Revisionist History

Discussion in 'Art Discussions' started by Digital Jedi, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. Digital Jedi

    Digital Jedi Administrator Staff Member

    I was asked by someone if I could absorb the Bruce Timm style into my artwork and make it my own. I said, I didn't think that would be a problem, being that I've swiped Timm a few times and really enjoyed it, and found it quite natural. Of course, I was presuming this was so because of the simplicity of the Timm style, a style firmly rooted in a long animation career.

    So what I did was I studied the style for a while, took a few jabs at drawing in it freehand, explored some aspects of it I hadn't yet tackled, and in the process I came to a startling discovery.

    I already draw that way.

    Now don't get me wrong. I'm no where near the artist Timm is, and certainly don't have the tenure or quality of art composition. But that said, all artists of any skill level channel another artist who has had a great influence on their artistic lives. Thing is, all this time, I'd been fighting it. I came into comics around the Death of Superman and the launch of Image Comics in the early nineties. So my first and greatest influences where Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Scott Clark, Travis Caret, and all those cats. Very dynamic, very realistic artists.

    All this time, I've been trying to channel these guys, incorporate their art principles into mine, and for some reason, it hasn't really been working. Well, I finally figured out why working on this project. Apparently, I've been subconciously channeling Bruce Timm for years. Each time I tried to move away from that, add a greater sense of realism, and leave the clean animated style behind, I ended up leaning more and more towards it.

    What's funny, is I was reading Modern Master: Bruce Timm and how Jack Kirby was probably the greatest influence on Timm's artistic style. So much so, that even where he was attempting to deviate from that style for a given project, he would invariably channel Kirby without even really trying. I feel I've come to a similar turning point.

    So in an attempt to experiment further with this style and to make some older art projects more appealing, I'll be revising some old art, attempting to redraw some older pics in this new style. Some of it is stuff you may be very familiar with if you've followed some ongoing projects I have running here on CoG. Don't know what I'm talking about? Here's a sneak preview:

    [​IMG]
    Click for a Full Res Version​
  2. djp952

    djp952 New Member

    I love it, personally. I couldn't be more impressed with your skill, you underestimate yourself.

    With the direction of so many things in animation / CG heading towards more and more 'realistic' looking things, I find the pure animated style refreshing, especially this form of it. I also enjoy the Japanese Anime style, but not quite to the same extent.

    Let's look at your sample here. Anyone who has any knowledge of Star Trek knows exactly what character that is. Does it look precisely like Patrick Stewart? Of course not. But it does look exactly like Jean Luc Picard. You've captured the character and not the actor ... and to me that's a good thing. Well done.
  3. Digital Jedi

    Digital Jedi Administrator Staff Member

    Well, thanks. I appreciate that a great deal. You might be seeing more of this come from me, now that I'm working on it full time. I'm hoping that I can come up with something that is less of a Bruce Timm ape, and more of an amalgamation of everything I've learned from every artist I've learned something from.

    This, though, is one of the reasons I'd become so disenchanted with "All Bad Things..." I really wanted to do something special with it, and hated what I putting out. Now that I've done these initial sketches, I'm worked up over it again. It's like seeing Bruce Timm do the comic of my dreams. Of course, I'm still not at that caliber, but to see it, even in an aped sense, is still very exciting to me.

    Now that I've done this, I'm looking forward to doing the outer space sequences differently. Up to now, I was using stock footage of the ships and filtering them in Photoshop to give them a hand painted look. It was a great shortcut for certain involved panels, but it was also something I was never happy with. If it had studied the artwork, then I would have no problem. But the contrast was not at all flattering to the comic in my opinion.

    I think what I'll do now, is go the animated series route and render the hard technology in 3D. I'll just have to construct some .obj files in Bryce that are very simplified and angular and import them to Daz|Studio which has an render mode that uses animated simplistic palettes.

    I was doing the same thing I was doing for space sequences for the backgrounds of interior shots, and I know what wasn't working. I'm going to recreate the backgrounds from scratch, this time using line art in Photoshop. Hopefully I can get a seamless look for this comic.

    Man, I've haven't been this excited about the project since I started it over a year ago. Maybe this time, I can keep my word on the regularity. LOL <sigh>
  4. djp952

    djp952 New Member

    He who rushes art loses out.

    Unless you have plans on becoming a weekly Jump serialist, why rush? If something takes you 2 weeks rather than 1 and you're twice as happy with it, isn't that better?

    I tell this to a lot of people (wish I could drill it into my own head, though): The person you need to please first is yourself. If you're happy with yourself and proud of your work, everyone else will be too.

    But then again, if you're looking to become a professional comic book artist or even worse weekly manga, yeah, practice with the deadlines :D
  5. Digital Jedi

    Digital Jedi Administrator Staff Member

    Heheh. I try to create deadlines for myself to prevent procrastination. But yeah, somewhere along the way, I started working for this pushy editor, who neither exists nor can pay me any money, but insists I work faster. :dur

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