Monday, October 30, 2006

Two of the best

Today, I 'm recommending to your attention the work of two stellar draughtsmen, Jerry Ordway and Sean Phillips. What's to be gotten from these guys? A whole lot, but I want to concentrate on three aspects.

1. Check out Jerry Ordways' masterful handling of folds. With decades of experience, he has a great grasp of

  • the physical, shadow-casting thickness of folds--in accordance with the thickness of the fabric,
  • the direction of folds in relation to stress points, and of
  • the effect of gravity on clothes. Observe how the lines of the pants are increasingly busy and horizontal as gravity pulls them down onto the tops of the shoes.

Jerry was kind enough to grant me permission to show you guys these gorgeous pencils for his DC project Red Menace.

2. I'm adding a new blog link today. It's that of the very talented Sean Phillips, who is my favorite example of an artist who makes great use of photos without making the art look stiff or traced. His inking is rich and spontaneous-looking, and he doesn't seem to let the facts of the photos push him around. He never forgets he's making comics, that his fidelity is to making the stuff read, not to recreating the photo.

Just as a skilled inker can make a pen line look like a brush line and vice versa, Phillips can often leave me in doubt as to which panels he shot ref for, because he lets the photos inform his approach to drawing. He absorbs the feel of them. This stuff from the book Criminal is his best yet, for my money.

Check it out!

3. Note the fantastically skilled use of shadow on the Criminal pages in particular. He adds much depth solidity and a heavy mood to his panels with black. I like the dry-brush edge to some of the black areas.