Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Work I do When I'm Not Working

I hardly ever accept commissions because I hardly ever have time to do them. I'm always on (multiple) deadline(s) it seems and when I finish one job, two more take its place. I'm just lucky/cursed that way, depending on your point of view. So like many artists, commissions always end up being the last thing to do on my list. Right after alphabetizing my CDs or changing the batteries in my smoke detectors. But they always get done. Eventually.

Here's a Hulk cover/commission I recently completed. It was actually a lot of fun to do. I started trying to find a style I liked for the Hulk since this was my first time drawing him believe it or not. I love the Jack Kirby design, the original look that was loosely based on Frankenstein's monster:
Bruce Timm does a great take on the Kirby version which I also love. There might be a little Art Adams influence in there in terms of the Hulk's head shape and his body's build. So I set out to do a Kirby/Timm/Adams style without copying any one artist too blatantly. I wanted it to feel like those old classic Marvel covers. Since he's fighting the Fantastic Four, I figured that was the way to go! So I worked up this rough sketch in blue pencil and regular old plain #2 pencil: I then tightened that up in the pencils. Why I pencil so tight when I'm inking myself, I have no idea. I should really loosen up! I tried to indicate all that "Kirby Anatomy" on the Hulk, without actually copying Kirby anatomy because I couldn't figure it out if I tried! Kirby became almost a genre unto himself with all those cool little squiggles and graphic shorthand he developed. That's why he's The King and I'm not even apprentice to the court jester! Then I inked it using a Hunt's #102 nib, a Windsor Newton Series 7 brush and some markers. I hate inking myself for some reason. Maybe it's because I've already worked everything out at the pencil stage and I'm sick of the drawing by the time I get to inking it. It's like drawing the same thing three times! I wanted to give it a little Joe Sinnott feel, he was always my favorite Kirby inker and since the FF are in it, I kind of have to! I was pretty happy with the hair on the Hulk (that's one Arthur Adams detail that snuck into the finished piece!). Also, I probably put a little too much detail into the rubble; I even went so far as to brake out the old black crayon for texture! The reason I feel the detail is a bit much is that you wouldn't see that much rendering in the classic era of Marvel comics that I was going for. Aw, well. So what!


Jimmy T said...

Aaron that is one slick pic. Love your stuff m'boy.

Jimmy T

Aaron Sowd said...

Thanks, Jimmy! Slick is what I was going for. Sinnott is the slicker than snot on teflon (and I mean that in a good way)!

Fred Schiller said...

Outstanding piece of artwork, Mr. Sowd. It's bombastic, to say the least.

I am curious why your pencils were so tight when you knew that you were going to be inking it yourself. Doesn't that make for twice the work?

Aaron Sowd said...

Yes it does, Fred. And that's why I'm an idiot.