Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ug Crappyfeet to Ug Cyclist

For reasons now lost back in the twitter timeline, I drew a quick sketch of a caveman cyclist, to taunt Nick (@aslongasicycle, and @vulpinecc supremo).


Ug Crappyfeet (Faber Castell 9000 (B) pencil, Moleskine Pocket Reporter)

I dashed this off, mostly to make a silly joke, but did like his expression, and posture.  I didn't like the positioning of his legs (the one nearest to us is all wrong, not where it should be on his body at all) and my lack of skill at drawing feet was cruelly exposed.

Nick was rather taken with it though, and as I was going to send the drawing to him, that gave me something of a spur to make more of the parts of it that I liked.  I gave myself a week to improve on it, and, as luck would have it, had a week with a bit more hobby time than is usual for me available.

Different media, faces.(Charcoal Pencil, Pastel Stick,
Moleskine Pocket Reporter)

The first thing I needed to do was recreate what I liked in the expression Ug had in the first image.  That's what I'm trying to do on this page, as well as trying a charcoal pencil and pastel stick.  I think the lesson we learn here is "stick to what you know".

Colour testing using Derwent Watercolour Pencils (Koh-I-Noor 2B graphite, Centropen fineliner, Derwent Watercolour Pencils, Moleskine Pocket Reporter)

Once I'd got a handle on the character, I started to test colour blends.  The intention was to give Ug a Vulpine green cap and loin cloth, with the conceit being that they're made of some sort of fur or animal skin.  On the second page, you can see the different combinations labelled with their constituent colours.  At this stage, I still thought I'd use watercolour pencil, because they're more predictable than "proper" watercolours.

His stance and expression aren't great in this outline, but it was ok for a colour test.

Trying a different style of figure, and including the first iteration of his bike (Faber Castell 9000 (B) pencil, Seawhite A6 Sketchbook)

I tried one final attempt at a different style, which ended up like this, as I experimented with a more cartoon-like proportion for the figure.  I also wanted to work up the pre-historic bike idea I'd decided to include.  I hated this version - his expression is wrong, his stance is wrong, and the bike looks wrong.


The final figure/stance rough (Koh-I-Noor 2B Graphite, Moleskine Pocket Reporter)

This is my final figure rough, and it's probably the best iteration of Ug's stance that I did.  I like the posture and proportions here, and these are what I set out to transfer to the Seawhite book for the final painting.


Pencil outline of the final version (Faber Castell 9000 (B) Seawhite A6 Sketchbook)

So, I tried to recreate the stance of the final rough as best I could, and came up with a "Prehistoric Bike" - the idea being that it would have a frame made of branches (an earlier version had leaves &c sprouting from the tubes), tusk forks and ram's horn handlebars.


Inked, and ready to paint (Uni-Pin Fineliner, Seawhite A6 Sketchbook)

I debated whether to ink with my brushpen, but was a little worried about my ability to control the line over the fine details of this drawing.  The Uni-Pin doesn't have the vibrant line that the brushpen produces, but it does go where you point it, with a predictable line :)  It also comes out properly black, not the dark grey of the Centropen liners.  Note that I've missed inking the part under the twine "lug" between headtube and top tube. Cuh.

First watercolour pass (Cotman 1/2 pan colours, Seawhite A6 Sketchbook)

I'd decided to paint this (rather than use watercolour pencil) well before I got to this stage, possibly as a reaction to my cowardice in not using the brushpen for inking :)  I used the facing page as a test page pretty extensively (see second picture) despite that, I think he's a bit pale for a caveman, even in the finished version.  Ah well.


Finished - Ug Cyclist.

The final version turned out ok, although I wish I was skilled enough to reproduce all the elements I liked of Ug's prior incarnations in one image!  As well as my misgivings about his skin tone, I'm not impressed with his legs, which still don't look right to me (the far leg doesn't look like the far leg, if you see what I mean...)  The inking is too heavy on his eyes too.

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