‘Mind the gap’

gapAt some stations on the London Underground (and on other platforms in different parts world too) there is, historically, a bigger gap than normal between the train and the platform.  So they announce ‘Mind the Gap’ for every train.  However, the gap that I’m bothered about is the gap between the comic art which I love and the comic art I can do.

Here are some examples of the work I really love.  The first two are from the Dark Horse Star Wars series (Dark Times and Star Wars Legacy).  [Please note that Disney / Marvel now own the rights to this material.]  The rest are by a chap called Daryl Toh Liem Zhan. Who can be found on Deviant Art at http://tohdaryl.deviantart.com/ .  I’ve followed this guy’s work for a few years now.  In all of this art work the things I would love to learn to do are:

  • To do the line work in that soft pencil-like way which they do using colours for the line other than jet black,
  • To make my background more painterly,
  • I also love, particularly in Daryl’s work, the way some of his colours don’t match too accurately to the line work.  This ‘loosness’ gives a beautiful feel to the work and I like it.  The trouble is, every time I’ve tried to do that, it just looks scruffy and lazy rather than like the loose, free artwork I’m aiming for.

darktimescomicstyle darktimescomicstyle2 legacycomicstyle2 legacycomicstyle1 fmm___the_duel_page_03_by_takeru_san-d3bol2o fmm___the_duel_page_01_by_takeru_san-d3bm5ltI think TohDaryl’s work is simpler but still extremely effective so I guess, for a beginner like me, this might be a good place to start.  I like the way his backgrounds are rough digital paintings with no linework at all.  (If you look on his Deviant Art site you can see how good he is at digital painting.  There’s some fabulous work there.)    His foreground work is mostly really quite tight these days (it used to be looser) but if you look at the handle of the sword… (below)

sword handle  …you can see the beautiful loose style which I really want to go for in my own work.

Compare this to the style which tends to come out of me when I try to draw in this genre:

Hera Portrait_BW_FIN_Small Ezra Portrait_BW_FIN_Small Sabine Portrait_BW_FIN_Small
Which is completely different and not really what I want at all.  It looks more like an animation cell rather than a cool loose comic book.

Anyway – this is the ‘gap’ I’m working on.  If any of you have any ways forward with this I would really appreciate comments!!!

PS:  EarthBalm Music and Michael Bencik thanks for the pointers 🙂


2 thoughts on “‘Mind the gap’

  1. Jo, I think you do yourself a dis-service.
    I prefer the work by Daryl to the Dark Horse work too (though I like both) but it also looks like a series of animation cells to me. The only major difference I can see between yours and Daryl’s work is the out-of-focus painterly backgrounds. Why not try your work with similar backgrounds – perhaps using layers in your graphic software?
    I like your style.
    Hope this helps but feel free to ignore or disagree (with) me, after all – it’s just opinion.
    Good luck and thanks for the thanks.


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