Friday, May 27, 2011

Hits and Misses

Warning: this post is kind of a journey. You may want to get a drink before you sit down to read.

Several weeks ago now, we had an event at work called "Story Days," wherein all the story artists on campus attended lectures, pitched sequences from upcoming films, then drank too much and swore loudly at each other across the tables of a fancy restaurant.

It is my habit to avoid drinking and swearing, but I did enjoy the lectures very much. Guillermo Del Toro, Roger Deakins, and Dean DeBlois had some really insightful and inspiring things to say, so I'm really glad I got to attend.

Like most of you, probably, I doodle incessantly...especially when listening to people talk for long stretches. The following are what I thought to be fairly successful caricatures of

Roger Deakins

and Guillermo Del Toro, who on the day was wearing what appeared to be pajamas. The drawings themselves were quick and intuitive, made with a cheap Bic Round Stic ballpoint pen (tone added later by the inimitable Philip Craven).

Usually when a good doodle happens in my sketchbook, it is a complete accident (especially meeting doodles, since I'm thinking about what's being said and not thinking about the drawing...depending on how well the meeting is going).

These two rare successes were followed by my more comfortable friend and companion: ABJECT FAILURE...

No matter how I tried, for the life of me, I couldn't capture a likeness of Dean DeBlois. Below, you will find all of my failed attempts. The first bunch are in ballpoint, with the little guy in the middle on the bottom being the only attempt made during the lecture. After my initial failure, I turned to my trusty friend YouTube to provide me with some footage of Dean (I prefer video to still images when drawing people that I can't observe directly). More failure followed in both


and marker.
(photoshop coloring, ex post facto)

After a while (not so very long, really), I gave up and just started drawing Aquamans. Then, I couldn't stop drawing Aquamans during meetings for, like, a week after that. This has been known to happen to me from time to time.

I realized that part of what sent me on this journey is a personal failing of mine: I'm impatient. As I mentioned previously, I find myself drawing in ink almost exclusively. For better or for worse, this means a lot of quick drawings that don't get fussed with. If I don't like the way something is going, I'll usually just start another drawing...or turn the current drawing into something irreversibly silly (this is a common fix for me).

I suppose I should wrap this all up with some kind of resolution. I don't want to be stuck in a rut, so I suppose I'll try my hand at some pencil drawing...I tried it out a few weeks ago, and met with mixed results. Let's see if there are things I can learn from getting a little fussy with drawings. See you on the other side of this experiement.


Anonymous said...

HAWHAWHAW!!! The Deakins drawing is spot on! I love the Aquaman sketches, too! Good luck with the switch to pencil, nothin' like keeping the mental bed sheets fresh.

Carrie Liao said...

Love all these sketches (Baker Aquaman especially)! He does look good in a pair of pumps.

Also, I appreciate the caricature of Deakins because I only know him by the description: "very regal, with a white mane of hair". So I pretty much picture a weird lion-man hybrid. This sketch seems much closer to reality.

Morgan said...

Anthony, your art continues to charm. The aquaman sketches particularly had me in stitches.

Rem-Brant said...

I feel like a couple of the Dean ones get close, but yeah, he'd be hard to get right!

I wish I had your problem! I have (and have had for a long time) confidence issues with drawing, combined with impatience!

Your sketches are looking great.

Jeff C said...

Are there videos with Dean shirtless?
I'm so glad you had this failure. This is the funniest thing I've read anywhere in a while. And Shannon really enjoyed the Aquaman in sensible pumps.

Michael said...

These are fantastic!

Megan Nicole Dong said...

I love these. All of them. The Aquamen are hilarious (I particularly like the images of him baking and barbecuing) and I always wondered what Dean DeBlois would look like in a propeller beanie and goggles.

Looking forward to the pencil sketches!!

Bobby Pontillas said...

Awesome awesome. Your drawings are so cool!

Nate Villanueva said...

i friggin love american grizzly mohawk bondage dean! everything you do is soo gud though.

tunamunaluna said...

these are amaaaazing!

John S. said...

Many of your Deans look great.
Strangely, many of your Aquamans look like Dean. I think Dean should be Aquaman. Why? Cause Dean likes to Scuba dive. There.

chengwhich said...

haha, love these -- especially Del Toro!

Ian Abando said...

wow ! great style , great likeness . despite your reservations i think youre mostly successful here . expecially your aqua-deans :D yes !!!


Artemisio said...

del toro is utterly adorable, but aquaman cooking biscuits deserves to be on a tshirt. Please put it on threadless *___*

Justin Rodrigues said...

Dude these aquaman designs are amazing. Great stuff!

Aaron Ludwig said...

Love the oven-mitt Aquaman.
Thanks for the inspiring post!

Mattias said...

Love the quaman!

L ROSSI said...

Lovely post!
Baking underwater is indeed worthy of a spot on a t-shirt :D
Though with quick sketches, I think you have the right idea to move on to the next drawing if it's not going well, as opposed to working into one drawing - that's the essence of quick sketches in my opinion. Granted it's hit and miss, but I always believe the more you do, the more chance something good will come out :) And I think you get a lot of good come out so don't worry! ;)
Look forward to your next set of 'meeting' drawings :)

Michael Mercer said...

Nice doodles. I encourage the fearless and humbling exploration of unconquered vistas. This is a blog about adventure...isn't it?

"TORI CAT" said...

What great work!!
Just stumbled across your blog, and im glad i did!!
What a great find!! :D
I love your Character designs and especially your zoo sketches!
Fantastic stuff!!
I'm going to make a link your page on my blog, under my list of inspiring artists!! I'll come back soon!!
Many thanks,
Best wishes,

The Illustrious and Illustrative Sketch Adventure Lifestyle of Anthony Holden. Cartoons, Sketches, Character Designs, Storyboards, Comics, Illustration, Animation, Silly thoughts, Intermittent Posting, and Arbitrary Capitalization by American animation artist, Anthony Holden. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look!
All content on this page copyright 2007-2011 Anthony L. Holden. Do not use without permission, except for purposes of review.