This drawing has been developing above the urinal in the bathroom I frequent when I arrive at work. Tuesday night, the drawing had just the red lines. I had to resist the urge to pull out my pencil and correct the breasts and give them gravity. Last night, I was surprised by all the additions. She has hair now, though it makes her head too narrow, which is a common mistake less experienced artists make. And she has nipples. And, curiously, she has a penis. That’s why I took a picture. The penis is not pointed at her; it is jutting away from her. So it is hers. Is this an homage to Plato’s Symposium? Proof that Freud was right and young men are obsessed with their mothers’ missing penises? Art created by a lover of transsexuals? Or someone into futanari? Whatever the impulse, I love that she’s coming an angry bird.
I’m thinking of changing the example panels. I don’t like how the last one turned out and I want them to be more interesting narratively. I’m going to keep this in mind as I work on the next few pages.
And I’ve started working on the first chapter of How to Draw Comics the Right Way. First I really wanted to nail down the narrator’s head.
And here’s the first page. This chapter is going to cover the panel.
If I had the drive, knowledge, and (most importantly) the connections, I’d love to do a radio or TV show interviewing artists about their artistic processes. Part of the underlying thesis of the show would be debunking the myth that artists rely on inspiration. Most artists get to where they are through hard work and through consistent practice.
Along these lines, I was reading this article about Nick Cave (whom I got tickets to see in April, with Sharon Van Etten opening) and the following paragraph stuck out to me.
The deluxe edition [of the new album] comes with a facsimile of the notebook Cave worked out the album’s lyrics in. “Some of it’s dreadful and painful to read, but I just thought – what the fuck,” he says, before getting the actual notebook out and offering me a brief precis of his working methods. “Pages and pages of absolute shit,” he sighs, turning them over. “Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit. And just every now and then something, little tiny ideas start to come out.”
This page connects to pages 8-13 and 87-88.
Last Friday I saw The Who in concert. It was surreal, but also incredibly moving. Roger Daltrey’s voice is going, but Pete Townsend can still rock. The bulk of the concert was the entirety of Quadrophenia. I think the band both wanted to make an argument for the power of the concept album, a concept now lost in the era of downloading individual songs, and give a swan song of their historical place as a band. The whole thing began with the overture of Quadrophenia with video footage playing in the background. The footage showed England in the years after the Second World War up through the rise of the Mods and the beginning of The Who itself. As my wife said, they historically contextualized themselves. And it brought tears to my eyes. The whole concert was worth those first five minutes.
Then the next day we went to the De Young and saw the Dutch paintings and etchings. The big draw was Vermeer’s Girl With the Pearl Earring, but to be honest the painting doesn’t do much for me. But what the exhibition did have that I was very excited to see were the etchings of Rembrandt. It was incredible to see his work in context. For one, I had no idea how small the things were. A lot of them couldn’t have been more than three inches wide. They’re tiny things. Also, seeing his work next to the work of his contemporaries really highlighted Rembrandt’s mastery of tone and also the looseness of his line. Many of the other etchings had that old tight line work. It is amazing in terms of craft, but it looks stiff and machine-like. In contrast, Rembrandt’s line is sketchy and full of life. It was very inspiring. Also, it was funny to see how Rembrant was almost perverse in his desire to not idealize his subjects. His nude women have cellulite and his depictions of Jesus attempt to make him ethnically accurate. Maybe “perverse” is unkind. Maybe “honest” is a better word for what he was striving for. I bought the book of the exhibition and maybe I’ll post some images later.
And I just finished reading Takemitsu Zamurai on my iPad through Manga Storm. The art is by Taiyo Matsumoto who did Black and White, GoGo Monster, and No. 5. Takemitsu Zamurai is a historical samurai story, but told at a very languid pace with some quirky and fun characters. The story has the problem that a lot of manga have of being longer than it needs to be, but there are some great moments in the tale and Matsumoto’s art is amazing. He uses a spare line work than echoes his older style and also reflects the woodblock print lines that existed at the time of the story. He also uses a very vibrant ink wash. Sometimes he won’t ink the outline of certain shapes, clothes for instance, and instead will just depict them with the wash. Here are some images I found on the web.
And this one…
was obviously influenced by Steinlen’s turn-of-the-century comic…
These were inspired by some of the work by Guim Tió.