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Topic: Q4JB - Drawing backgrounds (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Michael Everall
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Posted: 20 April 2007 at 5:42pm | IP Logged | 1  

What percentage of time do you typically spend drawing rubble, grass, mud, etc. in the background of a scene/commission?

Also, any interesting tales on how you create those details?


I'm just curious, because it's one of the things you do so well.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 20 April 2007 at 5:49pm | IP Logged | 2  

The most important lesson I have learned about the more "spontaneous" kinds of backgrounds, like grass, shrubbery, rubble, etc, is "Less is more". In this case, less penciling.

In the early days of my career, I would lay out every bit of rubble, every blade of grass, every pile of rock, all in pencil, before I went back in and tightened it up for the inker. If I was inking myself, even in the breakdowns I would do very tight rubble.

Then one day, I realized this was counter-productive. Organics and broken stuff need to be loose, even sloppy. So I started roughing in general outlines, positioning forms but not worrying about the precise content of those forms until I went back in to tighten with pencil or ink. THIS gives a good idea of what I mean.

Musta worked, since I have been called one of the best artists for rubble and broken stuff in the Biz. And, yes, that is one of the oddest compliments I have ever been paid!

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John Peter Britton
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Posted: 20 April 2007 at 6:26pm | IP Logged | 3  

Thats a nice piece of art  JB.
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Michael Everall
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Posted: 20 April 2007 at 9:18pm | IP Logged | 4  

Musta worked, since I have been called one of the best artists for rubble and broken stuff in the Biz.
***
I agree!

How do you feel about how the various 'rubble' gets colored? I remember looking at some comics and thinking:

 "Wow, Byrne put all this background detail in a picture but then the colorist just washed over the whole thing in grey!"

I can understand not coloring every single rock but shouldn't the colorist add at least a shade or a color or two?
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Sam Karns
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Posted: 21 April 2007 at 12:04am | IP Logged | 5  

I have a huge problem with smugging.  Are there ways to prevent smugging a section of a piece while working on another on the page?
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Glenn Brown
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Posted: 21 April 2007 at 5:00am | IP Logged | 6  

Not trying to correct you but do you mean "smudging?" 

If so, place a piece of clean paper between your drawing hand and the part of the drawing you're trying to protect.  Also if you're right-handed, try drawing from left-to-right...that way, your hand will rest upon a virgin surface as it moves directionally across the page.  If you're left-handed, the same principle works in reverse (drawing from right-to-left across the paper). 

 

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John Angelo
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Posted: 21 April 2007 at 7:20am | IP Logged | 7  

I can't recall the two F.F. issue numbers, but the F.F. versus Gladiator, and theF.F.and Silver Surfer versus Terrax had some great rubble, JB!

There was another issue where you drew Manhattan Island being severed from the rest of the country. In one panel, you showed an exposed tunnel (that traversed a river underground) full of commuter traffic. I remember always coming back to that image and just staring in ga-ga like fashion. There was river water draining out and such.

It was Sooooooo good.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 21 April 2007 at 7:35am | IP Logged | 8  

Most of you know I prefer to avoid using photo reference in my work, unless I am drawing something specific, like the Sphinx or the Chrysler Building. There are, however, several books I have picked up over the years for what I sometimes call "Osmosis Reference". These are books I flip thru a couple of times, and sort of "absorb" what they have to show, rarely actually pulling them out to look at when I am doing the drawing.

One such is DEAD TECH, featuring the photographs of Manfred Hamm. A second is THE DESTRUCTION OF PENN STATION, which showcases the work of Peter Moore.

Sadly, several of the 9/11 photo essay books are also excellent reference sources for urban destruction.

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John Peter Britton
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Posted: 21 April 2007 at 8:14am | IP Logged | 9  

Its interesting if you use reference to try to remember what it looked like then close the reference book and try to draw  the object from memory then check on the book to see how much you remembered JB must have this down to an art.You do some mighty fine art Mr Byrne. 

Edited by John Peter Britton on 21 April 2007 at 8:15am
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Sam Karns
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Posted: 21 April 2007 at 11:21am | IP Logged | 10  

Thanks, Glenn. 
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