Friday, February 25, 2011

Gettin' Better (IMHO)

This is a quick sketch I did (then added "flair" with a red pen) for my friend Dan Hill in early January (?) as something to remember Alaska by before he moved to Florida. You may remember Dan by his alter-ego, The Penetrator, a superhero who gives crime the shaft. We'll all miss him--Dan was a genuinely nice, smart guy and NONE of us blame him for leaving this cold, dark icebox of a state. Good luck down there, Dan! Try not to get eaten by an alligator.

Now then. My boy forgot to take this picture with him which is...hmmm. Marcus kept it all this time, though, so when I remembered drawing it, I wanted to scan it and post it here. There are some things I like about the picture, and others not so much. Time for some good old fashioned naval-gazing!

Things to Like

First of all, for a sketch that I only spent maybe 45 minutes on, this ain't half bad considering my usual output. I like the costume change. I've struggled to figure out what this girl's gonna wear on her upper body that will accomodate her big ol' bat wings. This is one possibility: it's basically a bikini with a skirt. For added support, one could envision Lily modifying the costume to include an elastic strap that originates at the back of the neck loop and clips onto her skirt. This would help hold the top...up? I'm still worried about her costume. Anyway. I like the face, but not necessarily the hairstyle. I like that I forced myself to draw Lily with smaller breasts. As you may recall, Lily was originally based on Shannon Stewart's Playboy centerfold (that's not a link to the centerfold). This is not to say that Mrs. Stewart has giant breasts or anything, but I don't think this particular picture would have benefitted from oversized mammaries.

I like the little accessories I used to spice up the piece: the bracelets and shoes, the modified belt. I can see all of these things becoming permanent additions to Lily's evolving uniform. The wings are alright too--not too big to dominate the picture, but not small enough to not be believable. I think I struck a good balance. They're certainly smaller than in the original treatment.

What's Not to Like

Most egregiously, Lily has here been Bruce Timm-ified. I have incredible respect for Bruce Timm and I wish I could draw like him, but this is not really what Lily's supposed to look like. Lily is more toward the Frank Cho end of the picture plane. I feel like I copped out here, but this is the art style I "default" to when I feel like I'm in a time crunch. As for the piece itself, the hair is pretty terrible and doesn't do her forehead any favors. The left art curves too much towards the waist. One of the goals for this character is that she uses her wings like you'd use your arms, so she can be holding something with her arms and gesture with her wings. This pose is supposed to be something like "Hey! Look at me!" Unfortunately, her posture and facial expression contradict that enthusiasm.

But again, for 45 minutes without a reference? Could be a lot worse. I'm currently digging J. Scott Campbell's art, so you might see some crude attempts to ape his style in the coming days...involving dinosaurs. Dinosaurs! Yeah, that's what this blog's supposed to be about, right?

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