Shades of Grey

Sketch Fury Weekly - Sketch Challenge No. 3

About the Challenge

How are y’all doing? Have you managed to complete the first challenge and submit your sketch? If so, I am very very proud of you. It takes a lot of time and talent to do what you do. I should know. I suck at drawing … which is why I’m the Commish and not a Sketch Fury artist.

And just a heads up: sketches that are submitted today will not be posted onto the website until Monday. This is just so it gives us admins some time to showcase all the works submitted.

Anyhoo … The other night, the original Founders met for dinner at the place where the idea of throwing out challenges all began. Which, just so you know, started back in late 2008. Part of the reason for our little get-together was because we hadn’t had a chance to sit down and talk logistics about the Sketch Fury website. Mostly though, it was (not only to gorge on their “legen — wait for it — dary” burgers) to share each others sketches for Challenge No. 1.

Listening to them talk about how difficult it had been for them to start sketching again was like listening to them back in 2008. They grumbled about how hard it was to get their perspective right and lamented about multiple redo’s because they “just weren’t feeling it.” And then I remembered something about the very first challenge I had issued to them. I remember recommending a variety of superheroes, but they had nixed most of them claiming that they needed to “build up” to that level. In other words, the superheroes I suggested were too iconic for them to draw and that I had presented them with a challenge that they didn’t think they were able to take on.

So what did I do for our first challenge as Sketch Fury? Threw out two of the the most iconic superheroes of all time.

Oopsie … *facepalm*

That said, I have every confidence in all of you that you’ve risen to the occasion. Besides, it’s not about drawing the superhero in the way that the world sees it … it’s about portraying the superhero in the way that you want to see it. Make it your own drawing. Own it. Work it.

Okay, so on to the challenge … This week is all about black & white and shades of grey. I’m talking about those characters that thread the line between being a superhero and a villain.

First there’s Selina Kyle; an orphaned girl who raised herself on the streets of Gotham City, who turns to petty “cat-burglary” in order to survive. Eventually she is taught how to fight and subsequently masters hand-to-hand combat which is augmented by her cat-like speed, reflexes, balance and flexibility. When she sees Batman for the first time, he inspires her to become Catwoman.

Catwoman’s status as hero or villain is ambiguous; she has her own moral code that she alone follows. Although she began her career as a burglar, she has since then reformed and begun protecting Gotham City in her own style. In addition, Catwoman represents a grey area in Batman’s otherwise black and white life where the line between good and evil blurs. That, to me is one of the reasons I love Catwoman (Halle Berry, be d*mned!).

“My world is all just shades of grey, Batman. That’s why you’ll never really understand me.” — Catwoman

Then there’s Emma Frost; the daughter of an affluent Boston family who ultimately refuses to be her father’s heir and instead chooses to make her own way through life instead. As with all mutants, Emma discovered her “special” abilities during puberty. She began to experience intense migraines and discovered she had telepathic abilities, which eventually lead to telekinetic abilities. As an adult, Emma rose rapidly through the world of business, thanks to her intelligence, drive, personal charm, and her secret use of her psionic abilities. This lead her to becoming a member of the Hellfire Club and eventually part of its Inner Circle, in which she took the title of the White Queen.

Emma has long had a history of being a friend and foe to the X-Men. As headmistress of the Massachusetts Acadamy, she recruited many genetically-gifted youngsters and helped them hone their abilities, much like the Xavier Institute did. Her first of many “clashes” with the X-Men happened to be over the recruitment of one Kitty Pryde, aka Shadowcat. At one time, her school was absorbed by the rapidly expanding Xavier Institute and she thus began to work side-by-side with the X-Men. Over the course of time, she ended up having a “telepathic affair” with Scott Summers (Cyclops) who was still married to Jean Grey. When Jean found out, she unleashed her Phoenix force to brutally attack Emma’s mind which forced Emma to admit that she had fallen in love with Scott. With Jean Grey’s death, Jean eventually told Scott to begin a new chapter in his life with Emma.

While I admit I am not a big fan of Emma Frost, I have to give her kudos for fighting for what she strongly believes in. She has always straddled the line between good and evil, but in the end it had always been because she thought what she was doing was the right thing.

“Being an X-Men means a lot to me. But it doesn’t always agree with me.” — Emma Frost

And there you have it. Our first superheroine challenge. Although there may be many shades of grey in our world, this week’s challenge is pretty black and white. Catwoman or the White Queen.

CHALLENGE NO. 3 (Closed)

Catwoman or the White Queen.

9:00am Friday, August 1, 2014.

Sketch Fury Drawing Challenge

Sketch Fury

Challenge Closed

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