Today’s Art (31st March 2015)

Yes, it is another bone-chilling instalment of “Dead Sector” – the short daily retro sci-fi zombie comic that is “so bad that it’s good”!

Surprisingly, although the art in this page was fairly simple, it took me a surprising amount of time to think of the dialogue for the third panel. And, long-time readers of my comics (from before I even started this blog) might even spot an in-joke in this panel too.

As usual, this comic page is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Dead Sector - Page 6" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Dead Sector – Page 6″ By C. A. Brown

Top Ten Articles – March 2015

2015 Artwork Top Ten Articles March

Well, it’s the end of the month and that means that it’s time for me to give you a list of links to my ten favourite articles that I’ve written this month (plus a few honourable mentions too).

All in all, March has been a surprisingly good month for this blog and I’ve managed to write far better articles than I did last month (and very slightly fewer filler posts too!). Let’s hope that things keep going so well in April :)

Anyway, without any further ado and in no particular order, here are my top ten articles for March 2015. Enjoy :)

Top Ten Articles For March 2015:

– “Four Basic Tips For Making Daily Comics
– “Four Ways To Make ‘Good’ Characters Interesting
– “Five Fun Gimmicks To Spice Up Your Next Comic, Webcomic Entry And/Or Art Series
– “What Is YOUR Version Of Your Favourite Genre?
– “The Joy Of… Horror Comics
– “More Thoughts On How Your Art Style Evolves
– “Two Simple Questions That Will Tell You How Much You Know About Making Art
– “Four Things To Do If Your Comic Is Dying
– “Making Art More Efficiently
– “Monsters Don’t Make Monster Stories Scary… Everything Else Does

Honourable Mentions:

– “How To Make Your Readers Feel Like They Belong
– “How To Make Your Audience Suspend Their Disbelief
– “There Are No Jump Scares In Horror Novels – A Ramble
– “What Is ‘Artistic Licence’ ? (And How To Use It)

Today’s Art (30th March 2015)

Shock! Horror! Unforeshadowed plot twist! Yes, what else could be but another page of my “so bad that it’s good” retro sci-fi zombie comic – “Dead Sector”.

Interestingly, this page pretty much wrote itself. That is, except for the last two panels, which took a surprising amount of time to think out. Stay tuned for another page tomorrow.

As usual, this comic page is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Dead Sector - Page 5" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Dead Sector – Page 5″ By C. A. Brown

Another Look Inside My Sketchbooks

2015 Artwork sketchbooks March sketch 2

Well, once again, I wasn’t really in the right mood to write the article that I’d thought of writing for today (literally, I wrote about two paragraphs before giving up in frustation). But, rather than turn this into a depressing diary-style post, I thought that I’d share some more random doodles and failed drawings/paintings from my sketchbook with you today.

As usual, there will be the monthly “top ten articles” post tomorrow and I’m not sure if I’ll write a joke article or an ordinary article for 1st April. So, it may not be until the 2nd April that proper articles resume here. Sorry about this.

Anyway, I hope that you enjoy another look into the never seen before pages of my sketchbooks:

This was originally going to be a drawing called "Be All My Daydreams In Black And White", but I ended up abandoning it for some weird reason.

This was originally going to be a drawing called “Be All My Daydreams In Black And White”, but I ended up abandoning it for some weird reason.

This untitled drawing started out quite well, but my mind went completely blank when it came to thinking of an idea for the background.

This untitled drawing started out quite well, but my mind went completely blank when it came to thinking of an idea for the background.

This was another unfinished drawing. Again, I couldn't think of a good enough idea for the background if I remember rightly.

This was another unfinished drawing. Again, I couldn’t think of a good enough idea for the background if I remember rightly.

This was going to be a melodramatic painting/drawing of a medieval knight. But, for some weird reason, I ended up abandoning it.

This was going to be a melodramatic painting/drawing of a medieval knight. But, for some weird reason, I ended up abandoning it.

These were some random 3D shapes that I doodled in my sketchbook a couple of days ago when I was trying to think of an idea for a blog article.

These were some random 3D shapes that I doodled in my sketchbook a couple of days ago when I was trying to think of an idea for a blog article.

This was a random spaceship design that suddenly popped into my mind, probably when I was watching "Bablyon 5" on DVD recently.

This was a random spaceship design that suddenly popped into my mind, probably when I was watching “Bablyon 5″ on DVD recently.

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Anyway, I hope that this was interesting :)

Today’s Art (29th March 2015)

Yay! Contrivance and melodrama! What else could it be, but the fourth page of my “so bad that it’s good” retro sci-fi zombie comic – “Dead Sector”.

Well, this page ended up being slightly more “serious” than I expected. Still, stick around for a slightly more amusing page tomorrow (well, it’ll be amusing if you’ve got the same dark and twisted sense of humour as I do).

As usual, this comic page is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Dead Sector - Page 4" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Dead Sector – Page 4″ By C. A. Brown

Does Accuracy Or Self- Expression Matter More In Drawings?

2015 Artwork Self expression or accuracy article sketch

Although this article will start with what will probably sound like pretentious art criticism, there’s a reason for this – which I hope will become obvious later in the article – and I’m not just doing it to be snobbish, critical or pretentious just for the sake of it. Honest.

Anyway, I was randomly looking at stuff on the internet a few weeks ago, when I happened to stumble across this fascinating (and slightly NSFW) article by Tracey Emin about drawing.

Although I’ve often been kind of cynical about Tracey Emin’s conceptual art – because it’s conceptual art – I still absolutely love how she was able to make art “cool” again back in the 1990s.

So, to see examples of one of the coolest artists in British history working in one of the art forms that I do sounded like an interesting idea.

I’d seen a few Tracey Emin drawings on the internet before, but I was still kind of curious about her drawing style- so I read the article and looked at the drawings in it. And I have to admit that I only really liked half of them.

In the last three drawings in the article I linked to earlier, Emin draws in a fairly similar style to Egon Schiele (a really cool artist from the 1910s, who would have probably made a drawing like Emin’s “Suffer Love II” himself if he could have got away with it back then) and these are technically accurate – but economical – drawings of the human body.

Emin is obviously a hell of a lot better at figure drawing than I am. Plus, she’s able to convey a lot of meaning using a relatively small amount of lines – again, a skill that I deeply respect and am trying to develop myself.

But I really didn’t like the first three drawings in the article (“More Caves, More Tombs”, “Ripped Up” and “Fish Woman”). To be brutally honest, I thought that they were barely comprehensible scribbles that look like they were made by a child. But, when you read the text below each one – you can see that there was obviously a hell of a lot of emotional meaning behind each of these drawings – far more than there is behind most of my own drawings.

These three drawings were obviously a powerful form of self-expression for Emin. But, without the explanatory text underneath them and her famous name beside them – you probably wouldn’t know this. You wouldn’t know the meaning of these works of art – in fact, with a couple of them, you probably couldn’t even make an accurate guess about it. I could understand this if Emin wanted to keep the meaning of these drawings private, but she obviously doesn’t.

And, well, this made me think about self-expression, accuracy and meaning in art.

There’s no denying that art is one of the most powerful forms of self-expression out there. One cathartic emotional drawing is worth ten hastily scribbled diary pages, one deeply personal drawing can show more about yourself than an hour of deeply intimate conversation can. One angry political cartoon can express far more rage than a two-hour speech can. Art is one of the purest and most powerful forms of self-expression in the world.

But, all of that expression is lost if the meaning of your art isn’t immediately obvious (or easily guessable) to the complete strangers who will see your work if you choose to publish it online or in a gallery.

Your audience will not have had the same experiences as you and they may not even have the same opinions you do – so, they are not likely to understand your art unless they can work out it’s meaning just from looking at it.

No, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t make deeply personal art that only you can understand. In fact, what would be the point of being an artist if you didn’t do this every once in a while? But, if you’re going to show it to other people, then you have to understand that they probably won’t understand it.

So, at the very least, you have to make sure that your art looks good enough to be appreciated on a purely visual level – so that they don’t leave feeling completely empty-handed. If you do this, then you can publish all of the cathartic and emotional art that you like and people will still like it.

In fact, if your cathartic “self-expression” art looks good enough on a visual level – then people might even put a lot of effort into guessing what it means. Why? Because they actually like it and want to learn more about it.

But, if your cathartic art doesn’t look good enough to be appreciated on a purely visual level, then you’re probably best keeping it safely inside your diary.

———-

Anyway, I hope that this was interesting :)

Today’s Art (28th March 2015)

Well, I am very proud to present the third page of my “so bad that it’s good” retro sci-fi zombie comic, “Dead Sector”.

Anyway, I’m quite proud of the art in this page, even if it ended up containing less humour than I had hoped. Stay tuned for another page tomorrow.

As usual, this comic page is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Dead Sector - Page 3" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Dead Sector – Page 3″ By C. A. Brown