Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Let the monsters commence

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Well, sort of. I'm going to scale my way up to full-on monsters. I'll begin with an owl, which to me is very Octoberesque and spooky in a very real-world sort of way. This is one I did in probably the early 90's in a sketchbook using an eyedropper loaded with india ink. Very wild way to draw.... totally spontaneous and forces you to work loose and fast. Results in a very calligraphic look (when it works that is... I won't be showing all the failures that led up to this!). The above is a thumbnail... click it to see the larger image.

More to come.....

I don't know what this thing is I have for large birds.... This is from a freeze-frame of a video I recorded off some Discovery documentary about the Savannah in Africa.

This is a centaur I did in acrylics in a drawing pad way back in... probably '80 or '81... fresh out of high school. I've never really drawn much in the way of monsters... to me a monster is a creature that's completely viscious and evil... but I have drawn a few creatures. A creature is any animate living thing that's not recognizably human or any kind of known animal.

Here's the Dontiss, one of my few monsters, though I think of it more as a sci-fi alien creature that happens to be extremely dangerous because it's a parasite, feeding on the mental emanations of intelligent free thinking host animals (like human beings!).

Another view of the Dontiss. This one drawn much later I think, with a different more crablike approach. I was never really able to draw this complicated creature in all it's multilimbed glory... there are supposed to be another pair of much more humanlike (but spindly and skeletal) arms depending from the upper shoulder area. I can imagine what a ferocious fighter these things would be... imagine one of them holding you with terrible insectile strength with the upper arms, and then ripping you apart with the lower, preying mantislike ones, or with the underbelly-mounted wasplike stinger. Ugh!

A more detailed and (almost) finished drawing of a couple of the bipedal Dontiss. These are the advance scouts, not as powerful or heavily armored as the warrior class, but they forge ahead into new worlds and search for suitable host beings. The name Dontiss is derived partly from Dentist... I wanted a word that invokes pure terror!

This is one I'm really proud of! For a few years my sister was self-publishing a magazine called The Metro-East Family Gazeete, aimed at parents in families with small children, with activities and local attractions families can visit. It was an incredible thing she was doing... she or one of her 'field agents' would actually travel to each possible location.... area museums, parks, dinner theaters or science centers etc, and bring her kids, and sometimes interview the owners/proprieters, and then report on it in the next issue, listing whether or not the bathrooms have baby-changing facilities, how kid-friendly (and adult-friendly) it is, etc. I went along on some of the assignments, once to a St Louis area puppetry theater (awesome fun!) and once to the Cahokia Mounds area, ancient burial grounds of early Native Americans, where you can walk on the giant burial mounds (I actually found a shard of pottery laying along a trail there!) and stroll through the museum, where artifacts and exhibits are waiting. I did the covers for her magazine for the first year or so, and this was the coolest one by far! I didn't get to go along on this trip to Mastodon State Park, but she had this super-cool reference pic of a huge Mastodon skeleton that stands in the lobby, and I did this drawing of it in casein paints and charcoal. I really like the way this came out... a very painterly type of illustration style.

Ok, a Nazi counts as a monster, right? Especially an elongated cyborg Nazi.... This was inspired by Bill Sienkiewicz's incredible art.

This is basically just a transformation of a human head shape, done as an anatomy study and then modified for the heck of it, just playing around. I call him Mnemnos.

I've got the scanning bug now! I went ahead and uploaded a bunch of (non-monster) drawings to the gallery page at my website


Ubatuber said...

WOW! I! Awesome stuff, man! I love them all but particularly the inky ones, 'dollface', 'crunchy' , great figure in 'apples' :) and the Dontiss, is this by any chance the alien race from your surreal-dream film project? The pic with the two bipedals is very 'Mountains of Madness' to it....
I'm impressed! You've been holding out on us :)
More, more!!

herself said...

These are all incredibly beautiful, Mike. Your drawing ability nearly unveils the range of your being. Impressive.

mefull said...

Wow the kid can draw!

very nice mike, all the stuff is great. I really like the owl. I have never tried drawing with an eye dropper, cool idea.

Ubatuber said...

I love the eyedropper idea too, sounds like a great way to work quick n free, like I like :)

Darkstrider said...

Hey, you people know how to make somebody feel good! Yeah, the Dontiss is indeed the alien race from my comic book idea called The Dreaming. Well, actually it's mutated through many permutations, from short animated film to comic book series to mini-series to graphic novels.... and cycled through all those possibilities a few times. Man, I can't even imagine how I thought I was going to draw those things over and over, in large groups and in violent action! I was never evan able to draw a single one standing there with all its limbs!

And about the dropper drawings.... I tried at first to fill it with ink and gently squeeze on the bulb a littrle as I drew, but it wouldn't give me the light touch and control I wanted, so I ended up cutting a small hole in the rubber bulb (had to cut out a small round plug... just poking a hole didn't work), then I would hold my thumb over the hol eto fill it and until I had it on the paper ready to make the line. Once you let off that hole, you're committed... it's draw or die! If you slow down you get a big blob of ink (a few of them in the Owl drawing!). Oh, and I found it worked best to hold the dropper at a sharp angle to the paper... almost laying against it. Just in case anyone wants to try it.