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Topic: Bat Boo-Boo - 06.12.07 Post ReplyPost New Topic
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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 6:29am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

So… the customer asked for Batman, Robin, and Batgirl, with the latter zooming in on her motorcycle. No problem! I grabbed a model motorcycle for reference, laid out the piece, and started inking.

Now, as it happened, the motorcycle I used as reference was still in the box, so I could only see one side of it. Also no problem. One of my lesser mutant powers is that I can "flip" images in my mind -- draw them backwards from how they actually look. So that's what I did with the motorcycle. Got this far

when what's left of my brain started working. Motorcycles are not symetrical! it whispered. D'oh!! I was drawing the left side of the bike as the right side. Any chance the elements might be similar enough that I could "fake it"? No.

So, what to do? Start over? But I liked the layout, and I especially liked how well the bike was going so far. Solution… get out the lightbox, flip the piece over, and trace it onto the back. Which is what I did, producing this:

So -- the customer gets a two-fer! The finished drawing and the pencils! How often does that happen?

11x17

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Eric Doyle
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Posts: 253
Posted: 12 June 2007 at 6:37am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I have a feeling very few could pull that off with out the drawing looking "off".  Great piece!  I miss Batgirl!  I love her boots!

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Ryan Maxwell
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 6:39am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Ummm...can you mess up like that on the next one I order, please?  Love the pencils and the final product.  Thanks for sharing.
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Kevin Brown
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Joined: 31 May 2005
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 6:39am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Cool. 

Now THAT is a great piece. 

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David Henriot
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Joined: 31 October 2006
Location: France
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 6:39am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Wonderfull, really wonderfull, John !!!
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Kor Watkins
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Joined: 07 January 2005
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Posts: 765
Posted: 12 June 2007 at 6:41am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Awesome piece! Love your Batgirl! (I miss her sooooo much!)
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Aric Shapiro
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 6:42am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Wow.  Love hoe easily you seem to be able to draw Batman from different eras.  This is just a fun looking piece.  So nice to see Batgirl and the Robon of old.  I don't recall his being featured this prominently in a commission before.  Awesome job on the bike.  The metal looks like metal and the glass looks like glass!!  Great SA feel to the whole thing. 

I hope someone claims this one, so we can congrtulate them

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Sam Houston
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 6:49am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I am still trying to figure out what you are referring to with the flipping of the motorcycle.  All I know is that this commission looks great and the motorcycle, both versions, looks sleek.  Great job!

Sam

P.S. JB, can you elaborate on the model you used as a referrence?  You mention that you have a model, but it is in a box and you can only see one side.  This sounds like a riddle of the Sphinx!  Perhaps a pic of it?

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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 6:54am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

I use hi-detail toys* for reference on a lot of vehicles. Better than photographs, because I can turn them to whatever position I need. In this case, the motorcycle is still in the box it came in, with clear plastic on the front, but not the back. So, since the bike is left-side-out, what I was drawing was the left side of the bike, which is different from the right side.


* After I first mentioned this, some fifteen years ago, an artist sent me some of his work so I could see how he was "improving". There was an airplane in one sequence. Looking at the art, I could only assume he had heard I use toys for reference, but missed the "highly detailed" part. So he'd run to Toys'R'Us and picked up the first PlaySkool plane he found.
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Vladimir Fiks
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Joined: 03 May 2004
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 7:03am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

That's really a terrific piece John, wonderful composition.

Vlad
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Thanos Kollias
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 7:04am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

This is probably the most fantastic motorcycle I have seen you draw, John. Congrats! Amazing piece. As I read the back-story, my mind started saying: "Lightbox!", and I was right (I am proud of myself!).

Great solution, by the way, but I guess it only works if you are John Byrne. It's incredible how well drawn this is, that it doesn't look at all odd when seen through a mirror (or flipped like John did).

John, you are trully a Master.



Edited by Thanos Kollias on 12 June 2007 at 7:07am
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William Roberge
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 7:07am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Good job on remembering not to also copy Robin's "R" from the correct side to the wrong side of the chest!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 7:10am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Great solution, by the way, but I guess it only works if you are John Byrne. It's incredible how well drawn this is, that it doesn't look at all odd when seen through a mirror (or flipped like John did).

***

There are some artists who I've seen work this way as a matter of course. They do their layouts on the back of the piece, then flip the page over and lightbox the front. Ross Andru did this, late in his career, to compensate for trouble he was having with his vision.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 7:11am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Good job on remembering not to also copy Robin's "R" from the correct side to the wrong side of the chest!

***

Yeah -- but I got Batgirl's chest emblem backwards!!

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William Roberge
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 7:14am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

Well Pobodys nerfect.....(you did get me to look though..... Dho!)
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Ted Pugliese
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Joined: 05 December 2005
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 7:15am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

Holy Shit, Byrneman. That is awesome!
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Ron Farrell
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 7:28am | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Awesome piece, JB. Really great.

I just realized something I really like about your Batman, especially here. It's definitely you, but I see Dick Sprang in the head and some Jim Apraro / Neal Adams in the rest.

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Steve Gumm
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 7:31am | IP Logged | 18 post reply

Man, what a beautiful commission! The reflections on the bike is awesome. It has two elements I'm always glad to see: A Byrne cityscape and the low camera angle! That angle is magic, especially when the perspective is drawn correctly, which is never a problem with JB!
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John Byrne
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 7:33am | IP Logged | 19 post reply

I just realized something I really like about your Batman, especially here. It's definitely you, but I see Dick Sprang in the head and some Jim Apraro / Neal Adams in the rest.

***

"My" Batman is most definitely a composite. Dick, Neal, Jim, and probably bits and pieces of just about every artist I have seen draw the character.

One of the "pleasant surprises" of BATMAN 3D was that I saw very few influences in the way I drew him. It was as if, for the first time, I was seeing the "pure Byrne" Batman.

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Michael Connell
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Joined: 13 January 2006
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 7:36am | IP Logged | 20 post reply

JB is the Reed Richards of the art world, solves the problems on the fly without skipping a beat.
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Brian Hague
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 7:44am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

A dynamite picture, with all of the signature elements I'd hope for if I were to request a commission!  The lighting, surface details, characterization, and cityscape... All just beautifully done!  When you mentioned using a toy as the model, I thought that it might it be this one... Was there any chance that you'd open the box to see if the cycle was roughly symmetrical enough to work?

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Andrew Hess
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 7:56am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Great "mistake", JB!
Love how the characters fill the page.

And more fun heroes!
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Mike Davis
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Joined: 28 March 2007
Location: Canada
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 8:01am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Great job JB, I bet you really enjoyed doing this one.
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David Perrin
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Posts: 734
Posted: 12 June 2007 at 8:02am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Ok. I have always enjoyed the commisions posted here. Some
are way better than others but ALL of them are very good by
anyone's standards.

This one however.....is AWESOME and I think its because of the
bike! The bike is really dead on and that is what makes this
one piece stand out to me.

With it so 'front and center' in the layout if you don't draw it just
right it would wreck the whole piece. Turns out its about near
perfect!

Thanks for posting it.
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Christos Seros
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Posted: 12 June 2007 at 8:03am | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Fantastic!
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