Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Email With A Question

Hi everyone, I recently got an email with an interesting question that's been asked to me several times. I actually had a (rare) moment to answer... so I did, and here are both mails in case you find the subject interesting (I won't print his name in case he wouldn't like to see it published). To go with the post, two old drawings (too bad I don't have the time to come up with new stuff lately!) ------------------------ "Hey Marcos, Hope all is well. Just finished reading your book and thought it was great. I was hoping you could answer a question for me regarding chapter 3. I understand that we first must compose the light and darks, then the lines, and then finally fill in the details. My question is, do you fill in the "details" using reference material or from memory? In other words how do you go about filling in the abstract? Thanks!" ------------------------ "Hi, and thanks for reading Framed Ink and your positive feedback on it. Here is my rather lengthy answer... Mostly I go by memory. Normally I imagine the finished work and pull from there to then put it on 'paper'. Now, this takes a long time of practicing passionately, drawing and drawing and then some, walk down the street and observe everything as it could be a nice frame or image, go home and then draw it. Run into happy artistic 'accidents' while practicing... making sure you can then train yourself to reproduce these at will. Get inspiration from masters, lots of life drawing at studios and on the street, watch good movies and appreciate the visuals... and on and on and on. One interesting exercise you can do to achieve this is, use an image (a photograph) observe it for a few minutes trying to memorize the bulk of it as well as some important details, hide the picture away and then try to draw it. After you are done compare both and see where you failed, repeat with the same or other images until you learn how to observe properly by starting with the essential and most important details. This will help you create a good memory archive as you then keep observing and observing from life. Do I use reference? sometimes, but I have to tell you for the feedback I get from people, a lot less than they imagine. Nevertheless, even when using reference you have to make sure you have the bulk of shapes resolved beforehand, and then use the reference that fits into your plan. (obviously references will also be needed in case we need to be accurate in terms of ...specific military uniforms, car models etc, you name it) There is not one only way to work, some people will feel comfortable using a bigger percentage of reference in their work, as long as they take the adequate inspiration from it instead of just copying, and they manage to make it work for the job, it's all good. I hope this answers your question. 'Best. Marcos."

13 comments:

devilmonkey said...

Excellent advice, Marcos!

If you ever get the time could you please do a short tutorial on clouds? I know it's a bit of a random question but I am very much in awe of how you paint clouds. Or even just a couple of pointers in the right direction?

Tegan Clancy said...

Great advice! And framed Ink made a huge difference to the way I approach composition! So thanks Marcos

Atula Siriwardane said...

Great Marcos..
Thanks a lot..
You made me grow in these few minutes.. and I would keep growing in that direction.
Atula

Marcos Mateu said...

-Hi Peter, and thanks for your comment. About clouds I'll just tell you I have quite a painterly approach to them, including more shades of grey than in most other items I draw (usually in strong contrast of black and white). I do tend to show them almost backlit so that I can throw a good rim light there and make them more appealing. Again, as explained in framed ink, I also juxtapose big shapes vs small shapes to make them more graphic and volumetric.

-Thanks Tegan, and good to know!

-Thank you Atula.

SalBa Combé said...

Espectaculares, como siempre!

Víctor Ibáñez said...

Off Topic:

Hola Marcos, gracias por pasarte por mi blog. Todo un honor. Tengo tu framed Ink de libro de cabecera. Bueno, yo y unos chorrocientos dibujantes que conozco.


SALUDOS!

Leon Gittens said...

nice, thanks for sharing

Thomas Campi said...

Great book and sood answer, it's always interesting to hear how people mage their flow of work, ther step by step, thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I know this is a really dumb question but do you draw using a cintiq or a tablet and in which program?

Marcos Mateu said...

Photoshop on a Cintiq

Anonymous said...

Wow - I really didn't think it was possible to get such an expressive line with photoshop - I always seem to get a certain amount of judder even when I draw fairly quickly using the brush tool with pen pressure and shape dynamics. Oh well, back to the drawing board!
On a separate note, you'll be glad to know that both of your books were on sale in both Forbidden Planet and Gosh Comics (where I bought my copies) here in the UK.

Marcos Mateu said...

I do not use pen pressure (I believe I don't, I'm not in front of my own computer now) but everything else sounds good to me, you shouldn't get the judder. Is your photoshop working well otherwise?
Great to hear about these two bookstores!

Anonymous said...

That's a surprise - if you don't use pen pressure how do you get those lovely thicks and thins?