For this edition of Drunken Telegraph, we decided to use illustrations of ‘hands’. This defied our unspoken “no-figure” rule, but Megan relented. Concepts > Rules!
(You can view this as a slideshow, or scroll down to read it as a post. Options!)
Every successful drawing begins with a “thumbnail sketch“. This is where I work out the basic forms, values and composition. I ended up flipping the orientation.
This hand is in a pencil rough. I then trace over the image with ink, refinement!
In looking back over my old hand drawings for this post, I realized that prior to 2003, my hands were hidden or clenched in a fist. This was the level of hand construction typical of the way I drew hands “Pre-Whaletown”.
I began work on a still-as-yet-unfinished graphic novel called “Whaletown” in 2003. This forced me to face my inadequacies of my hand-drawings. I bought a fantastic book, “Hogarth’s Dynamic Hands”.
I began to use a rough sketch to capture the gesture and energy.
I use the rough sketch to refine the forms…
Then I build the hand using simple shapes to construct the hand.
This technique can be applied to any hand position. This was for a poster I was working on.
Here is a hand I drew for a medical diagram we use in our Vascular surgery department.
This is a hand I was proud of. This is the ink work for a Earthling comic panel. I often use my own hands as models, because, well, they are always around!
Here is the Earthling panel fully colored and illustrated.
Here’s my sketchbook page of all my work-ups for the Drunken Telegraph teaser video.
I found a neat monotone under color while scanning the drawings that really helped unify this set of images. I offset that color layer a bit, creating a print-like process. Embrace those happy accidents!
I inked this series primarily with a brush. I like the moody contrasts that technique creates.
I shave almost every day, so I figured I could draw this, but I still ended up using my wife’s hand for the model!
I couldn’t get this pose right, so I let Megan show me. She grew up with a swimming pool in her back yard. But I used my memories of youth for the feeling and tone of the skinny-dipping!
This is a very rough thumbnail. Megan wanted the car in the background, so that also took some figuring-out.
The pencil rough for the purse image. I used my own hand awkwardly clutching a backpack for the model. Megan shopped for the right purse to copy.
My favorite drawing of the set. I love the lines on the car and the nearly op-art way the eyes want to make it 3-D. Pink and Green is a great combo, by the way.
For the background music, I recorded a bunch of lonesome guitar tracks, but Megan didn’t think any of them fit well, so she asked for something more “Spacey”. This is a track I recorded in 2011, I thought this tune had a “spaghetti-western spaced-out folk” sound, so I suggested it. She loved it. I guess it pays to keep that old experimental stuff sometimes! (Britton: Guitar and Harmonica).
And here is the preview video.
Hear all of the amazing and powerful full-length “Crossing The Threshold” stories at Drunken Telegraph.
Original Music, “Ghost Light Blues” by Britton Sukys
This is the title card background used for text shots. I painted the flowers in gouache and watercolor, and used Super Irish Breakfast tea for the gold wash.Megan and I met working in the theatre waaaay back in 1995, so this project seemed like a call to give back to the art form that has given us so much. This was done with watercolor and Bic cristal pen, and was used as the background for the shots when the kids were talking."Words, words, words.” – Hamlet (Act II, Scene II)
Claire recounts the first time she was on stage. She was a rottweiler, and had, like, three lines.Our video was the result of interviews with five students, conducted by Megan. The interviews focused on why the educational programs are important in their daily lives. This illustration accompanied Mike explaining how negotiations could bring about something perfect, like spaghetti AND hamburgers. Kids are funny and you never know what they’ll say!All of our work has a transformational story arc. In this video, our hero is Mike, who goes from a lonely kid to one with many great friends.I had fun drawing Claire. Here she is explaining that while she doesn’t use her lessons about crossing over to stage right in her everyday school-life, she does learn a lot about other people, which has been very important in her inter-personal relationships. This is Undre, he is a Dancer. He has learned about the joy you get from self-expression.This is Mike, again, not allowing his fear to bite him!
I wanted these shots to be quickly understood, because they are only on-screen for a second or so. I chose to give them the same stark blue and gold color palette, and used the spotlight to focus the audience’s attention. This was a big event, noisy and crowded, with drinking and eating. Three-minutes was really as long as we could expect to hold their attention. We drowned a lot of kittens (cut a lot of great lines and scenes) to trim down two hours of interviews to three-minutes and still convey the fundraising message the client required.
It took Megan and I a total of 45 hours to produce this three-minute video.
I invite you to look at a previously produced video we made for the Foundation for Early Learning in 2012. This video, Around the Table with Kids, has a very similar style, and was produced in much the same manner.