Friday, August 21, 2015


So my buddy Xavi asked about contributing to a little sketch blog he cooked up.  A bunch of the guys decided to bang out some X-23 and then we would all post the drawings on the same day.

I've never drawn X-23 before, nor am I that familiar with the character, but a female clone of wolverine that may or may-not hang out with my favorite female ninja Psylocke... sounds pretty awesome.

First off, I don't really do the pin-up thing.  That's just me.  Females in unnaturally contorted poses, just for posing sake, is not something I do, unless it's from life, or a study of some kind.  I want to see action, unless I am studying anatomy.  Why action heroes need to pose in static makes no sense.  You can have action, or movement, or energy and still be aesthetically appealing.  Swimsuit models aren't girls who model swimsuits, they are swimsuits that model girls.  What's selling, the suit, or the figure?

I see a lot of amazing artists who really grasp line energy and anatomy getting stuck in that pin-up girl pose thing.  Just walk around Comic Con the prints that sell well are usually those, and they are everywhere.  It's almost like a dating service, you walk around and look for the features you prefer, and hang them on your wall.  The next level from that is taking cool figures and giving them some natural looking movement.  And the next level after that is not only giving them natural movement but doing some kind of storytelling in the process.  And really that's what this is all about.  Storytelling.  You want to know the characters by looking at them.  What they think, how they feel at that moment, what they stand for.  It's like a snapshot of someones life.  The best pictures usually have stories that go along with them.  They have something deeper.

Anyway that's kind of how I think.  I haven't arrived at that level of awesomeness yet, but that's what I'm going for.

So I scribbled out a pose that was walking.  A mid-air shot might have been cooler, but I wasn't trying to copy this Sanford Greene print I have hanging up in my studio.  I like the way he drew X-23 a lot in that print, in fact that's really the only exposure I had to her before trying to draw this.  His Psylocke in that piece is pretty rad too.

My pencils are pretty loose but I got most of the information I needed from them.

I could've tightened up the pencils more, but I didn't have a lot of time for this, so I jumped into the line art.

I threw some copic color and some watercolors down to flesh out some of the colors a bit and get a feel for how I may want to tackle it.

Then I pushed some of the color levels and added some blacks with a brush.  I added some red in the background with watercolor to pop the figure a little more.  

It was just a sketch in my sketchbook (you can see where I was testing the colors and inks on the left) but it was good practice.  

This was the final image, I leveled it a bit so the blacks were more black.  I don't have a scanner right now, so I just took a photo using my phone.  

And that's pretty much that.  Check out the other awesome sketches the guys did on our other blog.


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