To contact Kat drop her a line at

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Artist Challenge: Exercise One WIP

So, I have a weakness for men. No, it's not quite what you think though I do enjoy their company and just about everything else about them. What I mean is that I have a weakness when it comes to depicting men in my artwork. They have a tendency to come out feminine without a good reference, and even with one I seem to soften them up quite a bit.

At Gen Con this past Summer I had the pleasure of speaking to an artist I have admired for quite some time now, and recently he offered up a challenge to kick my butt into gear when it came to drawing dudes. Of course I accepted!

I got an email today of a reference photo that he chose since he has a better eye for things. This is it:

Yumm.....I mean, ok. Moving on.

This is the pic he chose cause he is a manly man. He told me to try to focus in on a profile here so this is what happened.

In Photoshop with my tablet (sigh, which seems to be best buddies with my travel pallet now) I began a sketch of a profile. Part of the challenge here is to keep away from my love of curved lines, and to play around a bit. He told me to try making the man candy into a zombie, pirate, or something else that was rougher and less....cheesecake. 

With the line work down I kept going just like if this were something in my sketchbook. I thickened and darkened up my lines knowing that I was probably going to try putting this piece in something close to greyscale. 

Ok, so this is now 20-30 minutes into the exercise and I am deciding to pause here so that I can get some feedback from the artist. Actually, I have to admit looking at this now that I haven't done this kind of thing since oh...I dunno, some time in college. Actually my first year meeting the artist at Gen Con he mentioned dropping art into greyscale to see how it was coming. Invaluable advice I have been following since then though I don't tend to do it this early on.

I like that this reminds me of a marker comp I might have done with traditional markers on cheap watercolor paper with some colored pencil for highlights. So far in this has been fun. And as for the time spent, well, I think that is force of habit for me really. I am used to getting roughs our's what I am trained for =]

So, stay tuned for more details on how this piece come out!


raven mimura said...

so far so good! i've been peeking back at these a couple times last night and this morning, seeing if any specific comments came to mind. then i got kinda pulled away and am just now getting back to actually commenting.

there's nothing that's jumping out at me. i think you've done a pretty good job of not feminizing him. though there is the danger that he'll get softer in the rendering-- so be just as aware in the painting as you were in the drawing. whereas in the drawing, you were looking for more straight lines rather than curved ones... in the painting, keep looking towards defining *planes* rather than rendering soft transitions.

make sense?

Kat Guevara said...

Thanks Raven, I will keep that in mind.

raven mimura said...


looking forward to the next iteration!

i chose that word rather than the "final", since i wanted to reinforce that this is an exercise... so you don't get too caught up in worrying about how "finished" it is, or whatever. i know that that's always been a problem with me, and a certain swath of the other artists i know. i tighten up, and explore less when i feel like "it's important", or that it has to meet certain expectations of finish or development. and in those cases, i tend to be more conservative and work more in ways that i'm comfortable with, rather than heading out in the directions i *want* to look into...