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Commissions: Prince and Sandman(but they're not together)

So, I've been pretty happily anxious about how my art has been evolving over the last couple of months. And commissions often offer me the chance to really push things, as the subject is not always something that you'd immediately think of as in my wheelhouse(although I think that these two certainly ended up there).

Now, when Marcus(a comic con buddy) asked me to draw Prince just after he died, I was excited. I love Prince, and wanted to do something cool.

And I was definitely gonna use purple.

So, trying to do something different, I used watercolors(and some charcoal) first to lay out a fluid sense of mass and shade(and made the conscious decision to leave his glorious hair as a negative shape). Once that had dried(thankfully I had taped the Bristol paper pretty well on the drawing board so it didn't fucking warp up on me), I went and moved in with an ebony pencil. Then came out some white paint for highlights, quickly followed by our friend Mr razorblade. Using that, I was able to scrape into the watercolor and charcoal to create some texture, particularly on the shirt.

Man, I did not want to send this out...

Now, this Lionel guy has commissioned me before for some really cool Star Wars drawings over the last year. But even back then, Sandman was something that was kicking around as something he wanted me to draw. So he reached out to me with a couple of thoughts, ending with the decision to go with Morpheus.

Now, I never really read Sandman too much, but a lot of my favorite artists have worked on this book. So I wanted to really see what I could do here.

The pose was pretty easy; a solemn but distant power looking at creating/starting something new(Lionel had asked if I could slide Matthew in there somewhere too). And, as I fucking love drawing environments for characters to be a part of, a castle/mansion interior seemed to be a natural choice.

But I wanted to fuck this up, so I scanned the background sketch in and tried some things.

Like "warp".

After combing this awesomely strange new background with the main pose, I penciled it pretty quickly with a soft lead pencil. Working some Sumi ink for the heavy shadows, then charcoal and oil bars for the rest of the mood. And I couldn't forget to scrape some razor lines to reinforce the curved pencil lines of the background, could I?

And I guess that not wanting to send this out too means that I was successful on both drawings. Now I just need to get a second art show piece and a drawing for some Larry guy going over the next couple of days...

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