Fill ‘er up, sir?

Frank (May 16, 2010)

The nice thing about doing figure work but not doing portraits is that when your drawing goes south on you, there’s no one to look over your shoulder and say “Um, thanks Ian, but that doesn’t really look at all like me.” Having a reference is one thing, but a live person with a sense of identity can play havoc with your artistic morale.

The above picture started out as an exercise in reproducing a compelling self-portrait done by the great fantasy illustrator Frank Frazetta, who died last week. As I worked on it, I realized the eyes were too big, the mouth too pursed, the neck too thin. But since Frank has far cooler things to do now than look over my shoulder, I’m free to reassure myself that the drawing at least looks like someone might — perhaps a Christopher Walken-esque movie villain from the mid-1960s, the kind of character who works at a country gas station, speaks quietly, and has murder on his mind.

3 thoughts on “Fill ‘er up, sir?

  1. It does look pretty good – I’ve been trying to reproduce Ashley Wood sketches, and it ain’t easy. I think the problem might not be so much in the details (the eyes or pursed lips) as in the bigger generalities – the sketch on the blog has an almost vulpine look, like David Bowie or Christopher Walken, while the Frazetta original has a more blue collar “lantern jaw” like Kirk Douglas or Cliff Steele.

  2. Yes, that Ashley Wood:) I love the ease with which he depicts female beauty with (relatively) as few lines as possible. Riffing off German expressionism is just the frosting on the cake.

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