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Showin’ some skin. (NSFW)

2 Mar

Today’s post is kind of a fitting follow-up to Monday’s. As you guys know, I’ve been working with ideas for this 1920’s project (tentatively named Perfectly Fitting) for some time. I’ve been struggling to figure out exactly who my main characters are, since I don’t know much about them yet except for their appearances, names (well, sort of), and occupations. I recently decided that Yulia (the current working name of the female protagonist), who used to be a prostitute at the high-end Everleigh Club, is now working in the burlesque industry. Here’s a two-page series of sketches that I did in an attempt to (a) try to draw her consistently in a bunch of different poses and (b) to figure out the kind of poses she’d need to get into during a strip scene.

A Poetic Strip, part 1

A Poetic Strip, part 2

I’m pretty pleased with how this turned out. I’m liking the balance between realistic anatomy and stylization that these pages have, and I liked thinking up the different poses. Plus, I think I’m slowly getting better at drawing high heels. I always have a ton of trouble drawing decent-looking shoes, so this is a big deal to me. (And yes, I know that she probably would have her shoes off after taking off the stockings, but I wanted to get some more practice drawing them.)

Lest the “apologies to Dorothy Parker” at the bottom of page 2 not make it clear, that’s a Dorothy Parker poem Yulia is reciting as she works. I guess she’s either a pretty slow talker or a pretty fast stripper. (Also, those are pasties–the kind without tassels–and not very large nipples on the last page.)

I’ll be back on Friday with a poll for you guys, so be sure to come back then! :)

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I better start thinking of some names fast. (NSFW)

16 Feb

Seriously. Naming these thesis-related posts is going to be so much easier once I have real titles for the different parts of it! I guess the best I can do right now is to say, “Here are some sketches from that 1920s project.”

So…yeah. Y’know. That. This first one does include some almost-nudity (save for pasties), so you may not want to scroll down while you’re at work.

1920s sketch #1

This is the latest incarnation of the female lead in Perfectly Fitting. After reading American Rose I started thinking that maybe she started work as a stripper after the Everleigh Club was closed down. I’m still working on the plot for this, so I’m not sure if that’ll stick, but right now I like it. At the very least, her being in varying levels of nakedness gives me lots of opportunity to draw Keeley looking flustered, and of course I love doing that!

1920s sketch #2

Here’s our gal heading home from work early one morning. (I think she and I keep similar schedules.) I feel like I’m getting better and better at drawing her, especially when it comes to her haircut. I like how bouncy she looks in this as well as the expression on her face. The only thing I’m not as pleased with is the fur stole–it’s looking a little too much like a Lamb Chop puppet for my taste. Ah well. Perhaps I’ll include a scene in the comic in which it teaches us all a lesson about sharing, possibly through song.

Water, water everywhere…

23 Dec

So, hey, San Diego seems to be flooding. Don’t get me wrong: I love rain, and this is a nice change of pace from California’s habit of catching on fire every summer, but rain to the point of the roof leaking, hotels being evacuated, and the train tracks being flooded seems a tad excessive. Luckily, the worst of it seems to be over. The sun totally came out for, like, two hours today (which is about the same amount of sunlight we get in Vermont some days), so maybe things’ll start to dry off soon.

In the meantime, though, I’ve got another Keeley sketch for you:

Keeley ties his shoes.I tell ya what, this guy is way too much fun to draw. I love his freckles and lanky limbs! (His pants are always just a little too short because he’s so tall, which means I get to practice drawing bony ankles and cool socks, too.) I’m pretty pleased with how this sketch came out, unfinished hands aside. I think the folds in his clothes came out well, and I feel like I’m getting a better sense for how he moves. I still need to work on drawing shoes, though–the proportions on these are a little off. Does that mean I’ll have to spend the next few days looking up dapper 1920s outfits? OH WOE IS ME.

I think that’s it for me tonight…the cat had me up at 6:00 am, plus my body has no idea what time zone I’m in at this point, so I’m gonna get some sleep. See you guys on Friday!

Updating on time? It must be a Christmas miracle!

21 Dec

Or, y’know, a miracle of the winter holiday of your choice. I’m not picky. My mother has since pointed out that there’s been enough time between this update and my last for a Chanukah miracle and then some, so there you have it! :)

On the serious, though, I’m sorry to have been MIA for so long. Last week was a little tougher than I thought it’d be. I had to go to my last week of classes, present the comics workshop lessons I compiled for my Professional Practices class, check in with my advisor, join in some birthday festivities for one Mr. Paul Swartz, bid my cartoonists adieu, and head home to the West Coast, so my head was in a million different places. I’m all settled in now, though–the fam’s asleep, and I’m hanging out in bed listening to the rain pouring down outside–so it’s updatin’ time!

Today I’m posting some sketches from my 1920s project. I’m calling it Perfectly Fitting for now, but I don’t know if that’ll stick. I don’t know a lot about this one yet, to be honest. All I have is a time period, an artistic style, and two characters, but I’m feeling pretty strongly about the latter two so hopefully it’ll pan out. Here’s one of those characters now:

KeeleyI’d like you guys to meet Keeley. Like I said, I don’t know everything about him yet–I know he’s Irish, in his twenties, and is pretty skittish but good-hearted. There are definitely things I’m unsure about in this drawing; I don’t think he’s ever going to actually say this line (it’s pulled from a Boris Timanovsky story on a Moth podcast I was listening to at the time and really liked), and I was practicing my background work and am not totally pleased with the result. I really love drawing Keeley, though, because he’s so gangly and is in constant motion. He’s going to be fun to work with once I figure out what his story really is.

Perfectly Fitting isn’t all about him, though. It’s also about this girl:

Our Mystery WomanI’d love to introduce you to her, but I’m afraid I don’t quite know her name yet. I know she’s Eastern European and that she used to work for the Everleigh club in Chicago, but she and I are still getting to know each other. She’s a bit more reticent than Keeley, so she’s taking a bit more work but I have faith she’ll be worth the effort.

…I know, I know. Today’s post has an awful lot of that, but I’m afraid I’m always like this when I start a project. I take a fair amount of time to get a feel for my characters, what they look and sound like, before I start writing or drawing. I can tell when a comic is really working for me when the characters almost start writing themselves–when the dialogue starts feeling more like something I’m overhearing than something I’m dictating–but before that can happen I have to be able to visualize the characters doing whatever it is they’re meant to be having. Even though the overall shape of this project may be fuzzy right now, I’m working hard on that visualizing part. I hope you guys don’t mind being a little patient with me while I work out how to make things a little clearer–I promise I’ll share the results. :)

Okay, that’s quite enough for me for tonight. See you guys on Wednesday (for real this time)!

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