How I draw my drawings - using "What's This" as an example.

corpse bride how to nightmare before christmas what's this work in progress

So I thought I would give a little information on how I create my work.

This one spawned from watching The Nightmare before Christmas (NBC), something I should have watched a long time ago. 

I have produced 4 Tim Burton ACEOs - The Nightmare before Christmas, Corpse Bride, Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice.

The image says £10 each buth these are now just £5 each.

SO then I watched Big Fish and Big Eyes and realised I needed to do a full size one. So "What's This" was born - such a perfect title from the main song in the NBC.

So it began...

The only thing marked in pencil is are two parallel lines 1cm in from the left and right of an A4 piece of cartridge paper, and then the measurements below down those lines:

Two brand new pens are selected, one fine and one superfine. They are just faber-castell PITT pens from WHSmiths.

I draw (using a ruler) 18 rows 12mm high separated by shelves which are 2mm in height. These shelves are where the words will go. In this case, the entire lyrics from the "What's This" song fit perfectly. They are added after I do every few rows, so as not to risk smudging anything with the outside of my hand.

After a couple of lines we think about the title. And the title goes through the 4th shelf down. This ensures all my drawings match up nicely when on your walls.

So I draw the people and things with the superfine pen and every couple of inches I go back and fill in the black with the wider pens.

And the image comes to life. I start now to think about where I might put cheeky splashes of colour and in this case you may spot Tim Burton has blue tinted glasses and Willy Wonka's golden ticket is golden too...

At this stage I am nearing Row 10 so time to think about the big characters. In this case an easy choice for me because I love the Corpse Bride and clearly Jack and Sally are needed. Also we dont want to much colour so it is handy that Jack is pretty much black and white. That way put him in the middle, he can be big but the black and white pushes him back into the drawing, and his big white head draws attention to him. Also we can follow Sally's gaze through his eyes up to the famous moon image top left.

Then there is the subtle shape I like to hide in the background. In this case the curly crescent of the moon image is hidden, well if you go from Sally's eyes, through Jack, then down to the Corpse Bride and imagine a snail, well there it is.

And that is it really. 34 hours work in this case, watched 11 Tim Burton movies, used two pens worth of black ink, used colour pens for the colour, with a subtle hint of coloured pencil for the softer face features.

Thanks for sticking to the end, please let me know if you think this is a good type of thing to cover in my blog.

Be good, 


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