The White Queen on the Iron Throne by tydesign

Sketch Fury Challenge No. 3

 

Artist’s Notes

This week felt better. Though I’ve been extremely busy with my daily web work, I’m still dedicating more off time to drawing—which makes me happy. Adding to the euphoria were two comic book-related movie screenings: Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Guess which one is going to be the summer hit and which one will be the dud? The hit is the one that’s part of the Sketch Fury Challenge No. 5.

On to this week’s sketch review. The elation I felt this week can easily be attributed to the results. It’s usually a short-lived feeling. I’ll ultimately spot a flaw that I’ll obsess over until I’m sick of looking at the sketch. But we all do, don’t we? So, I’m trying to learn to smell the roses a bit more and let it linger to use it as momentum for the next Sketch Fury Challenge No.4.

Composition

Building on the previous Sketch Fury Challenge No. 2, I tried to employ those techniques with my Emma Frost sketch. I knew I wanted to do The White Queen seated in a high-back chair, looking coldly. Whether that be at the school for mutants or the Hellfire Club, I didn’t know.

As in my previous drawing, Batman, I started with the blue line wireframes to establish the composition, but this time around I began with the torso and hips, connecting the two and then building from there. It probably wasn’t required since this pose is less dynamic. Still, I wanted to get into good habits.

Process

With this sketch I wanted to focus on getting clean lines down to build from. Granted it was still sketchy, but I tried to employ lighter lines so I wouldn’t be repositioning forms as much nor would I erase as often. It stilled looked like an Alberto Giacometti drawing in blue though. For me I have to see all the lines and see through the forms to feel comfortable. I’m hoping that I’ll reach a level that it won’t be as necessary. (In reality, it’s already started to happen).

Somewhere, during the process of blue line sketching, I though of the Iron Throne and how hilarious it would be to set The White Queen on a rust bucket of pointy swords. I immediately had to search for reference material and to my surprise quite a few people have done variations of a character on the throne. Tony Stark for example, but no White Queen. For a little humor, I even threw in Mjolnir.

Some new tools were added to the arsenal this week (listed below). My new 0.4mm mechanical pencil from Ohto came in and it’s gorgeous. Not only does it look great, but the thickness is about right…so far. The 0.3mm is a bit too thin and delicate (breaks) while .5mm is too small for the scale I often draw at and the details I want to include. Additionally, I needed a tool that could also get in between these small areas to remove unwanted smudges and marks. That’s where the Tombow 2.3mm eraser comes in. Smaller than the Papermat Tuff Stuff Eraser Stick (which I love!), it’s a perfect complement. Both have great sturdy erasers for my heavy hand, unlike the eraser sticks you find in most common office supply stores.

Challenges

Foreshortening could be listed here every time. In particular, however, was the leg coming forward and the foot angled upward to show more of the bottom. What was particularly challenging was getting this to look natural and not forced. As Krono0666 as mentioned to me in the past, I don’t push it far enough. This typically means it’s not extreme enough for comics. I’m caught in the real world if you will and the element that is coming at you isn’t large enough or the element moving away from you isn’t far back enough. So yeah, the foot. It kicked my butt several times.

Smudges. This I’m not sure how to handle. I’m looking for advice here. I used another piece to cover areas I had finished to prevent smudging as I laid my hand down over the drawing, but even this other piece of paper would transfer the graphite. This happened with the soft blue lead (really the only hardness available — so I’m stuck with it) and the HB lead in the 0.4mm. I could switch from HB, but I’m not sure I can find anything in 0.4mm. It’s an uncommon size. Plus, I do like the darkness of the HB lead and the lightness if needed. It offers great range.

Positives

What I really liked about my drawing is I really thought about my crosshatching lines. I took a large amount of time to redraw areas that didn’t look right (see the foot). Overall, I am happy with the consistency of all the elements. The entire sketch feels comic-booky if you will.

Sketch Tools

  • Pilot Color Eno Mechanical Pencil – 0.7 mm – Soft Blue Body – Soft Blue Lead
  • Ohto Promecha 500P Drafting Pencil – 0.4 mm (new)
  • Paper Mate Tuff Stuff Eraser Stick
  • Tombow Mono Zero Eraser – 2.3 mm – Circle – Black Body (new)
  • STAEDTLER 526 B209 Mars Rasoplast Black Edition Eraser
  • Utrecht Red Double Spiral Sketchbook, 70 lb, 80 Bright White Acid Free Sheets

Coming Weeks

I also have a new rotating mechanical pencil 0.7mm. A bit thick, but something I wanted to try because I press so hard. Hoping to give you a report on it soon.

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