So it turns out ‘process’ blog posts are usually incredibly dull. I’ll do my best to keep with that time honored tradition.
Anyway, the two to three of you that are reading this probably already know that I’ve started giving away drawings via Twitter.( By the way, if by some random chance you came across this blog and you don’t know me, feel free to follow me for your own chance to win. @mchuman or http://twitter.com/#/mchuman) The winners of these drawings get to pick the subject matter. The first two winners chose: 1) an evil robot cat, and 2) a robot dragon fighting an alien. Yes, I have strange friends. Yes, all cats are evil. Yes, a robot dragon is a semi-strange request.
Like all good artists I start by thoroughly researching the matter at hand. In this case I googled “evil cat” and printed out the first two images that caught my eye. Oh, and did look up “boxing gloves” for the robot vs alien drawing, but I didn’t bother to take a pic of said nonsense.
Then I make many, many detailed sketches. Or one. And it’s not usually very detailed. I like to work out any problems or whatnot on the actual piece itself. It tends to give the art a more human feel in my oh-so-humble opinion.
After sketching for a good 30 seconds I start on the actual pieces. In these two particular cases I began with a light pencil underdrawing followed by a black Sharpie outline. Oh, and for the cat piece I decided that I didn’t want the image centered. I wanted to push it further up into a corner to make it more dramaticamal. With the dragon/alien piece I wanted to sort of fill the whole space with the creatures, a la a kid’s drawing. And the dragon is boxing the alien. Just because.
After finishing the outlines I begin to color in the inner shapes, this time using mainly acrylic paint. So, yeah, each of these pieces are technically painted as well as drawn but calling them drawpaintings or paintdrawings just sounds idiotic. They’re drawings. Deal with it.
My way of making art tends to be a game of give and take. I cover some initial elements with paint. I spill on the paper and have to make it work somehow (see the pinkish-red cloudlike background on the cat piece). I grab fluorescent glitter and sprinkle it about haphazardly. I sneak in some glow-in-the-dark paint. I shellac. I erase. I draw with sketchy pencil lines at the end of it all to make it look more scribbly. None of these things translate overly well into a how-I-made-this blog post. Sorry. I’m skipping to the end. Without further adieu here is “Fluffy Goes Postal” and “Mechadragasaur Vs. Globulous”.
It turns out my process isn’t all that interesting, really. It’s an intuitive thing. I can’t really tell y’all how I know when a piece is finished. Or how exactly said piece gets to the finish line. What I can say is that I tend to mess up. A lot. It used to drive me bonkers. Now I consider it an essential part of the process. I’ve learned more from mistakes than I ever have from “perfect pieces”. I’ve also never made a perfect piece. And I don’t think I’ve ever made something that I’m 100% happy with. I think that’s sort of healthy. Ish.
I think anyone that’s truly satisfied with a piece of art they’ve made is either A) a liar, B) an arrogant prick, or C) bad.
I’m probably all three of those.