Yesterday afternoon I found myself talking to a distant friend on the internet about the manga doodles in my notebook (see yesterday’s post if you have not already seen it), and flippantly suggested that I should draw a comic version of her – the continuation of a long standing joke between us that she is actually Superman’s cousin, “Powergirl”.
Given that I knew it would take hours to draw a proper picture of her, I had a brainwave that would serve as a lesson to the more gullible about not believing everything you see on the internet. I guess the three pictures below will tell the story better than I ever could:
What are we seeing here?
- The first picture is a photo of my notebook, with nothing drawn in it.
- The second picture is some comic artwork I found on Pinterest after about a minute of searching of a girl that looked very like the friend on the internet (or rather, her face is similar – I couldn’t possibly comment about the rest of her – and you can stop laughing already).
- The final photo is a composite image of the comic book art, superimposed onto the page of my journal, and tinkered with to make it look more like it was drawn. The entire process took about 15 minutes.
Here’s the thing though – after uploading the image to the internet, a little voice in my head started questioning if I really could replicate a printed image accurately. This morning I found myself with a couple of hours to myself, so set about finding out.
As before, here are the photos that pull the curtain back on the magic:
- The first picture shows the result of printing out the original image (vastly enlarged to the bit I wanted to copy), drawing a 1cm grid over it, and then replicating that grid into my sketchbook. It took ages.
- The second picture is really the leap of faith – and the only bit that really required any artistic skill – drawing with pen over the pencil while looking at the original image very closely. I used two pens – a 0.1mm drawing pen, and a 0.5mm drawing pen to block in.
- The final picture is the result of twenty minutes of mind-numbing boredom blocking in the rest of the black areas, and then rubbing out the pencil lines.
So yes – given a printer, a free graphics app to scale up a picture and print it, and enough time, you can easily replicate an image from a book – Warhol style – into your own sketchbook, and make it into something it wasn’t before.
At least I ended up with a pretty cool image in my sketchbook, right ?
I had an interesting conversation with our eldest daughter later in the afternoon. She brought a Manga drawing to show me that she had been working on, and I suggested some improvements – including using any pens, pencils, or whatever else she had around to deepen some of the colours. She seemed horrified at first, but then realised I had a point – only she would care about method from a purely academic standpoint – people looking at the picture wouldn’t care.
And that’s how we’ve ended up with impossible glamour magazine cover models.
p.s. there’s a pretty funny story behind the way the Powergirl comic book character looks – to do with the publishers of the comic requesting the artist give her bigger and bigger boobs, because it seemed to reflect in increased sales. The artists ended up colluding, and seeing how ridiculous they could make her before anybody complained. Nobody complained.