Progress on sci-fi comic and advice on developing a "style"

in Alien Art Hivelast year (edited)

It is -2 degrees right now in the city in which I live. It's what you refer to as "the dead of winter".

and in the midst of the gray, cold, seemingly unending winter, I have been a combination of busy and unfocused. Things are getting done, and yet...I don't feel like I'm getting anything done, and time is a meaningless blur

Currently over the hump on finishing a sci-fi story for Berserker comics. They're a publisher and art house run by some good people over in the UK, where I assume it is slightly warmer.

It's a anthology which I am not allowed to say much about, yet. I have been given the okay to show "a little, but nothing that gives anything away".

SO...I'll show you just a bit here...

p7 skltns.jpg


Here's some rough sketches leading up to a finished panel...





actually...let's get a better look at that crash, eh? Doing broken glass is a hit or miss situation. When you get it right you like to show it off...


It's a fun story to work on, and it has a lot of visual elements that require tracking down reference material. Some specific famous buildings, and well...that 80's pick up truck didn't draw itself. Anytime I get to draw older cars or even a car chase, well...that's a good day.

First off, a million years ago I was a mechanic, so I have a good grasp on what old cars look like, including the little details and the structure of them itself. How the wheels are attached, what it looks like underneath...I've taken them apart right down to the last nut and are always a bit better at drawing something when you have a good understanding of it's form and function.

That is an across the board truth. It's why guys often more have trouble drawing female bodies at first, than male bodies. It's because they are far more familiar with the male body...they have one, they see it everyday. It's all sub conscious at a certain point. No one is saying to themselves, "women have a different center of gravity, so this figure would lean more like this". They just pick that up from observation and practice and observation and practice.

Eventually it becomes second nature/instinct. But before that happens, you gotta see and understand how they work in real life.

If you think this is all a long set up for me making a mysoginistic joke about observing women and how they are...wrong, but only because I'm tired.

The actual point here is to get your reference from real life (that includes if you are writing a story).

In one of the many absurd, and borderline mentally ill, comments in defense of using AIart programs (which steals artwork and slurries it together with other stolen artworks), was "what's the difference if the AI finds a
a painting of something in order to make a picture or an artists looks at a painting of something and draws it." Aside from the 100 other things about that question that betray a lack of understanding of how art or that AIprogram the premise of artists looking at other artists pictures of things, in order to know how to draw those things. If I need to draw a truck...I don't go find someone else's picture of a truck...I go find a truck (in this case, my friends truck which is still being put together, but there's enough to go on)


Or find pictures of an actual truck


Because that's where the magic happens. Even if you are talking about doing something nigh photorealistic, it is still your interpretation of that. You are who you are and you are unique and you are going to notice things, focus on things that other people wouldn't in the same way. Glare, or dents, or how parts connect to other parts, or the seams or are going to pay more attention to something than someone else would, and they would pay more attention to something that you wouldn't.

and that's how your truck, even though it has all the same parts or elements of any other truck drawing...looks very unique, has some charm to it, and is believable...even when , in this case, it's abstract or cartoon-ish


Bzk solotruck.jpg


THAT is how you develop a style that is your own. If you draw something by looking someone else's drawing, it's your interpretation of their interpretation. It is your version of what they do...not you doing what you do. You understand what I'm saying here?

That goes for writing too. Write from personalities you know, events you know, things you can modify that, probably you never met an astronaut or a super villian, but you've met brave people and bad people...or you can watch interviews and such. and you plug that foundation of understanding into the character you write. Otherwise your "hero" is just your version of the heroes you've seen other people write. It'll be vapid, stereotypical, flavorless...uninteresting, and less believable.

On a side note...the more you pay attention to real life reference, the more visual details you have saved in the cpu between your ears. Let's say you need a bunch of sc-fi looking things in the back ground or such...well, I don't know what alien technology looks like, but I do know what the inside of a car engine looks like. I and adjuct how some of those parts look...maybe take some vacuum hoses, carburetor parts, engine valves, claps...and out of'll look pretty alien.


Anyways...the real hard parts of this story are next, so I'd best get back to work

As always, homebase is here


NFT work here-

Here are the other places to find use of them is fluid, inconstant, susceptible to the whims and shifts of the paradigm




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I think your art is fantastic!

I so love seeing all the layers that go into this amazing pictoral story telling. We're chilly today as well (tho only about 28 F) but we're supposed to have ONE day this weeked that will be negative, that's cold for us, but then all the following week 40s and 50s F again, good ole coastal New England haha.

I hope your New Year is going well @arseniclullaby

Glad you like seeing the process! btw I'm not a cold snob...anything under 50degrees is worth complaining about ;)

It's not much warmer in the UK and heading for freezing again soon.

I was thinking your experience of trucks from all angles is a bit like the classic artists who would go to autopsies and operations to see how the human body worked.

This project looks right up your street. I hope it's fun for you.

26 degrees here, and I'm just not built for it. Love the art!

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That's cold af too! Glad you like my work!!!