I bet some of you have already started celebrating the Labor Day weekend. I'm still behind my computer working away. It seems I'm going to be pretty busy the next couple of weeks, so I'm not sure how much I'll be able to post. I was feeling a little overwhelmed earlier in the day thinking about everything I have on my plate and how I haven't even spoken to people that still want me to start on new projects. It can be scary. So I stopped myself and started sketching. This is what came out.
I've been thinking about Artie lately and I remembered a dragon character I created years ago named Kaele. I named him after the bad guy in Willow (I just aged myself). It just sounded like a cool dragon name. Anyway, I haven't drawn him in years and wanted to go back and see what came out. What surprised me wasn't the sketch (although he looks totally different from what I initially drew), but what happened after I was done with it. I grabbed my tablet and started messing around with some photoshop brushes. I started to separate the main parts of the sketch just using color. In a funny way all the different sploshes of color create different stories and then one main one, when you look at the whole thing. Just adjust your eyes. So this brings me to the main point of my post.
I've been getting email on the subject of how to be a better illustrator. Some people want to get better and some want to start. I have to apologize, because I don't really have an answer or a book to recommend. But I thought about it and explained that drawing is much like life. You can't really get better at it unless you live it. You have to try, make mistakes and then try again and again. But for the sake of not sounding so philosophical, I will say that your sketch book is your greatest tool. In it, you can experiment and screw up all you want. In there anything can happen, so make it happen. Take chances and don't worry about finished drawings. And keep in mind, that I'm not the greatest illustrator out there. I'm still learning and making mistakes as I go, right along with you. So go out and take a life drawing class and when you're out living life...draw it.