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For the Babies

There are just a couple weeks left of school this year and I've had my best class ever.  No exaggeration, the best group of kids that I've ever taught.  To reward them for their hard work this year I promised them all a mini commision.  I got them to all tell me what they wanted a picture of and I pencilled and inked it over the past week.  It was kind of a lot of work during assessments and everything, but they turned out pretty cool (at least I'm happy) and I learned a few things as well.


Lesson 1: I Suck at Vehicles

The jet plane and Nimitz aircraft carrier were far and away the hardest things the kids asked for.  Turns out I'm terrible with perspective and scale.  I also have very little grasp of what the parts on these vehicles do or why they might be important to include in a picture.  I'm least happy with these two but I'm going to thank the kids that suggested those for pushing me to further myself.

Lesson 2: Kids Love Pokemon

Ok, so I already knew this one.  Still the majority of my "commisions" (4/18) were of Pokemon.  This was cool with me as I appreciate the simplicity inherent in animation, it's closer to the style I've been honing myself.  It also gave me a lot of cartoons to look to for source material.  Being a fan of the games also helped me enjoy working on these pictures more than some of the other pictures.

(a close second with 3 requests were the Disney Fairies which I didn't know existed before last week)

Lesson 3: I Suck at Inking

At the very least I'm a bit out of practice.  Too much playing with the brush pen I think.  I was getting back into a groove before I was done, but the first few pictures had really inconsistent line work.  Also going back through the pictures I have far too much variance in my blacks.  I need to work on keeping solid black lines on the page, inking is no time to be wishy washy or non commital once the brush hits the page.  I'll want to do a lot more practice with the brushes before I start inking out the first pages of the new webcomic.

I think all artists pick their work apart.  I think that's important.  That's hopefully going to make me a better artist, and that's what we're all striving for.  Thanks for reading.

-Jon O

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