Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Sphinx Part II

Here's the final underdrawing for my Sphinx submission. I decided that, like Craig, I liked the more expressive pose in the first rough and the Nova in the second. I didn't like how it looked like Nova was crawling away in the first drawing. He's a tough cookie and would keep fighting until the end. I also like the way the tilted angle and strong perspective give the drawing more energy. I also forced myself to work out the background in this underdrawing before moving on to the final penciled piece. It wasn't fun but it will prevent massive frustration at the light table. I really enjoyed doing this drawing. I was working at home this time, for the first time in a long while. Not at the drawing table, but with a piece of plywood in my lap that I bought for just that purpose, while watching B-horror movies. (DEEP RISING and BATS if you're interested.) It was a blast.

Unfortunately, as I was scanning the drawing, something felt very familiar about it and so I did some searching on the internet. I Googled "Gil Kane" (since that's who I was channeling) and this popped up. YIKES!

The similarity isn't enough to keep me from using the layout. But this kind of thing drives me crazy. Whenever I write something, either somebody publishes something similar soon after or I find out that it's already been done. I never thought I'd experience the phenomenon with a drawing. Sheesh.

Hopefully, I'll be able to finish the final pencils tomorrow. Christian and I are going to see 30 DAYS OF NIGHT tomorrow and I've got a lot to do around the house.


Anonymous said...

Seriously, you need to get into the drawing biz! If I could do that kind of work I would be in it right now.
You already got a fan!
How did you learn to whip up backgrounds like that?

renecarol said...

I don't think its that similar. Your villains laying in the rubble and buildings in the background. But everything else is different. I wish I was going to see 30 Days of Night. Its hard to see scary stuff at the theater cause you can't exactly take a child with you. It looks really good. I love anything vampire anyway.
Oh and great job on the Sphinx - I don't think I commented on your other sketches. But I think I like this one better overall. It looks more natural.

Matt Wieringo said...

Well, I wouldn't say I whipped up that background. I struggled with it and, looking at it again, I fudged the perspective on the buiding by Sphinx's arm. It's good on the front but way off on the side. I'll fix it in the final.

I've always understood the concept of perspective in drawing but I've been too lazy to actually apply it. In this drawing, my vanishing points were off the page and I didn't tape down the paper so it kept shifting a little. I finally made marks on the board so I'd know how to line it up. I'd really like to get one of those rulers on a swivel like John Byrne's got. But they're really expensive. Now, that dude can draw some backgrounds.

Thanks for the compliments!

Matt Wieringo said...

Thanks, Renee. Suzanne and I have a friend that took her young daughter to horror movies a lot as a kid. Didn't seem to affect her negatively. But different kids react differently. I saw a lot of scary stuff as a child and it didn't turn me into a serial killer but I can't say it didn't give me horrible nightmares all the time. I just enjoyed it so much, I was willing to take my chances.

todd said...

this looks great!!
thanks for taking us through the process! i agree with your choices--but liked the first nova better, didn't think he was trying to crawl away, looked like he just had his clocks cleaned, is all! and never feel bad about fudging! mike fudged constantly and it looked awesome!

as for the similarities; just as with all the stories in the world, i'm sure that all the drawings have been drawn as well. the human body is only capable of so many movements and your choices in a pose, and then in a design/layout, will ALWAYS be similar to something someone's already done. i don't really think these look THAT similar to the iron man cover--but yopu did make me wanna run out and find that issue! DOCTOR SPECTRUM!!! sweeeet!

Matt Wieringo said...

Man, Gil Kane was a master, wasn't he? If a book had a Kane cover, you just HAD to read it! Dave Cockrum was like that too.

Anonymous said...

I will agree with Todd.
The first prelim was awesome...Nova's hand on the ground I would have turned into a fist, shaking for the payback!
On the background, kicks booty to me, never noticed the fudging...

Christian D. Leaf said...

I look forward to destroying this with my quills and brush.

Heywood Jablomie said...

Wow Matt-this looks awesome!! I think you should be doing this stuff full time! How fast/slow are you with getting things done? Even if you did it for yourself, and threw it up online somewhere, you really should do something with your stuff. Party on man!

Warren said...

I think all of the versions looked great. The angle does add an element of drama by pulling the viewer into the moment more.

As far as the similarity between your drawing and the Gil Kane cover? I wouldn't let it bother me. It's not that obvious -- certainly not enough to think that you (consciously or unconsciously) copied that cover. I think you were simply going for Kane's style. I bet if you searched further, you would find similar covers or panels by him. The skewed camera angle was just part of his style.

Matt Wieringo said...

Thanks, Warren.

Heywood, I am sloooooooow. That underdrawing took me about three or four hours. I'd probably get faster with more practice but I struggle over every detail because I have no confidence and my anatomical knowledge is nil. I only took a couple of drawing classes in college and never got any real figure drawing training. I wish I had time to remedy that.

Heywood Jablomie said...

I know how you feel, I'm slow as well, but considering, that's not too bad if you're not used to doing it. It would probably take me that long as well. As far as anatomy, if you don't have them already, the Burne Hogarth books are amazing. I know I've read them, also, medical books are good as well. I have a huge poster up on my wall of the muscular system front and back that comes in handy as hell!

Anonymous said...

Heck, just type "muscular system" in wonders for me....I luv pool of ref!

Heywood Jablomie said...

McGill-Good point! I always forget about all the free reference material online. I just have soo many books and stuff from before the time of the net(I'm not as old as that sounds like it seems mind you) that I always get lost in those.

Anonymous said...

Looks great.
I agree with Todd that sooner or later you will run into something that has been done before.
Even if not intentional, the images might be in your sub-conscience, specially if it was stuff you enjoyed, like Kane's work.

Keep doing this stuff, it'll get quicker/easier.
Well, even if it took you a while, it looks great.

A big improvement from the 'Domolisher' you did when you were 7. LOL

Brian said...


Even though I prefer the more solid and iconic Sphinx figure from the second drawing, I think everything else in the third draft is better.

As for fudging the background, who doesn't like fudge. Seriously, what is important is not mathematical accuracy in your perspective lines, but whether it reads well visually, and the background in the this piece does.

Can't wait to see the finished product and good luck with the contest.

Craig Zablo said...

It's looking great!

renecarol said...

what'd you major in in college?

Matt Wieringo said...

Renee, I majored in Communication Arts and Design. I took a little bit of everything. Photography, Graphic Design, one Illustration class. But my concentration was filmmaking. I had a bit of an identity crisis when I thought the only reason I wanted to draw comics was because Mike did. So I looked for something else and fell in love with movies. Didn't work out but it was fun for a while. And girls thought it was cool, so that was something.