Archive for the ‘Sketches’ Category

Art from 2000: Kel and the dragon

September 20th, 2009 by Reinder

Two more from the year 2000 that didn't show up in the actual comic until a year later:

Kel offering meat to a partially-concealed dragon in a cave. Sketch from 2000 for a comic finished in 2001

Kel offering meat to a partially-concealed dragon in a cave. Sketch from 2000 for a comic finished in 2001


The dragon's response

The dragon's response

I'll be taking it slow with scanning and showing more sketches this week - I'm more interested in drawing some new art right now.

Art from 2000: Elf Life characters, Fire Elf, Krakatoa, Sower

September 16th, 2009 by Reinder

First: by 2000, Krakatoa was developing towards her current appearance:

Krakatoa as drawn in 2000, from my old sketchbooks

Krakatoa as drawn in 2000, from my old sketchbooks


And I was doing more extra art for the website, such as cast drawings:
ROCR cast sketch from 2000

ROCR cast sketch from 2000


One of the big influences on my decision to get back into webcomicking and take it more seriously again was Carson Fire of what is now the comic formerly known as Elf Life. Below are several characters from that comic: my interpretations of Glynhial, Baughb, the Sprite and even Filis in a tiny little doodle:
Clockwise from top left: Glynhial, Baughb the Elf, Sprite, Filis, Sower

Clockwise from top left: Glynhial, Baughb the Elf, Sprite, Filis, Sower


The character at bottom left in the image above is one of my own though: that one and the ones below are the first appearances of a character I finally inserted into the comic almost four years later: an elven Death Goddess called the Sower. In her first sketches, she looked pretty human.
The Sower's debut in my sketchbooks

The Sower's debut in my sketchbooks


A good one of the Sower's face

A good one of the Sower's face


When she finally appeared in the comic, she had changed quite a bit!
Carson's style affected me so much at the time that I actually dreamed of a "Fire Elf" one night. I managed to get the sketchbook out and get the character down:
First sketch of a Fire Elf

First sketch of a Fire Elf


Two years later, I did in fact feature a race of Fire Elves in the comic, but by then they were a very different kind of creature.
Finally, this little sketch isn't all that remarkable by itself:
Sketch for a redrawn version of When We Had Tails, from 2000

Sketch for a redrawn version of When We Had Tails, from 2000


But it does remind me that as early as 2000, I was getting dissatisfied with the art I'd done two years earlier for When We Had Tails, the Genesis-based story Geir sent me one day to draw. I considered redrawing it, but never got around to it. These days, I don't feel that urge anymore: I'm happy with the story as it is, even with the faults in the art. Let's not mess with it.

Art from 2000: Mana Tracers character sketches, plus Goats and Sheep

September 14th, 2009 by Reinder

Earlier, I dated some character art for the abandoned Mana Tracers story to 1998, but after reviewing the sketchbooks, I now believe that all the work for it was done in the very busy year 2000. This is the earliest sketch from it, with only the old wizard character being used unmodified in the actual pages I drew:

Character sketches for Mana Tracers

Character sketches for Mana Tracers

There was a lot of material in one of the year 2000 sketchbooks for a future Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan storyline called Goats and Sheep. Much of this was in the form of scribbled dialogue. I won't show that here, but here are some of the things that would happen in this story, set mostly at the Clwydian court:

Princess Violet

Princess Violet


Princess Violet, plus the first sketches of Fay and Harold. In these, Harold physically resembles Tamlin a lot.

Princess Violet, plus the first sketches of Fay and Harold. In these, Harold physically resembles Tamlin a lot.


Duchess Guðrún would introduce a girl at court with the intention of having her married off to the King. Princess Violet would be interested, but also painfully shy.
New Bishop

New Bishop


New Bishop, plus author cameo with goatee

New Bishop, plus author cameo with goatee


There's also be a new bishop in Clwyd-Rhan, following up on the demise of Bishop Sickepit from the King Groy storyline (which remains in limbo to this day as I don't want to put the original version online and don't have time to create a new version); the new one would appear harmless but be at least as much trouble.

You know, it's kind of depressing how much of my work online is abandoned or incomplete. The body of work that is finished is very large, but this is one area where committing to a tight online publication schedule didn't work out for me.

Next up: some more incidental character art and some ideas that I did use.

Art from 2000: ROCR cameo in White House in Orbit

September 13th, 2009 by Reinder

The year 2000 was the year in which I started publishing Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan online in English, after an aborted attempt at publishing it as a webcomic in Dutch between 1994 and 1996. It was also a year in which I did a lot of planning and scripting ahead: my sketchbooks from 2000 contain ideas that I wouldn't use until a year later, some that I wouldn't use until three years later and some that, while I've been hinting at them in the comic, are still in the future of the ROCR timeline and will need to be heavily revised if I'm to use them at all.

The art below was for a White House in Orbit storyline that I finally finished and published online in the second half of 2001: Marauders of Mars (link goes to a revised edition). The sketches show characters from ROCR as Barsoomian pirates in the White House in Orbit universe, plus the pirate captain.

Kel and Atra as Barsoomian pirates

Kel and Atra as Barsoomian pirates


Kel and Atra as Barsoomian pirates

Kel and Atra as Barsoomian pirates


Tamlin and Ragna as Barsoomian pirates. Not a great sketch, but I enjoyed seeing it again anyway.

Tamlin and Ragna as Barsoomian pirates. Not a great sketch, but I enjoyed seeing it again anyway.


The fearsome pirate captain

The fearsome pirate captain

Tomorrow: Sketches for Mana Tracers plus sketches for a lost ROCR storyline!

Art from 1999: Display design, self-portraits and… Ezra Pound?

September 12th, 2009 by Reinder

The images below are all from a single sketchbook from 1999, and are all that remains of that sketchbook.
First, two self-portraits for a solo magazine called IK (me) that I put out in the late 1990s. It consisted mostly of autobiographical stories, some of which made it online.

Penciled self-portraits of me, myself and I. Yes, I too have done the pencil-biting self-portrait schtick.

Penciled self-portraits of me, myself and I. Yes, I too have done the pencil-biting self-portrait schtick.


Display art for a convention. I was winding down as the editor of another fanzine, <i>Impuls</i>, and one of the last issues was a special dedicated to the Devil. We got some good devil-related comics in including a very nice page by Erik Wielaart, and I wanted to make some displays for a convention. Then I crashed and burned on conventions, hard, and didn't go to any for years. Needless to say, this display never got made.

Display art for a convention. I was winding down as the editor of another fanzine, Impuls, and one of the last issues I worked on was a special dedicated to the Devil. We got some good devil-related comics in including a very nice page by Erik Wielaart, and I wanted to make some displays for a convention. Then I crashed and burned on conventions, hard, and didn't go to any for years. Needless to say, this display never got made.

That year, I was also considering creating a graphic novel about the life of the poet Ezra Pound, of whom I'd been reading a biography for some reason. I'd got fascinated by the complexity of his life and his obsessive, larger than life and ultimately very unpleasant personality. In my head, it morphed into an online graphic novel that would fully use the formal advantages that Internet as a medium has to offer, and so we can all agree that we dodged a bullet when I decided to abandon the project. Aaaanyway... while working on it, I tried a number of approaches to drawing the main character:

Semi-abstract or manga-influenced

Semi-abstract or manga-influenced


Realistic

Realistic


White House in Orbit-esque

White House in Orbit-esque


Something more like my default style of the time, so it'd be easier for me to draw

Something more like my default style of the time, so it'd be easier for me to draw


Before scanning these images, they go through a second round of selection. Sometimes there are images that I think are interesting the first time around (at least in the context of when they were drawn and why) but that don't look so interesting on a day's reflection. In this batch, there was an image that I felt I'd be really better off without: yet another attempt at redrawing the cover art for The Green Knight's Belt from 1992. Every few years, I get a wild hair to redraw that cover (the current version is from 2005)... I'll do it again sometime, but the last thing I need when I do that is a lackluster version from ten years ago to refer back to. So that one is gone, and good riddance.

Art from 1998: White House in Orbit sketches

September 11th, 2009 by Reinder

I've gone through my sketchbooks over the past week to pick what all I was going to keep and what was going to get thrown out. Pickings from the year 1998 have been slim: unless I find another sketchbook from that year that I haven't torn up yet, the images below are all that I want to keep at all.
All are early sketches for White House in Orbit and what's noticeable is how little character art I did. It was pretty much one or two drawings per character, no turnarounds, no height charts, not even many repeat drawings to hone and stylize the characters. Just one or two, and then I got on with drawing the actual comic. Things have changed a lot since then.

Agent X8.5 in a checked suit. I decided against that for the very obvious reason that they're a pain to draw

Agent X8.5 in a checked suit. I decided against that for the very obvious reason tht they're a pain to draw


Jane and X8.5. "Rocket Bandits" was already being written by the time I got around to working on "Orbital Germans"

Jane and X8.5. Rocket Bandits was already being written by the time I got around to working on Orbital Germans


President Perkins was inspired by an old cartoon of President Roosevelt that I saw in a book.

President Perkins was inspired by an old cartoon of President Roosevelt that I saw in a book.


The Servo-Maid. I'd have liked to do a robot revolt story some time.

The Servo-Maid. I'd have liked to do a robot revolt story some time.


Freiherr von Schwanzwald. I'd forgotten all about that name...

Freiherr von Schwanzwald. I'd forgotten all about that name...


Junker Von Schwulenbad. The Germans all had vaguely, or sometimes not so vaguely, insulting names, very few of which we actually ended up using in the comic

Junker Von Schwulenbad. The Germans all had vaguely, or sometimes not so vaguely, insulting names, very few of which we actually ended up using in the comic


X8.5, one more time

X8.5, one more time

Trust me, it will get better as I zoom through the years.

Art from 1996 – Krakatoa, trolls and proto-White House in Orbit

September 3rd, 2009 by Reinder

I'm cleaning out my bookshelves full of old sketches, and I'm planning to be quite brutal. I've already thrown out two whole sketchbooks, pausing only to tear out the sketches below so I could scan and post them. The paper versions of these sketches will also be thrown out, but I do want to share these drawings.

The sketches are from 1996, my first visit to Norway. I stayed there for three weeks as a guest of Daniel Østvold, Geir Strøm and Anne-Kristin Mathisen, and his brother Trond and Trond's wife Tanja. Being around so many creative people and around so much good if expensive Norwegian beer meant that a number of ideas got spawned there: a beery conversation with Geir resulted in him writing The Eye of the Underworld for me a year later. But there was another idea from those conversations that we only touched upon and Geir only revisited a year later:

Sketches for a proto-White House in Orbit character and robot

Sketches for a proto-White House in Orbit character and robot


I doodled this 1920s-looking charater and the robot, briefly discussed retro-sci-fi with Geir, and evidently forgot about it until Geir came up with the script for the first White House in Orbit story, a lightweight, flimsy little piece that nonetheless introduced the principle characters and setting well.

I also drew these trolls:
Trolls for a comic called "Hej, Kalle"
as preparation for a story called Hej, Kalle! for which Trond wrote the captions (but not the script). This story is not currently online, which is a bit of a pity as it's by far the daftest thing I've ever done.

Finally, there was this:
My first attempt at capturing Krakatoa from Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan/Chronicles of the Witch Queen
Geir and I had already discussed what would happen if Kel from Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan met the Baron von Fieffelfalsfaffel from The Double. From that came the idea of a meeting between the general casts of both comics... but I already had other plans for Kel, so Daniel and Geir ended up creating a young witch as a prototype Kel. Krakatoa Hekludottir, of course, ended up in my comic instead... The above drawing was the first time I tried to draw her, and as you can see, she looks nothing like the present version.

More old art coming soon as I find, scan and destroy it!

Faerie character sketches

July 23rd, 2008 by Reinder

Some character sketches for a story to come after Invasion... maybe.
Aleas, chieftain of the Wodeskovian settlement
Revised, curvier version of Aleas. Photo reference: Belenen at DeviantArt, used with permission.

The faerie Sash, Squirrel Wrangler in the Wodeskovian settlement
The faerie Sash, drawn with slightly more distinct facial features. No reference.

Neither of these are likely to get deleted from DeviantArt, but I do want to show them in a place that I control. And try out the scheduled posting in WordPress.

Oh my God, it’s dwarf porn!

July 22nd, 2008 by Reinder

A couple of weeks ago, I got an image deleted from my DeviantArt site for the first and only time. It was a piece drawn for Einar's birthday and titled "Dwarf Porn for Einar." I don't think it was particularly pornographic:
No sense of humour, those Deviant Art guys.
Really, those DeviantArt people have no sense of humour anymore.

You have to shrug this sort of thing off, really. But it does sort of bring home the need to host images somewhere where I have control over them and can count, within reason, on them not disappearing all of a sudden. Which is one reason for the server move: it should give me more freedom to post what I want. I'm looking for suitable WordPresss plugins to make image/gallery management more convenient, but it can wait until I know what WordPress's image library can do out of the box. Expect some sort of gallery feature to reappear here in the next few weeks, though.

Beermat drawings.

December 25th, 2007 by Reinder

On our way to the pub, Adam and I got distracted by the sounds of a Deep Purple cover coming from another pub, so we went in. And while we were there, we drew on beermats. I love drawing on beermats:

Drawings on beermats: Me, Adam, some singer.

Clockwise from bottom left: Me drawn by Adam; Lantern and Santa hat found in the bar and drawn by me; Adam drawn by me; and the singer from the cover band in the pub, as drawn by me.

That band was actually led by Moti, a well-known street musician in Groningen. I was surprised to see him play indoors and with a band as he usually plays on his own as a one-man band. His grey locks and Zappa moustache were unmistakable. He was accompanied by a rather good guitarist who was probably around fourteen. Almost certainly the old guy's son, as there was a definite resemblance. Also, the kid wore two Stars of David on his neck - I'd never seen Judaic bling before but since Moti's from Israel, it kind of makes sense for his kid to wear it. Moti really is that skinny, by the way. He's fun to watch as he always looks like he's having fun singing and playing.