Blue Beetle battle.

So the pic below is an exercise. The most common “negative” critique I get about my comic-style art is that it is too cartoony. This always throws me off because there are many successful mainstream comic artists that I consider very cartoony. Also while I recognize I have a cartoonish edge to my comic work, I am actually striving for sort of realistic, just failing I guess lol. Further, I have trouble recognizing the level of how cartoonty my stuff can be, some sort of personal blind spot I suppose. Recently Quelyn an I were talking about this. She said that the indigo tribe Atom pic I did recently was pretty realistic, but the Phoenix I did was much cartoonier. To me I see no real difference in the style. I certainly did not do anything different in my approach to drawing them. So she suggested I should draw a pic of a guy standing from a reference picture and then dress them as a super hero and that might help me see the differnce. I took it a step further, I did a sketch of Blue Beetle, (Ted Kord), from my head, then did the sketch of the ref pic and dressed it up, then put them away and did another sketch of blue beetle from my head, the 3 below are the result. The third one is more polished that the first one, but part of that is drawing the same guy in the same pose three times in a row. The main difference I see from 1 to 2 , is that 2 had more outside contours of the muscle and form and less interior definition. Probably this is because I can copy a form that is already there and correct, whereas when I am creating it myself I am building the skeleton then muscles and skin up from nothing.  I have recently been adding an extra penciling step where I “ink” with the pencils to tighten up lines, and also omit a lot of the interior detail , and connected line work. It’s a lot of extra work, but I was going that way before this, and if the main thing I got out of the “realistic” version pointed the same way I guess I am doing the right thing. I do want a more polished style, but I also remember what Steve Mcniven told me. “Don’t try to draw like other people , do your own style, you will be much happier, and hopefully someone will like it.”, …that sounds great, but then again Neal Adams told me,”you’ll never draw Batman drawing in that cartoony style”….*sigh*


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