Tuesday, April 08, 2014

A Last Opera?

Wow, I missed the blog the last few days, and lookit all the posts! Great to see the T.A.G. page bustling.

Ben, the Jose Delbo story is too funny. He was very friendly toward us--glad I didn't get on his bad side! Love the thought that someone believed the Western was the highest form of comic book art...I love the idea of The Rawhide Kid, et al, now that I'm a grown man--but never bought such books as a kid (maybe I could have dodged his horse assignments by drawing dogs instead???) I do remember an Avengers storyline in the mid-seventies where Hawkeye took a break from the group by getting a job on a dude ranch...and met The Rawhide Kid?? The memory is hazy....

Wednesday I went down to San Diego for possibly my last "Comic Artists Draw the Opera" session (see the news about San Diego Opera possibly closing for good after this week's performances). Our production at hand was Don Quixote, (sung in French). Looked wonderful, tho' I really couldn't follow much while I'm drawing. And I kept waiting for them to do do "Impossible Dream"...!

Sometimes doing the life sketching I get into a very linear groove--I would hesitate to call it "Hirschfeldian" in a more public setting, but here among friends I know I will be understood. Hirschfeld is better, but he's also doing something a little different--his drawings were very slowly produced in his studio, where he synthesized life sketches, photos, and endless studies of each actor's features to produced his super-polished and impregnably well-designed illustrations. To illustrate:

I, on the other hand, am just letting rip. In pencil. From life. The likenesses may suffer for it, but I like the liveliness. Plus, I can tune 'em up in Photoshop when no one is looking...But really--there's no comparison. Al killed it everytime!!


BDMontag said...

So what is the process? I imagine the people are moving the whole time. Do you sketch quick poses and then a face and make a finish later with the sets in the picture?

MrGoodson2 said...

Marty gets a couple of features in his head and he can draw into his gesture. Comes from all those caricatures done while watching classic movies.
Great work.
I saw that Hirschfeld doc, the Line King. Pretty amazing . 90 plus year old guy, acting like he'll never stop. Died in 2003 at 99.
Find Nina
He used Crowquills on very large illustrations. Great to watch him ink. You see it is about continuing line, almost like a pin striper.

Davis Chino said...

Ben--Ellis is pretty spot on. With these "contour line" style drawings, I don't keep my eyes on the paper--I like to look back and forth real fast. And draw a bit while I'm looking away. It's probably not a LOT of drawing done that way, but it feels hair-raising--and good!--to do it at all.

These were all drawn from life the way you see 'em, but once I get home (and into some light--these are sketched in a very dark room with a very faint lamp!), I will go back and strengthen the lines. Once scanned, I'll recompose for the page--fer instance, the first drawing with the seated woman and leaning man was done on the same page (a large page--11" x 14"), but sketched individually, and therefore not in relation to each other (they were floating on the page with backs to each other, altho' the scene was as shown here, facing each other). SO once I've scanned 'em, I reassemble them.

If I don't have anything really good for a scene/character I wanted to do, I'll sometimes redraw stuff from the snippets I've sketched. I did one very finished ink piece for Don Quixote that was redrawn from a few quick fragments...I posted that one on Facebook last week.

The problem IS that people are moving all the time. Also, even tho' they seat us artists just a few rows back from the orchestra pit, the singers are still pretty far away...I have trouble reading as much of their features and expressions as I'd like.

Tom Moon said...

Super drawings as always. Something about the guy in the top drawing leaning against the pillar. Kind of Bugs Bunnyish in attitude. What's Opera Doc?

MrGoodson2 said...

I like that Tom. Super stuff.

I always save the Marty Davis drawings.

Shame about the Opera.

Beata said...

The Fat Lady hasn't sung yet!

Beata said...

(Love your drawings, Marty.)