Monday, October 6

Redoing The Fly

In October 2011, I did a series of horror drawings for the blog. One of them was a dapper Fly.

It was a goof, but it went over well.

This year, the ZaPow! Gallery announced a Halloween theme show, and I struggled to come up with a new idea. I remembered the Fly and decided to pursue it as a more polished piece.

I started with a reference picture. 

Then I Googled the classic Fly movies to get the head right. Turns out there are a few of them used in the first and second movies. I copied the reference photos freehand on an 11x17 Bristol page and scanned it to play with inks digitally. I intended to ink it on paper, but the digital work let me choose shadow angles and placement.

I then lightboxed the pencils onto another piece of Bristol and inked it in Sharpie. I have nothing against brush and ink, but I can't find inks that are dark enough. Everything hits the page like a gray watercolor.

I added texture and hue to the chair and a thicker border to the figure to pop it forward.

Tuesday, September 30

Turtle Masks

The benefit of making my own DragonCon costume (as detailed earlier on this blog) is that I can be more handy about the house.

The Deputy is all in for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoon. I can't blame him. It's genuinely funny. A recent episode recreated Big Trouble in Little China, and I was the only one in the house who:
a) got it; and
b) went nuts for it.

He didn't know the Turtles until his cousins got him a few Turtle toys for Christmas. He was too young at the time to grasp the concept, but he's grown into them, and he found the cartoon at just the right time to obsess over it.

Me, I remember the first TMNT cartoon airing on the local FOX affiliate in the late '80s. GI Joe was still on. He-Man might have been airing too. Voltron, Silverhawks, Transformers. They were all daily cartoons at the time, but I never got into the Turtles cartoon. I barely knew the original comic.

I really hated them after sharing a dorm room with my first college roommate, who was abominable. He was mad for them. Had a Turtles bedspread which, along with the rest of his laundry, was in fact never laundered. He also had posters for the first movie. Maybe the second too. Anything he liked, I grew to despise, and I threw the Turtles out with the roomie bath water.

So I didn't steer my guy toward them. Neither did I discourage him. He was already into teenage alien Jedis from Clone Wars. I figured it was a lateral movement.

As there are now two current Turtle iterations -- the TV cartoon and the summer movie -- there are also two sets of costumes you can buy for your Turtle fan. They are ten bucks for each mask-and-weapon combo. That's $40. I thought I could do better than that.

Spoiler alert: I can't. But I'd rather spend that $40 on something else. Also, he's four. My wife reminded me of that when I started to get too detail-oriented planning homemade masks. She's right. He's gonna treat them as well as a four-year-old can, but that still means they're gonna get wrung out. I can hem and glue and sweat over these. He'll still tear them with enough play. He's four.

I bought four yards of cloth and sewing thread in matching colors and made a template by wrapping tracing paper around his head. My first template didn't take his ears into account. I made a second that angled the wings higher.

I also bought Velcro straps. I figured that was the easiest way he could secure them to his head.

Unlike with the Littlefinger costume, I could use light-colored thread to attach the Velcro. That saved my eyes.  The sewing isn't pretty; I'm still a very new newbie. But it holds. He asked for Leo first (the blue one) and for Raphael (the red one) after that.

So far, so good. He got the first mask Sunday and spent the rest of the day wearing it. He'll get Raphael tonight. He'll probably sleep in it.