Monday 26 March 2007

Extra! Read all about it.

While I had the 2001 files out yesterday, I saw this piece of art in passing, and remembered the circumstances of its making. The FACE magazine commissioned a drawing of Johnny Depp 'in the FROM HELL style'. I had already drawn him once before, for a tv camera in Paris (The French like a performing element in their cartooning). But this second one, I never should have agreed to it since I couldn't see a better way than just turning a movie still into a From hell panel. Here's was what I came up with. The magazine ran it too small, even smaller than the size you're seeing here. One might ask whether they were having second thoughts on the grounds of good taste except that they and stuck a label over it that read 'A ripping yarn', which clearly marks them as clods. (How many of those scores of papers that used 'ripping yarns' as a header thought they were being cute?)

This isn't bad for what it is; I got a relaxed figure after much effort, but I wish I'd stopped scraping the background hatching much sooner. It was my second attempt at the drawing. The original for the first attempt is in the possession of my pal Christopher Moonlight, who showed it on his blog recently. I abandoned this at the pencil stage and later threw some watercolour over it and put it in my convention portfolio. I'm sure Christopher has done some photoshop tweaking on it into the bargain.

I suspect I drew the next one for free, or didn't bother billing the French magazine Ciné Live, since it is such a carefree drawing, on rough paper with a 6b pencil. What a cluttered mess of a layout though. What were they thinking when they stuck that From Hell page in front the standing Ripper, but tucked under his mitt as though he's selling the late edition?

Ripping yarns! come an' get yer ripping yarns!



Blogger spacedlaw said...

While they're warm...

(Sorry, couldn't help myself)

26 March 2007 at 02:54:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the the Robbie Coltrane in background.

26 March 2007 at 04:14:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, there's a prize for the first person to spot the mistake in my prior post.

26 March 2007 at 04:18:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Bat Masterson said...

Coltrane, who shares my birthday in less than a week, is in the middle ground, I fancy.

26 March 2007 at 04:57:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Jack Ruttan said...

Mebbe people will mistake it for an article about knitting?

26 March 2007 at 09:35:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Christopher Moonlight said...

I love the first sketch. That second sketch has been one of the single most influential pieces of art (for me) since I got it. I colored it in that manner, so I could have a look to shoot for, which I had yet not achieved. You see, a colored drawing style was needed that would mix well with my paintings, but that color technique doesn't work with just any pencil work. It has to have the right tones, and values. Yours does, so I used it as a sort of test pallet. I think it aids the mood of the piece, personally, but that just might be my youthful taste.

26 March 2007 at 10:22:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You hand-sold me that third drawing in Chicago a few years back. It's a real conversation piece actually. A friend of mine refers to it as "Garrett's Knife-man". It's hanging on a wall with a Becky Cloonan page, a Brian Wood Sketch and some Lauren McCubbin prints to this day.

-Garrett Farrelly

26 March 2007 at 18:47:00 GMT-5  
Blogger James Robert Smith said...

I still use the term "yarn" when I'm talking about short fiction. I think I must have picked it up reading all of those articles about Robert E Howard.

Never have used "ripping yarn", though, save when I refer to that short-lived TV show by Michael Palin (well, I saw one episode...don't know if there were others).

You can give me that illustration of Johnny Depp if you don't want it anymore.

26 March 2007 at 20:06:00 GMT-5  

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