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Draw! #24 Winter 2013 (magazine review).

March 13, 2021 | By | Reply More

The major part of Draw! # 24 from 2013 is devoted to cover artist Glen Orbik showing how he and his other half, artist Laurel Belchman, help each other out when needed, before getting into the nitty-gritty of talking shop with editor Mike Manley. Here it gets into composition before selecting models for the poses. Seeing his teacher illustrations, he clearly doesn’t need to do it. Considering it takes him anything up to a month to complete a cover, which surprised Steve Rudd and Alex Ross who really do things in a few days or get bored, I can’t help it comes from university education.

Cover painter artists still get paid a lot of money for their work, albeit it hasn’t gone up with inflation, there has to be a desire to show you’ve spend a lot of time over a painting than get it completed in a week or less.

For any creative endeavour, there is often a desire to show you’ve spent time on the work, when really a lot of it is thinking, inspiration, false ends, reworking and finally getting the final piece done. The skill is the quality of the work not the time it takes to get there. Life is easier if everything clicks at once but it doesn’t always happen that way. That’s my take on part of the interview so obviously it triggered something in me.

Something I do agree with Orbik on is that students are no longer getting a history of artists and his don’t even know who Frank Frazetta is anymore. There’s a good argument that art classes should include art appreciation and ensure they get something of the history into their education. Orbik is also an Andrew Loomis fan and luminary and has some interesting stories about him. I always thought that Loomis gave up time in his schedule to write and draw his books but he was simultaneously doing commercial work at the same time.

I love his description of how artists examine other artists original work close-up to examine the detail in a way the non-artists don’t. I do think there’s a matter of how the picture is absorbed. I can take a painting in a magazine in a glance but I also have an accelerated eye and absorb a lot more information that way. With original art, you see a lot more than a reproduction can give and often such opportunities don’t always come up.

For those who work in oils, there are problems with reflections when taking photographs of the painting and he discusses how to get around that. As I paint in acrylic, I haven’t had to use varnish but I can see his problem.

When I started reading Glen Obik’s interview, I didn’t think I was going to have a lot to say and, looking above, ended up with a lot of discussion points. A lot of it isn’t actually disagreeing with him but understanding why some things happen that way.

Obik’s workshop is a superb insight in how to compost a painting with a model and he’s to be commended for pointing out that the models themselves will offer different poses themselves so they both explore all the options. In other words, it’s not enough just to take a couple photographs and assume you have enough. I think I would also explore different lighting as this can also show different tonal levels in case something needs to be changed.

Mike Manley’s interview with artist Robert Valley on the likes of ‘Gorrillaz’ and ‘Beatles: Rock City’ also explores his use of pencil and digital and the problems of having no originals. I like his comparisons between laptops and desktops but similarly, I don’t tend to think there is enough emphasis on having more RAM for artistic use. It’s less about filling the RAM up and more about having the space to manipulate an image.

In his ‘Rough Critique’, Bob McLeod uses a page of Antonio Rodriguez’ art and showing the mistakes made with perspective and a reminder of a lesson from Andrew Loomis about the relative size of things. Looking at the work here, it looked like Rodriguez has a common mistake novice artists have, relying on line of sight than checking perspective with a ruler. I agree with McLeod that the non-artist will know that there is something wrong but can’t put their finger on what. Artistically, we are supposed to be able to figure it out, so it’s worthwhile looking at these exercises to see if you can work it out before McLeod shows it. I do think new artists need to do more studying of real people and practice to sort their anatomy and detail out.

Mike Manley and Bret Blevins spend time showing how to draw an eye correctly in their ‘Comic Art Bootcamp’ It’s important to remember it is an eyeball and showing the size of the socket in the skull, it is surrounded by muscle and how it compresses, together with the eyebrows gives expression. These are important lessons and if drawing eyes is your failing, these get this issue. I’m less sure that the eyes are the expression of the soul but that’s only because it’s the surrounding muscles that give the interpretation.

‘The Crusty Critic’ Jamar Nicholas shows a few tricks with pens. The best is pulling a felt-tip nib out and seeing if it has a point at the other end.

As always, for the novice and pro-artist, there is a lot to learn from ‘Draw!’ and this issue, eight years down the line is no exception. I do wonder how many of you are going to go for TwoMorrows Ultimate Bundles and but what they have in one pack which is a lot cheaper.

GF Willmetts

March 2021

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 7.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6882. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 7.95 (US))

check out websites: www.TwoMorrows.com, www.draw-magazine.blogspot.com and www.penciltopencil.com and https://twomorrows.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=98_59&products_id=1066&zenid=c5294910e74b47d81acb02f45c83b15c

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Category: Illustration, Magazines

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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