Art, process and design blog of an aspiring industrial designer.

Is this a portrait of perhaps an edgier version of Gregory Peck? Nope! Just an unintentionally more-husky (handsome) rendition of my art teacher.  I am quite proud of this painting.  Although there are a bunch of areas I know I can improve on (for one, I wish my strokes were a little more directional, the portrait had a more detailed likeness, the nose area still bothers me a bit…), I think I really got the point and executed on this one.  Look for all the patches of white and dark.  The white area on the forehead is actually just the actual page itself!

One of my favorite comic artists of all time is Darwyn Cooke.  At night, I like to tell myself that this cartoon-y rendition of this man kinda looks a hint like his work.

Wonder Woman by Darwyn Cooke

Wonder Woman by Darwyn Cooke (Photo credit: ohnochriso)

The faces in his work are the real clincher for me.. To me, that’s what really gives his work such a specific stylized effect – that 1940’s coolness – with the lips and eyelashes and the chiseled profiles.  His style just gives such an immediate feel of the character and of the tone of the work, even before I see a costume or color or the name of the character!

Isn’t he one of the best comic artists ever?!  I absolutely love how cool and sassy and 1940’s his style is.  Its so awesome.
(Sidenote: Those who are crazy comic book fans of course know this, but for those that don’t, Darwyn Cooke is the comic artist that drew Minutemen!, which is a comic book written by Alan Moore before he wrote the famous Watchmen..)

Anyway, I want to put a question to any readers about painting:
I’m trying to work on making my strokes more directional (or indicative of planar direction), but I find that if or when I start small, directional strokes, it is much harder to ‘block out’ the different tones of grey in the accurate shapes.  Also I find that these smaller brush strokes often have a much ‘weaker’ effect than the color-saturated ones I do now.  (I don’t know if the word is weaker, but what I’m trying to say is perhaps, that these smaller brush strokes give a more subtle transition from shade to shade, which to me gives the impression of less conviction in the stroke.  I do not like that.) Do any of you have any tips about keeping small brush strokes strong looking?  Or any tricks for indicating plane-direction with brush strokes?

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