Friday, January 09, 2009

The Xbox Post

Congratulations to me. With this post (the one you're reading right now), we've hit 360 total posts on When Pigs Fly Returns, which is far more than the original blog (When Pigs Fly) tallied. I plan to celebrate by posting long-lost comics from that blog, perhaps unseen by my current reader pool. I had dreams of being a comic artist one day, but it never lasted. The process was too tedious for me, although honestly, I was using pencils and Micron Pigma pens, so the process was also extremely long. Now that I have access to digital media, I may pick it back up. At any rate, I got a new book in the mail yesterday (see picture above). Another secret passion of mine is to become really good at drawing pin-up girls. No doubt influenced by Frank Cho and Playmates from the 50's and 60's, it's always been my intention to capture that "pin-up" look to my female characters. I was unconciously trying to achieve this with Selena Isley, but in order to really become good at this, I should probably study the masters: Gil Elvgren, Alberto Vargas, and to a lesser extent, Olivia De Berardinis.

I stupidly passed up an Elvgren collection a few months ago because the pictures were often small and shrunken so that multiple images could be collected on a single page, but it seems now to be out-of-print, and it's the only Elvgren book I've ever seen, before or since. I'll have to find it at Title Wave, our local enormous used bookstore. There's a De Berardinis collection at Barnes & Nobel, but it's something like $60, so I'll have to save up for it for a little while.

People, but women more specifically, are freaking hard to draw, as I've lamented before. As somebody so used to drawing animals with horizontal frames and four legs, human anatomy baffles me. Specifically the construction of the human pelvis, and the musculature surrounding it, is endlessly frustrating. But my theory is this: I became relatively good at drawing prehistoric creatures through sheer determination and never having a lack of reference material. I hope to achieve the same level of mediocrity for human females.


Andy said...

Specifically the construction of the human pelvis, and the musculature surrounding it, is endlessly frustrating.

This applies not only to artists. . .most anatomists experience the same frustration during their first dissection or two in the pelvic region. Inside and out, it's a mess of tubes and muscular sheets. It wasn't until my second time teaching anatomy that I really got (and actually enjoyed teaching about!) the region.

John Jackson said...

I've complained before about the shapes nature uses. I gave up trying to memorise a few brief things about the heart - I know it's only four rooms and a few doors but the shapes are outrageous.

Certain parts of the brain are funny shapes - some bits are like a waterfall going through a cartwheel, with a pair of newts and legless scorpions wrapped round the outside.

Glendon Mellow said...

It's all practice, man. You'll get it, your pretty awesome already.

ScottE said...

I'll just echo what Glendon Mellow said, but add:

You don't need to study the masters so much as study what they studied.

In other words, you need to draw from life.

Without that, you haven't a snowball's chance in a hot place of achieving that goal. It takes practice and more practice, and some more practice.

And when you're thoroughly sick of practicing, you'll need to go back and do more.

Hang in there and keep at it.

(Incidentally, xbox isn't even in the top 10 things I think of whenever someone says "360"--the first thing I think of is the number of arc degrees in a circle.)

Raven said...

For crying eye, Zach, you have a WIFE. I'm pretty sure she'd let you do some drawings of her. :D

Zach said...

She won't sit still that long.