To unpathed waters, undreamed shores

That’s a quote from William Shakespeare and very much the feeling one gets when making art. This week was a lot slower for me compared to previous weeks. The homework remit from class 5 of ‘Illustrating the Graphic Novel‘ with Andy Fish was to do fully pencilled pages from our roughs we’d just completed. This should be the fun part where you get to breathe out and just draw. However the new knowledge we’ve attained means that you’re constantly adjusting the picture.
William Shakespeare
The bar has been raised in one’s visual consciousness. I think more than anything else, the thing that I’m learning from this course is the importance of dynamism in the character’s moves and the framing of a shot.

To this end I have added Burne Hogarth‘s ‘Dynamic Figure Drawing‘ and ‘Drawing Dynamic Hands‘ to my already overburdened library. They have been extremely enlightening. It’s not all work and no play however. My graphic read for pleasure this week was something I picked up on spec in Waterstones… ‘Madame Xanadu Exodus Noir‘ by Matt Wagner and Michael WM Kaluta. It is a fabulous concoction of mystery noir thriller and paranormal fantasy similar to Alan Moore‘s ‘Promethea‘ but I like this better because it’s got a good old fashioned diva heroine in the shape of fortune teller Madame Xanadu. Michael WM Kaluta’s illustrations are vibrant, truly dynamic even in a non action hero genre and the story line has a terrific epic quality to it with a feminist slant. Love it. I’m going to buy some more.

So this week in class 6 we had an intensive run down on inking techniques from Andy. This is by far the most demanding part of cartoon art but we could see from the examples shown how it can catapult art work into another orbit. Mastery of the brush is what we’re aiming for and my beautiful pristine instruments of inking are going to have a good work out in the next week or so. My teeny bottle of Deleter No 5 will hopefully need replenishing by the time I’ve tried out a page in a Jaime Hernandez, Frank Miller noir and eventually a Jessica Martin style. Exciting stuff.

We’re on a two week spring break now so I’m hoping that I can get back on track with my previous prolific output. I’ll let you know how it all goes when I next type with very inky fingers!

About Jessica

Jessica Martin is a multi-talented performer whose career has taken her from comedy impressionist to musical theatre leading lady and scriptwriter.
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