Monday, February 22, 2010

Character Sketch: Cowboy

A month ago I mentioned wanting to do a series of Character Sketches to help me develop a style. If you read the four posts after that you'll notice I didn't post anymore after the fireman. I was going to, but I had been commissioned to create a set of icons, then I finished my short story The Hook (a Wandering Koala tale) and needed to illustrate it. Well, the story is illustrated and published (go buy a copy on or and the icons are almost finished. So here is another character sketch.

The fireman sketch was inspired by a magazine sized comic book called Heroes by Marvel Comics. It focused on 9-11 and showed a lot of firemen. This one is a cowboy inspired by the graphic album Tintin in America.

I had never heard about Tintin until recently when a comic book blog talked about the new movie Spielberg and some other famous director are making. It was the writer's favorite comic. Then a month later I made some comments on another artist's work, and he emailed me back saying "thanks" and mentioned Tintin as one of his major influences. Well, I said to myself, "Self, you should check into this Tintin character." So I Wikipediaed him. I discovered there were two dozen graphic albums of adventures, the first two being black & white.

So I went to and ordered the first three, Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, Tintin in the Congo, and Tintin in America. Then I emailed the fellow artist back and asked for a recommendation.

I finished Tintin in the Land of the Soviets and really enjoyed it, and am a little over halfway thru Tintin in America. Part of the story involves Tintin dressing up like a cowboy and getting captured by indians. I kind of like cowboys & indians, so I decided to do my next sketch of a cowboy.

This one is different than the first, because it was done completely in Painter. (The fireman I drew with a pencil and inked with a Brush Pen.) I've been wanting to get more into digital art for a while, and Corel Painter plus and Intuos2 tablet work well. I'm happy with how it turned out, and how quickly I was able to finish it. The background is a photograph of the Australian outback, which I thought looked western enough.

So, what do you think?

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