Apr 14, 2011

Size Matters Not.

A few nights ago I was showing Jennie some of the things I've been drawing lately - faces one and all. The page I showed her had five of them on it, and wasn't even full. She looked at them for a minute and said, "Why are they all so small?"

Little Boxes
'Roid rage guy, sideways tennis player, bad 11th Doctor, horrendous Amy Pond,
and ink drawing of me just to prove I can still sort of draw sometimes.

I've always drawn stuff small. Or, rather, compact. I'd never really thought about why I do that. A printed comic book page is a little smaller than 8 1/2" by 11", but the artist generally draws it much larger than that and it is then shrunk down to fit the page. When I drew my mini-comic, I drew it all at actual size, and even laid out the way it would be printed - the original art is just four sheets of regular printer paper, with each sheet having two side-by-side pages on it. The idea of drawing it any other way terrified me. How would you make copies at Kinkos of the pages weren't already laid out how you wanted them? Clearly, I'm totally professional about this.

I got to thinking about why I draw things small, though, and I think I've cracked it. The smaller I draw something, the less detail I feel like I have to include. I can get away with not trying as hard if I draw something small. The bigger the drawing, the more space there is to fill. Maybe that's not the way I should look at it, but it seems to be how my mind works.

When I write, I'm not afraid of the blank page. I know some writers are, but it's never really intimidated me. When I draw, though, the blank page might as well be laughing at me. What if what I put on it looks like crap? Only recently have I come to realize that it doesn't matter. A vast majority of what I'm going to put down is going to look awful. The only way to do it right is to do it wrong a whole bunch first.

In class tonight, we pretty much just had free drawing time the whole time. I decided to draw a face, much larger scale than what I had been drawing. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. It's a bald woman, because I didn't want to try to draw hair and completely ruin it (hair is hard!). I think there's a bald woman in the first Star Trek movie, so let's say that it's supposed to be her. The drawings on the first page took probably half an hour each. This drawing took me an hour and a half just to do blueline. I feel like it shows.

Bald Woman


Bruce O. Hughes said...

These all look good to one degree or another Joe!

I like the bald woman's nose.

Jessica said...

I like the tennis player.

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Jason said...

It's also important to realize that the bigger you draw the less noticeable the tinier mistakes look when you shrink it down.

It's just the bigger mistakes you're left to worry with at that point.

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Snowbrush said...

I just love that bottom portrait. Would you mind if i use it for my desktop?

Justin Ruzicka said...

i like it. you are invited to follow me blog.house-guy.com.
cheers. justin