Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sketch-A-Day fun with the DCnU 071-076

As promised, fun with the DCnU. As we all know DC is relaunching their books in September and there are lots of new costumes to go with the books. So I thought I would take a stab at the re-envisioning of the DCU. These all started with finger doodles on the track pad for the colors.
Aquaman and Superman were surprisingly tough. I think that I'll probably end up doing a few more of each.

071 - 076
Here are some slightly more refined drawings with the new looks.
Again, I thought this was surprisingly tough. I'm not sure if the belt works, so maybe I'll do a more "pants" variation utilizing some different shades of blue. I did read a response to some of Cory Walker's sketches that argues that pants, simply look like pants and not very heroic. I'm not certain about that, but it is an interesting point to make. I may experiment with the segmented armor-y look that we've seen in the previews.

I went with pants. You can see in the doodles it's intended to be all black, not two shades of gray and black. I think the idea of the solid gray body suit Batman or the solid black Batman (that we've seen in the movies) both work fine. However, I'm not sold on a sneaky guy like Batman clearly wearing clearly visible body armor...wouldn't he try to hide that fact? I think so. Not sure why I did the big black bat versus the yellow oval...I do like the yellow oval. Guess I'll do another one.

Tough. I like the classic look, I liked the harpoon-hand look, I like the Young Justice cartoon look, so coming up with something different from that was tough. I think the current trend to draw every single scale on Aquaman (or Captain America) is a little silly. To me drawing every single scale defeats the suspension of disbelief that this is some crazy material that a normal person like me could ever have access to...having said that, yes, I drew a lot of scales. My reason for doing so was to try and do something different with them - changing the size and frequency of the scales as they moved from head to waist. My preference would to do with a shark skin where the denticles (yes, I've read stuff) are implied more than rendered out all the time. The more defined fins on the gauntlets are in line with the shark motif as well. I swapped the green for blue since it is a compliment of orange, although I do prefer the more modern approach to rendering his shirt "gold" versus orange.

Black Canary
The big challenge there is how to keep the fishnets when you get rid of the fishnets, at least that's how I saw the challenge. It seemed to me that the new design integrated more padding/armor into the look, so I went with that. I even co-opted the thingees on her sides, which I think help emphasize a waist.

Martian Manhunter.
He has a lot of colors to deal with and I think that I should have eliminated one or two more...yellow and/or blue. I see a few more version of this in my future. I wanted to keep his harness, but do something slightly different with it, hence the over-the-cape harness. Not so sure about the wrist bands.

Here's another character who has had too many colors. Just get rid of the green pants and he's way more intimidating and looks more like a hawk. I'm also okay with wings that look like artificial wings. Mine are a nod to the glimpse we see of Hawkman (and Hawkgirl) in the Young Justice cartoon. I kept his helment orange because I love his helmet as is. I can see it brown though.
When you put Hawkman and Martian Manhunter together...as they ended up here...it makes you realize that something has to be done with someone's harness, 'cause it looks a little odd to have the two of them walking around with a big "x" on their chests when they are together (and not in an X-Book). I decided to give Hawkman a few armor-ish nuances to his harness, but again I wrestle with not demolishing the suspesion of disbelief - having this amazing peice of technology that looks so simple and is uncluttered.

In general, I found this to be trickier than I thought...I should probably pay more attention to Project Rooftop. To me, the reason we label so many of these characters iconic is because, well...they are iconic. They are simple and easy to visually digest. I saw a tweet from writer B. Clay Moore who says, "I think every superhero costume should be simple and bold enough for a ten year-old to draw from memory." I think that is genius and 100% true...actually, speaking from experience and now seeing my daughter do it, I would amend that to say even a four-year-old should be able to draw it from memory.

Thanks for looking. I'll try and do more soon.

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