Tooth and Nails

Dynamic drawings has always been a thing for me. I have been trying to push it as much as I could. When i started at the studio I am at; Pinligt Selskab, there was a lot of freelance illustrators that came from animation: I started my professional career as an illustrator doing colors for one of the: Kim Hagen. He was a really cool animator and he had a steady comic book series in a Lego magazine. Everything he drew was very very dynamic. I remeber looking at my own drawings and constantly comparing how flat they seemed compared to his. he taught me how to push things and use foreshortening to enhance depth.

I was always envious of the artist I shared studio with who had that animation background. They seemed to have a foundation of character drawing kills that I did not have. The seemingly effortlessness they used when sketching was beyond my skills. I am not trying to sell myself short here. I still feel very much a lack of drawing foundation when I sketch and I try to compensate for that in every way. I know exactly what my shortcomings are and drawing is one of them. But knowing that has made me real conscious about about it and makes me doubling down hard on it  so I do not fall through.

I learned drawing from copying my idols, not from going to art school. But one thing I have gotten out of not being taught is a bit restlessness. I have been trying to change the perception of me lacking something into a strength, trying to see how

the bottom one is the one that I turned into Tooth and Nails

Seed of Renewal

it could somehow be useful. I noticed one thing specifically. I sketch in shapes and “blobs” rather than constructing figures with helping lines. I noticed it from a recording I did of a sketch.  It is fun to see yourself sketching. I could see that it is a completely different thing what goes on in my head, compared to what is going on at the paper. It seems way more controlled din my mind than when I see the very searching random lines I put down on paper. Especially I noticed that I tend to block in shapes in the beginning in order to capture mass rather than focusing on outline. What it does in my mind is that it forced me to think on silhouette blocks and shapes rather than – at this point – unimportant details. Later, when I feel like the mass is right I go over the same shapes again with line and refine a “blob” into a foreshortened leg or a branch or a headpiece or face. This way of sketching in blobs or blocks or shapes or whatever you wanna call it, makes me focus on the dynamic anatomy and not trying to solve it right away. I just go with whatever I feel is right, sometimes even not thinking about it but just trying to capture an interesting shape language. Not until I hit something useful I will go in and try to solve the difficult anatomy. This dynamic shape sketching makes me explore things that my rational mind would deem to difficult or too problematic.  It sounds like some hippie shit if you ask me. And to be honest there is more to it. i have a pretty clear image in my head of what I wanna do before sketching of cause. I do take some time off before putting pencil to paper to flesh out the idea in my mind so that I have an idea of the story line and the angle of what I wanna sketch out. But when it comes to nailing it I do wanna explore and hit it rather by scatter shooting than precise snipping. Usually the sketch I end up using is the 4th or 5th. Its the ones that comes out after I have tried  the obvious  “first takes”.




“Seed of Renewal” final drawing

What it all boils down to, is that the sketching face is the part where you should be as open and as least constrained as possible. Loosen up, let the mind wander and see what it comes up with.