Sunday, December 30, 2012

Doctor Strange


This post SHOULD have been made in August 2012.
However, I neglected to do so, and such it's being entered now before 2012 wraps.

Oh, so how to begin this post after...Lo! A YEAR or so has passed since my last offering.
Many quotes could be used, from Mark Twain's oft-repeated, "the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated" to even to paraphrase Eva Peron's (by way of the play, 'Evita'), "Don't cry for me 'blogger-readers', the truth is I never left you..."

So what HAVE I been doing these past many months?

Well, a lot of real-life @#$%^&* (my car's transmission gave up the ghost and my wife's car had problems that in order to fix cost the money I had saved to buy a used one for ME).
After a summer of no real work (my current job with a school is "seasonal") I've been called back for the new school year, but it's a rough schedule.

But, the good news is that during the summer, I got to do some freelance artwork.

I had a few occasions to use my talents to earn some well-needed green - two for old employers, who - while still not able to rehire me - due to budgetary constraints - occasionally send me some requests for artwork. I won't bore you with those pieces, since they tend to be, non-comic-book, exploded-view technical specs for how to assemble assorted products. *yawn*

There's a promotional comic book project that has been given the green-light, but it's still in the planning stages, so that isn't anything I can work on at the moment.

However, I have had a few instances where I have either been asked (or, took it upon myself) to draw a comic-book character (or two) for a readers of my comic blog.

Sadly, I didn't scan in some of the other pieces, as they were more or less "quickies" ($10 - $20 "sketches" drawn on comic book backing boards, which, while I might call them "sketches", can be very detailed and often are what other artists might charge double the amount to produce).
Characters like Batman, Spider-Man and Green Lantern. Cool stuff, but, as I said, basic sketches and I mailed them off without nary a scan.

In fact, the object of this post (and my next) were actually drawn during the summer. This one having been drawn for someone who did not request one, per se, but did - out of the goodness of her heart - made a donation to the blog via paypal.

A kind reader opened her heart (and purse) to send a donation and so touched was I by her kindness that I made sure to draw her something "special" as my way of saying thanks.

click to enlarge

drawn by PTOR, ye humble blogger.
(so humble that I only sign my work with the mysterious -yet stylized-
 "?" question-mark-shaped letter "P".)
Oh, and the since it was commissioned via the comic blog I tossed that URL up top.
But no worries, the URL typed along the top is only on this digital version.

Drawn in pencil (blue and graphite) with copious amounts of subtle detail and shading, on 8.5 x 11 bristol board (the type of paper used for the drawing of comics), I presented her with this rendition of Doctor Strange (a large head-shot with a smaller full-body pose alongside).

Basically, I drew two different "roughs" and then dove into this final piece (which would normally fetch somewhere around $50 - $70 or so at this size and level of detail, but I gave to her "free" to repay a kind deed).

Just so you can see the process, here are the two sketches.

 2 ballpoint pen scribble sketches.

The first sketch I was looking for the right "mood" for Doc's face. Then, I just wanted to rough out the rest of the composition: smaller full-figure of Doctor Strange in his astral form, window design, but wasn't sure about adding the collar of the Cloak of Levitation.

The second sketch, I made the main figure / bust a bit smaller so I could fit in the cloak and the Eye of Agamotto, and then changed the position of the smaller figure to one that I liked much better.
But, the main figure now seemed too small for the composition, so I would have to lose the cloak and Eye entirely to accommodate the larger head.

And thus, once the final layout was deemed "right", I worked up the final piece that you saw above.
(Normally, if I was taking this as a commission - and not a surprise "thank you" - I'd have emailed the rough sketch to see if that was the direction the buyer would want before drawing the final piece.)

I sent her a scan of the final piece to see if she liked it, and then, with her approval, sent the physical drawing on it's way.

So pleased was she that she commissioned another item.
But that might be included in a future compilation post.

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