When I tell people what I do for a living, after the blank stares, and a brief explanation, they then ask me if I use a computer to do my art. "Is it all on computer?" Well, most everthing starts out on paper for me. I can draw faster, stay on concept and not get caught up in all the nifty things I can do with the computer/Wacom tablet. This is an example of the move from convetional to digital.
This is the sketch for the TRANSFOMERS skeleton, or chassis, done for the Robot Builder part of the toy's website. After spending a few hours scouring for the right scrap (photos of car chassis, engine bits, wheels struts and shock absorbers), I sat down at my drawing table and got busy! I was free to just kind of throw things down and create a really dynamic drawing with suggestions of things to be. I knew, after I scanned the image, it would be easy to clean up and fine tune, or machine things quite a bit, working from the same scrap photos. The red lines and the blue lines were done on separate sheets of tracing paper then overlayed. Why draw the lines in two colors, 'cause it looks cool! Then it's of to the clean, digital side of the basement.
This is the vector art. I used this Chassis as a register mark for all the TRANSFORMERS I created. The bits off to the side are robot parts that were used more than once. I just put them aside to grab when needed. (The most challeging bit to do was the Jeep tire). Somethng like this Chassis is much easier to finish on the computer, but the life and spark of it started on paper. I used a lot of neat tricks digitally to get the lines I wanted, creating brushes and expanding apperances. The Chassis wasn't used as intended, but the concept shows up as the selector icon on the left.
Yeah, super deal, I created 14 TRANSFORMERS from scatch! My art director, was great, backed me up and let me go. The parts are all at the website.click on Robot Builder. The sounds are a lot of fun also.
I normally don't like to draw cars, or machines. However working first loose on paper, playing with the pose, feeling, and concept makes the process fun and energetic. The computer makes keeping things even and machined, doing curves and angles much easier. The whole process can be enjoyable, using the right tool for the right job.