Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Art In Close Up: Birds Of Prey #110

Today I thought I'd take a closer look at one of the pages I bought from Nicola Scott over the weekend. I've just framed it and replaced the Andy Clarke Aquaman page that was over my bed.

Birds Of Prey #110
Page 10

Pencils: Nicola Scott
Inks: Rodney Ramos

Writer: Tony Bedard

Colours: Hi-Fi Designs

Letters: Travis Lanham

First up, the full pages:

Yes, there are indeed 2 versions of the original art. Nicola does layouts on the back side of her pages. I asked her about it, and her process goes something like this: layout in blue pencil on the front of the page. Then she turns it over and fills in more of the detail, perspective lines, etc. Then it's back to the front, and doing the final pencils. The idea is that it gives her a clean page to do the finishes on, and she finds it faster to get to the finished pencils (assuming I'm remembering that exactly right heh). It adds a really interesting aspect to her pages, I spent ages just going through the stack of pages she'd brought with her, flipping them back and forth to compare images. I don't know if this is a common practise, but of the couple of dozen pages I own from various artists, these are the only ones done like this.

Panel 1, and it's the money shot of the page. Great action, and it's what screamed "buy me" when I laid eyes on it.

The colourist got to flex their muscles a bit on the glass shards.

I forgot to mention it, but obviously the roughs on the back are facing the opposite way. Which is actually pretty impressive, considering that means the page gets drawn essentially twice, but in opposite directions. From my own experience, there are times (rare though they may be) where I've drawn something that I thought was awesome, then flipped it over and viewed it from behind, and it looks terrible. That's the difference between me and someone who knows how to draw...

Panel 2, complete with dumbass thug holding his gun sideways:

Note the perspective lines running from the bald guys head to the gun. I love details like that, and you usually don't get to see it.

Panel 3, someone's about to get their ass kicked.

The main point of interest here is that you can see the panel was originally planned as a close up head shot.

It's now hanging on my wall:

I normally just cut two matts conventionally, but I was feeling adventerous. I wanted something that played on the Huntress's costume. I cut the purple matt on the bottom the standard way. The white matt overlay is one piece of card, with the idea being that I wanted the white stripe down the middle to match her suit. All the edges are sloped the correct way, and it took about an hour to lay out and cut. If you're framing stuff, go out and buy a proper tool, it's so much cheaper than getting it done professionally.


Esbat said...

Wow, wish I had the scratch to pick up neat artwork, but I barely can afford to pick up the rest of the 31 pages in the original intended format lol

Jon said...

Yeah, I usually aim for the occassional cheap page on ebay, but the yearly convention is something I always plan for a loooong time in advance. So when Nicola Scott turned up with a stack of pages, I was set. This was only the 3rd or 4th time I've paid more than about $40 for a page. I'm in total awe of the guy that casually dropped $1,500 for a 4-page spread, I was standing right there at the time. Oh to have that kind of money to spend on art (or hell, anything)