Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Assembly Line I

Transformers was the first comic series I started collecting, back in the '80s. At the time, I would draw the main characters all the time, but I was little and the pictures were not exactly award-winning material. Then the series was over, and I moved on to other comics. A few years ago, Dreamwave started putting out new Transformers books, and even though I never read any of them, the artwork blew me away. I remembered the what I considered just serviceable artwork from the original series, and the stuff Dreamwave was putting out was incredible. Here you had robots that actually looked like complex machines instead of a bunch of boxes put together. Then the IDW Transformers books were released (and they still are being put out by this publisher), and the artwork was mindbending. Artists like Don Figueroa, Guido Guidi, and EJ Su seemed to have been born to draw these characters. Never in a million years could I draw anything remotely like it. Never. So, of course, I decided to give it a try.

It's funny because, as I've said here on a number of occasions, I find drawing buildings and technology extremely difficult. And, to me, drawing Transformers is, by their very own nature, pretty much like drawing buildings and technology combined and turning the mixture into a character. I knew it was going to be hard, but I really wanted to have a go at it, so I looked up pictures of a couple of my favorite Autobots and decided to draw them together in a picture.

The first one is Grimlock, the leader of the Dinobots, and it took me over three hours to finish him (original pencils here). I was looking at the photo references measuring distances and trying to make sure nothing was too big or too small. I was also difficult to decide on what he should look like because there are so many different versions of the character, and I wasn't sure which one to choose. In the end, I went for the traditional G1 look, and I must say I am quite happy with the results. I think he looks like a machine and a living creature at the same, and I think I got a reasonable enough resemblance so that Transformers fans would look at the picture and know that it is, indeed, Grimlock.

But as I said, this is only half of the picture, because I went on to add a second character to keep Grimlock company. If you want to see who it is, come back tomorrow and read us again!

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