Back from BICS!

I just attended my first. ever. comic convention. It was awesome, really really superb. Had a fantastic time, and, thanks to Kev Levell (for assuming that I would be taking it), had some interesting constructive criticism on my portfolio from - not least - Tharg himself. Old green bonce recommended the following: attend a life drawing class, tighten up the inks a little, try inking with a brush, and just basically keep drawing.

Oh, and thanks too to John Cahill, another small presser with loftier ambitions, for recommending the windsor & newton series 7 brush - I'll be tracking that down directly.

Had a great chat with PJ Holden too, who again offered invaluable advice.

So an idea occurred to me, and I'll start it tonight - I'm going to keep a portrait diary, take someone's photo every day and then pencil or paint or ink their portrait that evening. If I stick to it, I shoud build up a decent body of work whilst simultaneously improving my skills.



  1. sounds like a great idea, looks like you had a very positive experience.

  2. Yep - it is a cracking idea. Practice makes perfect, as does putting work out there, getting feedback - rinse wash and repeat. In the current comic market talent will only get you so far, those that make it are going to be the ones always trying to improve their work (for whom D'Israeli must be an inspiration as he is always pushing the envelope), listening to knowledgable people and taking their advice on board.

    Also putting out regular work here means people get used to checking in and leaving comments and the more you put out there the more the chance of someone seeing it and thinking "now that is ideal for my project".

    And I'm very nosey and love to see what people are up to.

  3. Also you might want to keep an eye out for interesting looking characters try and take a mental photograph and sketch them out when you get home (if they aren't already in your home I suppose) or take out a small pad and sketch people in a free moment. It'd be good practice and also you can build up a body of character sketches you can break out if you need to do a crowd scene.

  4. I was reading Vertigo's Greatest Hits and Glen Fabry has a few crowd scenes to draw - everyone there looks different and looks like a real person. This might be some freakish mutant ability he has but I'd imagine he has been drawing sketching real people and can draw on that resource when needed (and even if it is his superpower normal folks would still have to do it this way ;) ).

    Nothing can kill a comic quicker than everyone looking the same or worse the same person looking different (usually because the artist is using pictures from magazines, sometimes of different people) and this should help get ideas for the look of characters and help you get a mental picture of their face so you can draw them consistently from different angles.