Monday, August 9, 2010

Maq. it Pretty

Tuff-Girl Maquette.
Grey modeling compound.

by Chuck Williams.

I haven't written about this since 2007, largely because it hasn't changed much - and, sure, other things have been keeping me busy. With a few changes from what you see here, it currently stands on one of my book shelves waiting for the next comic con opportunity to make people jealous that they don’t have one.

It’s a remarkable thing to have another artist recreate something that only existed in your head previously. There’s an up front layer of being critical of it, but when it’s done well and the artist “gets it,” then it’s like getting a Christmas greeting in the mail - no it’s like birthday cake, delicious, home-made, birthday cake with ice cream.

I’m critical of everything. In fact, I describe part of my job as a game of “What’s wrong with this picture?” However, Chuck is pretty close to cake with this figure. I’ll withhold my final judgment until after it’s been cast and painted.

To help communicate to Chuck what my idea of the target for which he should be shooting, I re-touched and colored a photo of the maquette. Among the subtle changes are fuller hair around her face; more "V" shape to the mask; more narrow face, and smaller smile. That’s a lot of stuff when the head is barely an inch high.

Digital imagery makes coloring black and white pictures easy. In essence, it’s the same technique as using watercolors over a B&W print. To help pull it away from that colorization look, I add highlight layers over the colors, with more over the parts I want to look shiny. I’m not saying that I draw white for the highlight layers, because the figure is already lit and the lighter parts are easy enough to select in subtle levels of lightness.

Although anxious to see the finished painted maquette, I’m already thinking of the next sculpted version of Tuff-Girl I want to work on.

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