Monday, June 18, 2012

Alphabooksbeasts: E is for East Dragon

This week's non-Donjon Alphabooks entry is from a really recent publication: East Dragon, West Dragon, which is written by Robyn Eversole and illustrated by the incomparable Scott C.

As the title might suggest, EDWD is the story of two dragons from different sides of the world (and different folkloric traditions). West Dragon would have been fun to draw, too, but Oh Man did I enjoy putting this guy into my notebook.

I really love that Lunar New Year stamp. I had actually thought of incorporating it into my drawing of East Dragon even before I saw this fun post with cartoons and pasted-down stamps by my former student Caitlin McGurk over at the Billy Ireland Library blog. But of course the article sealed the deal.

Then is was just a question of figuring out how I could get the stamp into the drawing without forcing the real subject to turn his back. (The answer? Bring in some dudes to do the picture-hanging for him.)

 I am pretty proud of my imitation of Scott C.'s style there (and I did a sort of clever thing with Photoshop that probably is way below the skill level of most cartoonists, but still felt smart to me). This is what East Dragon looks like in the actual book.

(It was easy for me to scan this page because, for some reason, my baby son has loved to tear pages out of his first copy of EDWD. Don't worry; I have a second one on the shelf for him when he gets over this phase.)

One mark of Scott C.'s awesomeness that I recognized only this week is that he's actually not at all easy to imitate. Getting East Dragon's face just a little bit wrong knocks him completely off-model and unrecognizable. There was a lot of erasing in my pencils this week, and my doodle was way, way off.

If you like Scott C.'s work, and you already have a copy of the fun, adorable East Dragon, West Dragon, let me suggest that you purchase a rare (and fun) item that contains a page of Scott's doodles.

Next week: someone else with horns.


Curious Art said...

Wonderful! Very clever use of the stamp. I could really use a stack-o'-helpers when it comes to hanging pictures.

Mike said...

Was the PS trick something to do with putting the stamp in perspective or something else? It looks rad.

Incidentally, I think the biggest difference between Scott C's original & your first Doodle was the lack of a neck in your version (not the only time your sketches have skimped on necks, said the guy who habitually draws legs too short!).

But again: finished drawing? Rad.

Isaac said...

Now, see, getting the stamp skewed into perspective wasn't even "advanced" enough for me to think of it as a trick.

Actually, the Photoshop thing I was happy about is this: all of the linework in my original drawing is in black ink. In the process of coloring the drawing, I color-shifted the lines for East Dragon's scales and tunic to different (non-black) colors. I can't remember ever having done that before.

MaybeI was inspired by some of the drawings Jonathan Rosenbaum has been doing for Alphabooks?

Mike said...

Now, see, I wouldn't think of that color-shift as a trick: that just seems straightforward to me. Different strokes!

Isaac said...

Well, it's not like the color-shifting was hard or even clever; it's just that it's far from the way that I normally think when I'm using Photoshop to color. The linework is normally, in my head at least, this sort of inflexible thing ... I felt like I was somehow tinting the ink in a coloring book.