Episode Twenty Nine

Happily- I’m almost entirely through my Draw the Marvel Way backlog… and the uni trimester is about to close… and I’m about to take a break from work. To be honest, I’m already starting to wonder how I’m going to pass the time now I’ve finally climbed back on top of a whole heap of things. Maybe I’ll just sleep for a handful of days.

Anyway- continuing the theme of late, it seems every time I pick up a pencil it is for a Marvel tutorial. Here’s the latest efforts:

I was really looking forward to this one and I think it is definitely my best torso ink work to date. A lot of fun and happy with the result (yes- those hands are terrible…).

Venom. Sometimes I look at it and feel I over simplified, sometimes I’m really happy with it. I wish I thought through the chest piece a bit better.

Deathlok- this one annoyed me quite a bit at the time. The level of detail seemed a massive step up and the jump between the last few steps was enormous. Regardless, once I put the pencils down and started inking I think it came together ok.

Issue 20! The Absorbing Man Crusher Creel. I did this one sitting in front of the tv while watching the NBA playoffs and I think it shows. A couple of issues with proportions and a couple of short cuts but having said that, for a quick throw down I feel it worked out pretty well.

So- issue 20 is a bit of a milestone and I think it’s a good time to review the magazine and my own progress. Full disclosure- I have been racing through the issues to an extent and as a result I’ve often not done the secondary tutorial. I hate knowing I’ve got a stack of issues to catch up on so it’s entirely a personal decision- probably a poor one- and my progress to date would well and truly be overshadowed by someone more committed. 

Nevertheless, on a personal level, I feel the time at the desk has definitely resulted in improvements in judging distances, dimensions and tool control. I’m not saying I’m perfect, but the improvement through the issues is certainly there as well as a marked increase in speed. I also feel a bit freer and confident to be looser in my line work- I’m not trying to cram too much in and making a dodgy mess.

Of course, there are many things I want to improve but perhaps the biggest issue will be continuing to get more accurate in proportions as well as getting better at suggesting the 3D form. I feel I am often very flat in both line work and shading. A big issue is always my hands and faces which I believe is exacerbated by the small size of the drawings but certainly a weakness. There has been a couple of good theory articles in Draw Marvel that I will revisit however I feel something like Loomis’ book on the subject will offer more.

So how is the standard of instruction in Draw the Marvel Way. Honestly, I feel most of the improvement is just repetition and drilling what is the same style over and over. Some tutorials are the epitome of Draw the Rest of the Owl and there is limited text description. I also feel that although the stick figures are good to map things out I would prefer constructing with geometric shapes rather than random blobs. Also- what’s with the over drawing of the hands? Often they’ll go through three different constructions rather than refining the initial place holder. I find it confusing and end up with a mess of lines. Maybe it’s just me?

As with the first ten issues, a collection of art supplies are offered up but in reality the $15 asking price is atleast $5 too much. A couple of items have been great- the binder, box and colour wheel- while the general consumables seem to be of fairly low quality. I don’t actually use them, preferring my Lumograph pencils, Staedtler pigment liner and Pentel Touch brush pen. 

That reminds me- they have started showing a bit about colouring- providing colour palettes and a brief description but I haven’t been following those yet and to be honest I think it’s pretty light on. I intend on giving this a go in coming issues and will be sure to throw my thoughts here.

Minor complaints aside, the magazine is worth it if only for the added motivation to make time to draw- plus my kids get a kick out of it. I look forward to continuing on and will throw another review up in another ten issues. 



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