off for a long time I re discovered a lot of artists I had dismissed as a teenager. I finally saw the power and the sublime sense in their works even if it wasn’t all flash and thunder. Trends come and go but good work stands the test of time.
Jack Kirby is one of them. Neal Adams is right. You need balls to draw like Kirby. I might as well add Gene Colan to that list.
BTW your work does evoke those B&W legendary masters you mention. And ‘never satisfied artist’ is good. Always.
Looking forward to more !
I see how it is!
I was hyping your art long before you even came to the WB.
I'm just glad you are FINALLY doin your own thing.
Keep kickin a$$ and leave a little for the rest of us to
kick from time to time.
Well said sir, well said.............
I grew up with the same influences. John Buscema, Zuniga, Klaus Janson, etc..
But I'm still looking for my style after so many misconceptions.
You've found a style that is totally awesome!
As far as the whole topic about art that looks so perfect "it looks like a computer drew it"...
I have to draw digitally (with Cintiq) for my day-job (drawing storyboards for TV animation).
But when it comes to drawing my comic book projects and illustrations - I am still, primarily, an old-fashioned, traditional ink-brush guy. Then I only use digital tools for adding color and lettering. I fully admit Photoshop is great for those tasks. But yeah, I try to keep the actual drawing part (which is 99% of the job) as traditional pencil & ink as possible. As you say, the "imperfect" quality is what keeps it looking organic and natural!
Matter of fact I wrote a whole diatribe about "traditional vs. digital" back in 2007, when digital tools like the Cintiq were just starting to emerge in a big way, and some of my fellow illustrators were calling me a luddite for sticking with old traditional tools... See the Artist's Comments on my "Wolfman In Winter - inks" illustration, if you care to read it: bryanbaugh.deviantart.com/art/…
And as far as the other topic you raise, about art style, when drawing for comics/ dropping out of comics -
I get the feeling comics publishers want that "too perfect" style. Personally, I can't get much work in comics these days. Every once in a while I'll get a little horror comic gig, but most editors and art directors reject my stuff for being "too cartoony" (yeah, that's my sob story)... So I just keep working in animation and drawing and self-publishing my own comics on the side, as a fun hobby. I figure, as long as I am having fun and able to make a living drawing, I can't really complain.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on your thoughts.
Again, great Journal.
There's nothing wrong with being unsatisfied. It's the first step toward new growth.
This makes a lot of sense.