Sunday, January 27, 2008

Wacom to the Jungle

Hello hello. Here's a few Wacom sketches for you to enjoy: Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer and Capt. America (Deceased). CLICK TO MAKE BIGGER!

Dan McDaid Fantastic Four
Dan McDaid Silver Surfer
Captain America


Mark Kardwell said...

That Surfer is the pick of the bunch. Love the duotone, the composition, the Kirby-effects. Like the colour job on Cap's shield, too.

Anonymous said...

Dan - great stuff as always! I'm interested in how you customize your brushes in Photoshop ( I'm assuming it's 'shop right?).


Dan McDaid said...

Thanks Mark. I was pretty pleased with the way these came out. Problem is, after a couple of months using nothing but PS and the tablet, going back to trad tools is a bit of a nightmare. How do I "undo"?

Hi Ade. It is 'shop, but I actually do very little in the way of customisation with the brushes. That "dry"- style brush I use a lot is actually a standard PS 7 brush called Chalk. It's my favourite PS tool - pleasingly organic and painterly. Its default size in PS 7 is 36, so I always think of it as "the 36 brush".

Otherwise I'm just using a standard hard round brush (as opposed to airbrush, though I've started to use that a bit of late) and very occasionally the dodge/burn tool to get some highlights/shadow (not often tho, cos they can look pretty horrible).

Are you by any chance Adrian Salmon? If you are, I'd just like to say how stellar "Universal Monsters" is looking. If you're not, I'd just like to say hello and thanks for coming to my blog!

Ed McKeogh said...

The FF pic is ... fantastic. Dang, but that sounds stupid. But it really is great! I've been an FF fan for over 30 years, and you've nailed them.

Dan McDaid said...

Thanks a lot Trip. I had a lot of fun drawing this one. No school like the old school!

SRH said...

digging the texture on Cap's Shield!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dan - yes I'm the DWM artist. Scott recommended your work to me awhile back and I've been impressed with what I've seen. Enjoyed your Annual art and The First ( how annoying you can write too!:-). Naturally I can't wait to check out your upcoming strip which I'm sure will be top notch.

I like your post modern take on the Caniff/Robbins style of comics - though I suspect you dig Darwyn Cooke and maybe Timm too? It's refreshing to see a Brit artist embrace this school of thought- I'll be interested to see where you take it and what gigs it lends itself too.

Looking at the energy in your inks - I figure you pencil fairly loosely - saving some drawing for when you get out the black. Must be quite sapping at times I figure - keeping in the groove?

Thanks for the PS brush tips - inking on the Mac has always stumped me - I find it easier at the board.Trying to draw well but keep it spontaneous is the key as well as sticking to your *vision* . I remember early in my career being directed to draw more Jim Lee - it wasn't until I jettisoned that notion that personal satisfaction came. Of course with any individual style you will polarise readers - Universal Monsters gets as much stick as compliments - par for the course.

So keep up what you're doing Dan - it's refreshing and exciting...



Mark Kardwell said...

My first thought when I (cheekily, in the newsagent) read UNIVERSAL MONSTERS was the art was great, and a bold, brave decision by the editors to hire the pair of you - they've been using very much a certain style of art for years, and the readership may panic when out of that comfort zone. But you know what - they probably freaked out when Mick McMahon drew it after Dave Gibbons, too.

Dan McDaid said...

Hi Ade - thanks a lot for the kind words. Your instincts are spot on re my influences and my technique: I like to pencil pretty loosely by modern standards to keep the energy in my work. Actually, it was kind of weird doing tighter pencils to show Scott where I was going with the story! And Timm and Cooke are big influences on my work - along with their natural forbears Toth and Kirby (and Caniff and Robbins, of course. Robbins doesn't get nearly enough love these days).

I hardly ink at all on the computer to be honest. It would be very easy (and it's very tempting!) for me to go down this route, but I'm kind of a purist when it comes to this sort of thing. And I like having the physical artifact of a stack of inked pages. There's a great interview with Jeff Smith on YouTube where he's talking about his work on Shazam, and at one point he pats this dense wad of bristol board that he's just finished working on. 200 plus pages of art - sweet. Funny you should mention Jim Lee - he was a big influence in my formative years as well. His stuff seemed so fresh and cool, all that rendering and flash. But like you, I found his influence was leading me down a blind alley creatively speaking. Then I got the book of Batman: The Animated Series and I've been broadly heading in that Timm/Cooke direction ever since.

And as I say, I think Universal Monsters is terrific. I'd be interested in your technique here, it looks like a combination of traditional media and photoshop, would I be right? Looks great (though I've gotta say I love your b&w stuff best - Company of Thieves and the Kroton story from the Glorious Dead collection are two I come back to time and time again).

Dan McDaid said...

Mark, you're dead right. I really like Martin Geraghty's stuff (his work on my story... wowee) and it's cool that DWM have what you might call a housestyle (reminiscent of Gibbons). But I'm really pleased - for obvious reasons - that different styles are being brought in more and more. Your comparing Adrian Salmon to Mick McMahon is particularly appropriate I think.

What do you think of Roger Langridge's stuff? I think he brings some bigfoot energy and humour to DWM, and his one-off strips always feel properly "special". Mad genius.

Mark Kardwell said...

Always love Langridge. And I'm a little worried that I found his ultra-shorthand Billie Piper (big eyes, bicycle inner-tube lips) so damned sexy. Maybe I've got problems.

Hey, I'll go find an example and post it on my blog.

Anonymous said...

Dan -

Universal Monsters is done in the style I used for my Image graphic novel THE FACELESS: A Terry Sharp story. I was looking to get away from rigid b/w and flat colour - to do something more organic. The technique is pretty simple if laborious. After pencilling I ink up the strip in line using non bleedproof pens. I then apply a watercolour wash which obviously causes some of the lines to bleed and brings in unexpected results I can work with. If I want an area not to bleed - I use a bleedproof pen. Once I've got a fully washed up page - I scan it on in greyscale at 600 dpi and then do the borders on the computer. After converting to CMYK - I use curves to drag colour into it - emplying various brushes etc to get the effect I'm after!

It's interesting you comment on my b/w work - not something I'm ever asked to do much of these days - colour has taken such a foothold in the medium. COMPANY is *okay* - but is too finicky for my tastes - I prefer the Kroton/Sontaran strip. That was done at a time I was still hugely into Kirby et al and Mignola - but I determined that I wanted to go my own way around this time too. Probably my truest Dr Who strip is the 24 part THE CYBERMEN I did in the early 1990's. My second comics gig ever and I loved it totally - I had free rein to do what I wanted.

You should check out THE FACELESS - it's more stylised than UM in many ways and remains my proudest achievement Dan. The book took 5 months to draw and is only 48 pages long -lol. UM has taken longer and is only 27 pages long ! Not sure what that says except I'm getting old -lol

Since you've shared your inspirations - I'll list mine: Johnny Craig , John Bolton , Bernie Wrightson and Mick McMahon! Also really dig Kirby , Toth , Steranko ( on a Jim jazz right now) plus numerous other artists too.



mattcrap said...

SS & FF look really incredible here! I've actually been messing around w/ this chalky coloring style a little too. I haven't really hit a stride or found a method that I like yet.