Burning Fortress



Every once in a while, I challenge myself to a time limit, because if I don’t actively practice the act of completing my art, I will obsess myself to a standstill. Many wonderful things have died on my drawing board this way.

In order to see my ideas take form quickly, I often fall back on charcoal and ink. Even though charcoal is sloppy and imprecise, it is a pretty forgiving medium, which makes it idea for working out shapes and compositions one is unsure of. I’ll often finish it off with a brief pass with a fine tip marker or ballpoint pen, to drive home some of the more prominent parts of the fine details. Every once in a while I’ll brush in some coffee for a sepia tone feel, like in the pic above. It is from an ongoing body of concept art for a WWII comic about a B17 Flying Fortress which I am slowly developing, a rough draft which I scanned and subjected to a brief round of digital coloring. I did my best to do as little as possible, no “corrections”,  just the orange in the sky, the red on the wounded gunner and leaking oil, and some fiddling with transparencies and layers. I spent maybe fifteen minutes on the original drawing, and maybe another fifteen colorizing it. The final result is very different from my usual work, which is controlled and precise and takes forever to come to life, but I’m still oddly happy with it.

Lately I’ve been contemplating art as a medium for catharsis. I can communicate a great number of things through art, even things for which there are no words, but I can never truly work through my pain via art, like some artists can. (I get a bit jealous, really.) No matter how much I practice my weird handstyle or begin my paintings by literally throwing paint at them, I can find neither words nor images to encapsulate many of the things inside of me.


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