Saturday, September 16, 2006


Welcome to the first installment of Gross Anatomy!

Don't worry. I don't think I'm some precious Bob Ross of Bic and this isn't a "tutorial". I just thought it would be fun to share the stages of development that go into a finished drawing. I'll try to dig up some old sketches and post these every few months. This first installment of Gross Anatomy features a t-shirt design I did recently for my favorite Creepsylvanian thrashers, Ghoul. This was actually drawn with micron pens (.005 & .05) instead of my usual ballpoints, but the process is basically the same. Without further ado...

I start out with a barely recognizable sketch, usually scribbled while I'm talking on the phone or listening to music. Many of these are scrawled on the envelopes of unpaid utility bills or whatever else is close at hand. Even though this looks like shit, it will be an important reference later to remind me of the basic form and action I'm trying to convey (in this case, a zombie thrasher holding a bloody spinal cord).

From the scribble sheet I move to illustration board. Now I'm working very loosely with pencil to figure out the composition and dimensions. Lots of erasing and experimenting typically happen in this stage. This is also when I really start to have fun and think of ways I can embellish the detail (in this case, puke gags and a crystal skull)...

Here comes the ink test. When I work with ballpoints I skip the ink test and go straight for the kill. But this drawing is for a shirt so I wanted to get a sense of how to ink things so it will (hopefully) translate well as a screen print. I make a copy of the pencil sketch and block off the black & white areas to get a sense of the overall design.

Here's the final image! I've tightened things up and fine-tuned the detail. After this stage I generally crawl out of the basement and sleep for a long time. Sleep is often followed by beer and a phone call to the water bureau to convince them not to disconnect my service for non-payment. This is followed by phone calls to the band demanding money. And so the cycle begins anew.

Don't forget to click on these images to get a better view.
Until next time...GO FORTH & KILL!!!


Ryan S. said...

That rules!

With this new feature on your blog, I can finally throw out my Ed Emberley books and my dog eared copy of "How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way!"

Anonymous said...

That marvel book says you shouldn't draw eyelashes. Bollocks to that, I say.