It’s Monday and that means it’s time for another sketchdump. I’ve got a bunch of stuff from the last week to share with you. I’ve also had a few people ask if I could talk a bit about my process when I’m sketching. I’ll try and do that this time for those interested.
Sitting down in front of a sketchbook has always been scary for me. A book full of blank pages is intimidating. Part of the reason I only draw when I have a job to do is because it’s easy. I have a specific job that needs to be done and I know what I need to draw. Opening a sketchbook with no idea what to draw is hard as hell for me and maybe it is for you too. There are lots of games and tricks you can try to help loosen up and start sketching. These ideas have been around for ages and you can find lots of them online. There are two that seem to work especially well for me. The first one I just call the line game.
Basically you draw a quick shape or simple line and then try and turn it into something. This is a game I used to play all the time as a kid. For the sketches above I used one color for the initial line and then used a second color to figure out what it was.
The next one that really helps me break through the sketchbook paralyses is just listening to songs and drawing what you see.
This one is Waves by Mr. Probz
Once I had loosened up I started thinking about the Eyrewood. Thornwatch, Lookouts, the Daughters, the monsters they might face.
I started drawing another Daughter and messed up the eyes. I scribbled them out and was going to move on but decided to stay with it. All of a sudden I saw this disgusting creature and I got inspired. I covered her hair with wilting flowers and covered her face with scars. The name “Rotten Daughter” popped into my head and I loved it. This is a character I’m super excited to find out more about now. She never would have happened if not for the sketchbook and a willingness to trust a mistake.
Then Link showed up for some reason.
And Div made an appearance!
I’ve only been at this for a few weeks now and already I feel like I’m seeing improvements. The strip is still a work in progress and the characters will continue to change as I keep trying to push myself. I’ve read the comments in various places and scanned Twitter a bit, I know there are people who don’t like what’s happening with the art. All I can tell you is that regardless of what you think of a strip like today’s or Friday’s, I feel like they represent some of the best versions of Gabe and Tycho I’ve ever drawn. They are not final designs, they are points on a map and there are little things about each of them that I love and will carry on to the next iteration.
I feel like I’m doing some of my best work and I also feel like I’m just getting started.