Unleashed (Ink)

After some forays into alternate creative approaches (as on Stinker and Donut Drop Ranch) as well as some deliberation about the specific style of art I'd like to focus on going forward, I've decided to expand on the world I tapped into several months ago with Symbiotic.

I drew two new pieces immediately after that one, but for various reasons they were left on the back-burner until now. Unleashed is one of them.

This is one of the trickier drawings I've ever made, and when I was laying out the pencil work at one point the page basically looked like a giant mess of scribbles. The goal was to build on the synergistic possibilities I felt happening in Symbiotic, where one entity is clearly and heavily bound to others in a way that feels equal parts organic and synthetic. I needed to capture a lot of action and a strong sense of movement in the intestines and the cyber demons, and to do that while also effectively working out the composition, I allowed myself to cut loose without worrying about any kind of details in the early going.

In a small reflection, I'm not sure I would've had the discipline to build an image this dense in the past that wasn't two-dimensional and surrealistic like Hail the King. I've traditionally had a terrible habit of jumping ahead in the process and working out shadows and details before I've figured out what everything is and where it's going to go, and that has been the death of many past efforts.

For various reasons, possibly attributable simply to age, I've become much stricter about sticking to the process of sketching > outlines > final details/shading and not moving onto the next step until the one before it is fully done. I'm excited to know I can build on that discipline with some larger and more complex drawings in the future.

Once I had the pencil work fully laid out, I inked it with Winsor & Newton black Indian ink using my usual combo of Speedball 102 crow quills and small round brushes.

A major challenge in this one was varying the line width to indicate the edges of objects and where things are in relation to one another, ie nearer or farther from the viewer. I can't say I did an amazing job on it, but I learned a ton in the process and was able to apply it to the drawing I did immediately after this one (called Gaia), which is fully inked and waiting for me to finish color on this one first.

Color for this is honestly going to be a little rough, not just because of the separations for all the little wires, but just figuring out a palette that will make sense and not turn this into confetti. That said, one of the joys of working in this style is that I can push myself on each drawing and try things out of my comfort zone, and then take what I've learned to the next one.

Patience is the key, right?

As far as this blog goes, I'll have a new artist mindset post up next, then the final color version of Unleashed, Also, heads-up that new posts will now go up every other week to give me more time to focus on some other things I have brewing. Specifically, I'm expanding more on my portrait art. I will probably pull those into this blog at some point, but for right now a lot of work is just going into getting the ball rolling on those.

Okay, thanks as always to everyone who's checking out these new posts, lots of cool things to share soon!