Hey, gang- I’m back with a couple more sketchcards I’ve drawn recently.
I was joined by Mid-South Cartoonists Association members Kevin and Jason, and 901 Games East’s Isreal for a couple hours of art time and toon talk. We normally have 6-10 ore more, but in the past month or so the MSCA has been busy with an art show reception, dinner meeting, the Halloween Comic Fest, and had the MSCA mini-con yesterday (which I had to miss because my anxiety won out- long story…I may talk more about my thoughts on comic cons/events later and which I plan to attend).
Anyway, at this last Wednesday night’s 901 D-N-D I worked on another sketchcard for the upcoming 901 Comics mystery collector boxes (more info on them to come). This time my subject was Swamp Thing from the original ’80s movie.
I started off with pencil on a 901 Comics sketchcard blank. This time I was again using my Bic click HB pencil. I love yellow #2 pencils, but I hate pencil sharpeners. Back in high school I used a nice mechanical pencil in drafting class and/or different art pencils with varying lead hardness, but these click pencils like the yellow #2 pencils are cheap and work great for me. Use what works for you.
After pencilling the card, I broke out some markers to start working on the shadows.
Each brand has pros/cons (and prices) and I like each for diferent reasons. Some I’ve bought, and many were gifted to me. Have been seriously working in markers since I started doing conventions and sketchcards yeeeeaaars ago and picked up some Copics while in PA and ATL, but as a kid they were my go to for coloring my drawings. I also used them back when I first started out doing graphic design just after high school.
I have them out for anyone to try who come on out to one of our MSCA Drink-N-Draw or Sat-Art-Day events. We always have extra supplies for folks to use and experiment with (including sketchcard blanks, pencils, markers and more) and love to discuss different techniques and hear which art supplies you prefer.
So after I roughed in the shadows I used a mixture of cool and warm grey markers to underbase his “flesh” tones, and I added some light earthtones as well. Each marker has two different nibs– some are brush nibs, some are broad/chisel tips, and others are fine nibs (it’s why I try to photograph which I’m using). It takes a bit of practice to get the hang of each marker tip…and I’m still working on it!
Next for Swampy’s portrait I used a mixture of grey, tan, brown, green as well as blue for the face and background. I used a colorless blender to smooth out the background. I’m always a bit hesitant to use the blender markers, but really needed the backgournd to be a bit softer to give the illusion of depth.
For the line art I used an 03 black Pigma Micron pen for the line art, and a white Gelly Roll pen and Prismacolor pencil for the highlights.
Once done, I signed it with the Gelly Roll pen and sprayed it with some Krylon workable fixative.
Swamp Thing is a humanoid/plant elemental creature, who wanted to avenge the death of his wife and find those resposible for her murder and his horrific transformation. He was created by writer Len Wein (below right) who wrote the first 13 issues, and artist Bernie Wrightson (above with me at SDCC) who drew the first 10 issues.
The character’s first appearance was in “House of Secrets” #92 back in July, 1971. Ever since he’s appeared in countless issues of various DC comics and multiple comic series of his own, including Alan Moore’s run from issues 20–64 (1984–1987). Moore’s run completely reshaped the character of the Swamp Thing as well as adding things to the character’s mythos (much like the Superman radio shows did for Superman). The creature Swamp Thing was not actually scientist Alec Holland, it only believed to be the former. Holland had actually died in a lab fire years ago, and the swamp vegiataion plantlife around his corpse had absorbed the consciousness, memories, and emotions of the deceased human Alec. He became a new (and very green) sentient being. He was a plant who thought he was a man.
Actor/stuntman Dick Durock (above left with me and Len at SDCC) brought Swampy to life in two ’80s live action movies and a ’90s telvision series. I was lucky enough to not only meet Dick, Len, and Bernie, but got all three to sign my Swamp Thing promo mask I got at the San Diegp Comic Con.
One morning in Louisville I was lucky enough to watch Bernie draw Swamp Thing in Sharpie for the Wonderfest art aution (above). He answered questions from the audiecen around him while he sketched. You can see more of me and Bernie at the River City Con in Little Rock here. It was the last time I got to see him before he passed away. He had been scheduled to be a guest at the local Memphis Comic Expo, but had to cancel when his health declined. He was not only a heck of an illustrator and comics guy, but a super nice guy as well.
I really enjoyed the HBO “Swamp Thing” TV series back in 2019, but unfortunately we only got one season, and it ended on a heck of a cliffhanger..!
Okay, true believers, up next is my recent TV “Amazing Spider-Man” sketchcard (left) for the 901 Comics collector boxes. I drew another Spidey card for my set of Series 5 sketchcards for Gabe’s Cave (right).
As cheesy as the TV series was, man did I love it watching it (and The Electric Company) each week, and love drawing ol’ Web-head. As a kid Spider-Man was probably the comics character I drew the most. I still have some of those origials around here, somewhere…
Most folks know I’m a huge Batman fan, and Bats was the first superhero I was a fan of…but Spider-Man was the first superhero I read and collected in comics. I loved the ’60s cartoon, and watch it, Batman, and Superman after school, and would watch the live action “Amazing Spider-Man” and “The Incredible Hulk” TV series every week. That’s a very young me with Spidey at a car show in Memphis back in the late ’70s, and me with Len (at Midsouthcon) and the first Spidey comic I bought as a kid- ASM #171, which Len wrote.
Len was one of those folks who five minutes after I met him I felt like I’d known him for years. We quickly became friends over dinner at PHXCC, and enjoyed time at other dinners and on panels. People say don’t meet your heroes, but I say take them bowling.
For this Spidey card I again used the click pencil to draw out the figure. I then worked on the brick wall with markers– a mix of cool and warm.
I then filled in the red and blue with a couple shades of each. I used a bit of dark blue for the shading.
I used a few shades of grey (definitely less than 50) for the bars. I then used a silver metallic Signo gel pen for the eye lenses. I used some metallic ink on some of my cards for Gabe’s Cave Series 4 and Series 5 for an extra effect.
Also used a bit of silver on the bars here and there. I inked it with the black Pigma Micron pen. Doing the webs was a bit tricky!
The final touches were the hightlights which were done in white Gelly Roll pen and Prismacolor pencil. A light coat of spray fixative and I was finished with this card.
You can also check out how I did my Stan Lee sketchcard here. It was my first 901 Comics sketchcard done for my boss Jaime, who used to work with Stan at conventions and is curating the 901 Comics boxes.
The sketchcards for the 901 Comics’ Mystery Boxes will be randomly inserted before being shipped off, but you can currently find my handdrawn personal sketchcards and official artist returns for sale at 901 Comics East in Cordova and/or The Cellar in Bartlett.
901 Comics East
8551 Macon Rd.
Cordova, TN 38018