Monday, December 15, 2014

Doctor Visits

In my last post, I showed you my Doctor Who sketchbook drawings of all thirteen Doctors. I've gradually been trying to finish them all, one by one, in my favorite media of acrylic gouache and ink.
I have five done at the moment, with the others in the works as we speak. Unlike the sketchbook drawings, I'm not doing them in numerical order at all, just to mix it up a bit!

I'm giddy to report that a few of the actors who played the Doctor have actually seen and commented on a few of these sketches and finished art. More on this development below.

As the Second Doctor would say, "Oh my word!"

I started with the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) this time around for my super-Whovian friend Sandra Franklin, who lives in the UK and always seems to run into Doctors around every corner. (She has met every living Doctor, including the current one.) David Tennant is her favorite Doctor and I would never hear the end of it if I hadn't started with him!
Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)
I chose to do all the Doctor portraits in monochromatic greys, with the
exception of  one or more accent colors. And the hour of the clock in
the corner of each picture indicates the number of each Doctor.
Sandra has also been kind enough to supply me with all sorts of magazines and collectibles and was even able to show my sketches to some of the actors at conventions I couldn't possibly get to!
She is also a brilliant photographer who has taken lots of beautiful photojournalistic shots at conventions and even Season 8 filming in Cardiff. (Take a look at her amazing work here.)
Time War Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann)
I wanted to finish both versions of the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) for the Phoenix Comic Con (which was this weekend) but was only able to have Time War Eight done in time. Here the accent colors are the Doctor's eyes and the red of the sonic screwdriver and the Dalek saucer lights. You'll notice the clock in the corner of this one has been broken to symbolize the coming of the War Doctor.
Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton)

Here is a mischievous Two and the snow of Anarctica makes this look a
little festive, especially since we all know Two has an ingenious plan
behind his clownish facade to defeat those creepy
old-school Cybermen. 
Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee)
I could not not have made Three's beloved car Bessie yellow, since she has as much of a personality as the TARDIS. Yes, those are pterosaurs menacing London. And Big Ben had to be synchronized with the clock in the corner.
Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi)
My favorite comment about this picture came from a friend's small son who carefully counted the TARDISes behind Twelve. "There are twelve little TARDISes! No-- THIRTEEN!"
And of course Twelve had to dramatically flash the red lining of his coat. (This is when all the Doctors are rushing to save Gallifrey.)

Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker)
Frobisher is a character only in the Doctor Who comics and audio dramas: he's a shapeshifting private eye penguin. Yes, you heard that right. He traveled with Six, whom he called "Doc".
Here, I wanted Six's trademark cat pin to match the TARDIS. This is the most recent of the Doctor pictures I have finished so far, and it was the lovely Colin Baker who became the very first Doctor I ever met in person! (This weekend infact! Read on.)

I have seven more Doctor pictures to finish (and a bonus Eighth and War Doctor, making fifteen portraits altogether.) But some of the actors have seen various stages of the portraits already.

What started this ball rolling was the challenge of drawing fan art of a new Doctor before he had even picked his costume. A collection of Twelfth Doctor fan art was sent to Peter Capaldi last Christmas (2013) by the awesome fan site fuckyespetercapaldi, and some of mine was included with it. (You remember this post and the silly Dalek cartoons?) Well, three months later, I got this in the mail!

Which just proves what everyone was soon to find out (who hadn't known already!), what a sweetheart and an absolute  gentleman Peter Capaldi is. He sent these out to everyone who contributed to the scrapbook and yes, he drew little Daleks and planets on each of the cards for each person. (And yes, I have these framed on my wall.)

It's a tradition that all the Doctors picked for the part are lovely people, as I continued to find out!

Back to my friend Sandra:
Sandra attended an event in her hometown in which actor John Hurt was appearing. (Apparently he hangs around Norwich a lot.) She absolutely surprised me by showing Mr. Hurt my sketch of the War Doctor afterwards, which she said he loved and then he asked if he could have a copy!
Sandra told him I was drawing all the Doctors in order and he wrote "Keep going!"
So there was no going back now. John Hurt commands it.

Next, Sandra attended the London Film and Comic Con where she ran into two more Time Lords...

My friend Sandra with the wonderful Colin Baker and my sketch of Six.
And here's Paul McGann signing my sketch of "Butterfly Eight" (the one I hadn't finished in time for this weekend.) THUD.
Photograph by Sandra Franklin.
And later in the year, there was the one sketch, for some reason,  I was the most nervous about its subject seeing...
(He loved it)
But it was finally this weekend when I got to meet my very first Doctors in person and nervously show them my artwork... (I was very very very stupidly nervous, I might add.)

I needn't have worried.
Now every time I look at this picture and this signature, I'm going to hear this voice in my head saying, "Take deep breaths, my dear!" 

I met my very first Doctor on Friday and it was the lovely Colin Baker!! It was at the Phoenix Fan Fest/ Comic Con and  he was a gentleman and a sweetheart and very patient with my extreme nervousness. (My hands were shaking so badly when I gave him a copy of his portrait to keep. I had made photo prints especially for the convention.)

"What FUN!" he said. "And there's Frobisher! And the hours on the clocks change for each Doctor's number. Oh, how very clever!"

Thank you once again, Mr. Baker.

And then there was this...

This needs a bit of an explanation:

When I met Paul McGann, I was terrified. I kept fumbling with my portfolio because my hands had still not stopped shaking (despite Colin Baker having told me to take big breaths). But Paul was super-friendly and signed my picture (I gave him a copy as well)...

...Then I asked if I could take a photo with my iPod and pulled out my stuffed wombat (this explains the wombat), telling him, "You're going to think this is silly, but today is Wombat Friday..."

Apparently nothing is too silly for Mr. McGann and he pulled me into the picture with him, shouting, "IT'S WOMBAT FRIDAY!" And then I got a big hug and a big KISS. Never in a million years did I see that coming. I hope it's because he liked his picture...
And by that time, I pretty much had to be scraped off the floor.

I  walked around the rest of the con pretty much in a pleasant daze. "Did I just get kissed by the Eighth Doctor? At this point, really, who hasn't--?"

Neil Gaiman called the Eighth Doctor "the Pre-Raphaelite Doctor" and so it was fitting that he got to pose with the wombat. (Again, see my Pre-Raphernalia cartoon blog post, "Celebrating Wombat Friday") I had wanted to take a photo of Colin Baker with the wombat as well but decided I had already made of a fool of myself enough in front of him.

I will continue on with the Doctor portraits (along with my other projects, of course) and will post them as I finish them.
                                                       I will leave you with this:
Yes, I have Doctor Who toys and I do play with them...

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Doctor Sketches--All 13! (well, 15, really)

My early take on Twelve's costume from back in October.
Aside from the longer hair and the scarf, I think
I wasn't completely far off. I even suggested,
 "He should have cool Doc Martens."
*I is proud*
Back in December in this post, I talked about my lifelong geekiness for Doctor Who, and I expresed the idea of doing a portrait of each of the Doctors, in order. My sketchbook goal was Hartnell to Capaldi--
and I have done the thing!

I am in the process of turning them into finished illustrations done in ink and gouache (the same style as this early imagining of Twelve back in October, before we knew what his new costume would be. There's a new version below...)

Here they are, in their proper order and with notes. All of them have a clock in the corner to denote the chronological number of their incarnations. (You'll see in the case of John Hurt and the War Doctor, I used 8:30.) When I was posting them online as I finished each rough sketchbook drawing, it was pointed out to be me (I'm looking at you, Rob Lanning!) that I really should be signing them. I hadn't bothered because they were just sketchbook drawings, right? And I was all excited about scanning them into my computer and going, "Ooh, look! I made a THING!" that it never occurred to me to add my signature. So in the later sketches, the signature gets put around the rim of the clockface to keep it consistent. And in the finished versions, the clock will also be better drawn and more detailed.
                                                        Here we go!

                                             First Doctor
Very VERY rough sketchbook drawing of William Hartnell  (First of the Doctor sketches.)

His was the very first sketch I attempted (as he should be) and in contrast,
this sketch isn’t is as “finished”as the later Doctor drawings.
This will get corrected when I do the inked and painted version. :)

Second Doctor
Patrick Troughton.
Again, a little rougher than the later sketches.
With snow and Cybermen…
He's one of the easiest Doctors to draw
and he actually pretty much drew himself,
due to Pat Troughton's wonderfully animated face.

I adore Patrick Troughton. He’s the Doctor I would probably pick to travel with
(if any of them happened to show up, that is…) His companions have a very low fatality rate.
And then there’s he and Jamie, of course, a whole other matter. (ahem)

                                                      Third Doctor
Jon Pertwee was my first Doctor and still one of my top three favorites.
As I confessed in my last Doctor Who post, I had a wee bit
 of a crush on him when I was a little girl.
 Not only was he elegantly dressed and had great hair,
but he also knew kung fu! (Well, Venusian aikido.)
Some sketchbook silliness that came out of talking about Jon Pertwee and Venusian aikido. Here the 3rd Doctor is kicking some Sea Devil butt.
(The Sea Devil on the bottom right is all, “Don’t hurt me! Don’t hurt me!”)

                                                                                   Fourth Doctor
Tom Baker looking just a little bit psychotic…
With K-9 and jelly babies and the twin suns of Gallifrey.
I don't think I need to add anything more about Tom Baker and his tenure--
he was the longest reigning Doctor (on television) and is still
one of the most beloved.

Fifth Doctor
Peter Davison's Doctor might have been a little more mischievous than he let on.
Peter Davison certainly is. Here he is with his trademark cricket bat and ball,
with a falling star in the background that might be Adric. (sniff)

Sixth Doctor
Colin Baker, whose Doctor finally shone brightly in the
Big Finish audios and the Doctor Who comics.
I couldn’t resist putting in Frobisher, the shapeshifting alien penguin,
who is only a character in the Doctor Who comics and a companion of Six’s.
(Not to be confused with the Frobisher Peter Capaldi plays in Torchwood,
who is definitely not a shapeshifting penguin. At least, I think…)

Seventh Doctor
Sylvester McCoy, arguably the scariest Doctor.
Things seemed to blow up a lot during his tenure.
Plus I’m going to have him  standing on a chessboard.
(And the chess squares will be drawn in better perspective…)
                                        Eighth Doctor
Paul McGann, still one of my three favorite Doctors, in part to the Big Finish audios and his having the
coolest TARDIS (in my opinion). I admit to being very fond of Eight’s gothic TARDIS with its candlelabra
and books. In the book “Vampire Science”, Eight has a room completely devoted to butterflies.
I thought the butterfly could also symbolize regeneration, as well as time travel in the Ray Bradbury sense.
(“A Sound of Thunder”.) The 2nd Doctor also referenced butterflies after his regeneration.
Time War Eight. I wanted to do the later version of Eight before I get to the War Doctor.
Scruffier, sadder and more disillusioned… and being menaced by Dalek saucers.
What you probably can't see in this sketch is that the watch he's holding is broken...

War Doctor
John Hurt. You’ll notice that his “number” on the clock is 8:30.
Because John Hurt is fun to draw, I also did did a young version
of Captain Grumpy (below) (how he appeared very briefly
at the end of Night of the Doctor). :)
Young War Doctor is holding a Dalek eyestalk.
Crashed Dalek saucer in the background, plus Dalek guts. Yuck. :)

Ninth Doctor
Christopher Eccleston. "Are you my Mummy?"
My favorite Nine episodes, “The Empty Child”/

The Doctor Dances”… :) Also probably the happiest you’ll ever see Nine.

Tenth Doctor
David Tennant. He’s standing infront of New New New New (etc.)
New York. But from the distance he’s at, it’s
 probably New New New New (etc.) New Jersey. ;)

                                      Eleventh Doctor
Matt Smith."Helloooooo, Stonehenge!”

 Twelfth Doctor
Peter Capaldi and the new version of Twelve.
Finally…we’re at the Midnight Hour. I chose his
 first appearance with Gallifrey and all the other incarnations’
TARDISes flying off to freeze it in time.

I cannot wait. I have a feeling he will become one
of my favorite Doctors, if not my favorite of them all.
He’s just that good.
How my Doctor sketches start:
Very messily with inexpensive pencils and a lot of erasing and re-drawing. Here are some of them in progress…

You can see that I draw all over the place, on both sides of the sketchbook pages. (I have this obsessive thing about not wasting paper… :P )

Here's the evolution of the 12th Doctor sketch:
Here's the very first stage of the 12th Doctor:
a doodle on the back of a post-it note at work that got promptly
shoved into the back pocket of my jeans for later...
Next scribbly stage of the 12th Doctor: a little more elaborate thumbnail sketch (i.e., very tiny, in pencil this time) trying to work out composition. This was the idea I'd decided to go with-- Gallifrey and the other TARDISes flying to the rescue in the background...
Drawing in Peter Capaldi's features, but I got the angle of the elbow
completely wrong and needed to re-draw it. (I was modeling my own
hands and pose in the mirror, and it's almost always difficult to draw
your dominant hand, especially when you're using it!)

And yes, that is me posing for all the above Doctors.
I just gave them all a sex change.
Now you know.
I raised his shoulder and lowered the hand,
spread the fingers apart.
Much better.

In my next post, more Doctor Who stuff, plus...
            some of the Doctors' reactions!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Heaven and the Dead City, Volume 2: Incoming!

Here is the second volume of my graphic novel series Heaven and the Dead City, with type placement! Hurrah! You can read about the making of this cover painting here.

Volume One,
available here and here.

This volume will be released in a few months (I will give information about its availability when I find out more myself). This new volume (one long chapter, really) focuses mainly on the mysterious gentleman witch Swamp and his secret existence in the Dead City.

We get to meet some of its other eerie and deadly denizens as well.

I am beginning to pencil Chapter Three which will posted on CO2's  website as they are finished. (You can read the story so far here as well.) Chapter Three will focus on the other city of the title (hint: the one that isn't dead) and despite its beauty and life, things are, shall we say, not going as well either...

Here are some behind-the-scenes sketches and sneak peaks at finished art from Volume Two: