Thing-A-Week 01: Slamdance – a Portrait

Slamdance Mark I, Take 1

Let’s kick this project off with something unusual and very personal.

Drawing’s one of the many things I’ve told myself I’m not good at and oughtn’t to bother practicing. What use could I put it to? The web comics market is saturated. I’m not a good comedy writer. No one will like it anyway. Why bother?

Last week, going into work on the morning of my thirty-fifth birthday, I found myself wanting to grab a piece of paper and a pencil and see what fell out of the graphite.

So, naturally, I drew Slamdance.

This isn’t the uber-armoured version from Mike Zacher’s awesome artwork. This is the closest my pencil hand can get to how I imagine him looking in the twopart short story.

You’ll notice the proportions are all off, of course, but for someone who’s been out of practice for way too long (and never really studied anatomy in the first place) I’m pretty proud of it.

In my mind, Rev and Kaylee are posing it up in front of him. I might come back to this and try it as a three-character work from scratch once I’ve got more confidence.

Still, I like it as a start, especially for a week’s worth of sporadic work. (I wish I’d kept a note of the time I’d put into it…)

I learned a bunch, not least how to turn a sketch into a graphic like this (basically, trace my line work using a new layer in Paint Shop Pro 7, then use the Magic Wand tool to select areas to colour and the airbrush tool to lighten the particular areas), and I’m looking forward to trying again sometime soon.

This coming week? Maybe… or may be something else. Who knows?

 

  • Dan

    Rob,

    I like it. Yes it is far from perfect, but it shows the essence of Slamdance. Though I am not sure about the cheesy grin. I always felt Slamdance was a little grimmer, but that is my interpretation. I applaud the effort. I haven’t picked up a drawing pencil for almost thirty years, so you have done better than I could do. Keep up the personal exploration. It is good to see it.

  • Thanks, Dan. To me, the big grin is the fact that he’s actually posing for a photograph instead of just being photographed while doing something else. I can almost imagine Kaylee on the other side of the camera grumbling, “It’ll have to do…”

    As for picking up the drawing pencil… well, why not give it a go? I’ve read that drawing / doodling – engaging a different form of creativity than your norm (i.e. writing, for me) – improves your overall creative quality.

    I’ll have to scan some of the stuff I found in my sketch pad when I leafed through it a few days ago…