Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Something Sketchy

I'm actually not a fan of artwork that looks overly sketchy. By that, I don't mean dodgy or shady, but just having lots of uneven lines and a rough finish.

Harry Kirchner, 1935
www.pulpartists.com/Kirchner.html 
I know several artists who love the look, saying that it contains a dynamic energy. And I agree – when done correctly it can look great. But, most of the time it isn't done correctly (at least not to my eye). In those cases, it looks sloppy to me.

Now, I'm a huge fan of many of the interior illustrators from the old Pulp Magazines (like this Harry Kirchner illustration below). But illustrators like him maintained control of their work that I find missing in many modern "sketchy" artists (and I'm not going to name any because I'm not slamming them for being bad artists, I just don't find it attractive to my sensibilities).

I'm not being wishy-washy or trying to protect anyone's feelings, it's just that I recognize the difference between not liking something and claiming that thing is not good. It's a matter of taste, and in this case, it's very subjective.

That being said, however, there are times when I need to achieve that look in my own digital work. Sometimes the source material calls for me to recreate a work-in-progress or something rough, rather than the more-crisp noir style I've been experimenting with.

To that end, I've been playing around with some new tools, which I'll debut later this month. In the meantime, though, I thought you guys might be interested in taking a look at how I expanded the noir style by using the Sketch Designer in Poser 11. BTW:, the Sketch Designer is available in both the base version and the pro version of the software, and even goes back  several years. I think it's even included with the Poser Debut software, but I won't swear to that.

Officer looking at a notebook.
Illustration for the Collectors' Club Newsletter #120

This is okay, as far as it goes, but the edges are still far too crisp for this type of work. This is a nice stepping stone toward the look I'm going for, but it's just that: a step on the path to creating a look that is closer to hand sketching.

I'll cover more about this (and the Sketch Designer) next week.



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