Wednesday, 29 June 2011

WEEK 8 28TH JUNE 2011

This weeks class exercise was inspired by Gene Colan's  blend of the natural and the unnatural.Colan's relaistic style set you up for a more eerie and unsettled feeling when the supernatural  elements were introduced in to the frame. So I thought it would be nice to use an existing setting , in this case St. Martin's church on Coney Street York,  to set the scene for this gargoyle sketch.

It's a good idea to have a camera with you always whether it be on your phone or a small basic digital camera so you can take snap shots of surroundings, whether it be architecture or whatever you think are interesting or that may be useful as reference for future sketches.
One thing to bare in mind when using photography is that if you decide to trace you photographic reference you will have to make sure that whatever you are incorporating into the image , it will have to be drawn to match the existing perspective or camera angle or you will end up with an unconvincing drawing.
Often you will find the best way is to use photography as a reference point only and reproduce it to your own layout. You will find this less restrictive.

This exercise is another quick sketch on coloured paper using a spot colour. This sketch should only take you an hour tops. The ploting stages have been drawn on white paper for the purpose of scanning so you can follow the stages clearly, but if you are using coloured paper, have a go at drawing straight on to the coloured sheet. Alternatively, draw it on white paper and then trace it through onto the coloured sheet.
Step 1.
start by plotting the composition.

It may help to plot this using perspective grid. the vanishing point will be way off the paper, so you may need to tape your sheet to a drawing board or larger sheet of paper to plot the grid, or you can simply guess the perspective.

3.loosely sketch out the architectural detail.

4. Fleah out the shape of the gargoyle

5. mark out the areas to be  shaded  solid black.  In this case a bit of artistic license  has been used because in reality , with the moon directly behind the  gargoyle, the figure would be pretty much a silhoutte.

Now apply the ink. A Fabre-Castell pit artist pen, brush nib was used for this sketch.
A white penci lwas used to mark out the moon.

Inking tips.
If you are using a Fabre-Castell pit artist pen, brush nib, use only light pressure (I used hardly any at all),and drag the nib across the surface of the paper. This  will give you a nice line that will suit the craggy stonework and gargoyle very well. I avoided going for a consistent  smooth line as I felt it would not suit the nature of the drawing, rendering it too technical and precise. If you apply too much pressure to the nib you will end up with thicker line work an may look clumsy. Draw a few practice lines first to test control over pen strokes. The less pressure the finer the line, the more pressure , the heavier the line.
Notice on the short clips below how the pen flows across the paper.
The inking is being applied to a blue line print on coloured paper

here is a nice clip by Carly Lyn using exactly the same pen. This clip is obviously shot with a higher spec camera.

A Copic B29 Ultramarine blue marker was used for the sky.

The moon needed some white in it to  brighten it up and also to create some relief to separate the gargoyle from the sky.

Finally, a pentel correction pen was used for the rain and highlights.


  1. Cool tutorial -- thanks for the effort. One tip for you would have been more dynamic to have the rain follow the perspective in the building. As you have it, it just works to confuse the image. But other than that, cool!

  2. Hi Daniel,
    Good point! Well spotted. This is often overlooked by many professionals, especially in comicbook art. As you may have guessed, if you read my blog (and it seems like you do), I just teach one or two classes a week in the evenings and my day job is storyboards and concept art and, although I try not to, sometimes , when I am juggling too many plates, I get sloppy and I produce an embarrassing gaff!
    Thanks for pointing this out and and for the kind feed back, it is appreciated.