Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Mark Making #1: Massimo Belardinelli

Last week I gave an Introduction to Drawing class to 48 new students at Staffordshire University. One element of the class was trying to give them a taste of the diversity of mark making techniques available to an artists even if you are limited to drawing with a biro.

I started to think about my own influences and how I used to look at the mark making skills of the old 2000ad comic artists. I have since looked at my recent work and realised that the mark making is pretty poor, this is something that I intend to improve upon as I used to pay more attention to mark making. If I can find the comic work I was doing then I will scan it in.

What I want to do here is show some of the beautiful ink work of some of those artists working in the 1970's and '80's. 2000ad was always known for the quality of its artists and story writers and it was the first UK comic to credit the talent that produced the strips. Each artist had a very distinct style and a lot of that came from their unique mark making skills.

This is the first in a series.

I have scanned the example pages at different resolutions and picked out specific areas to look at. The high res. images may take a while to load so be warned. The first example is from Flesh Book Two, written by Geoffrey Miller and drawn by the Italian artist; Massimo Belardinelli (1938-2007).

This is the high res. 600 dpi version.

Foliage picked out in the background with just a few lines.
The under belly of the Tyrannosaur achieved with detailed lines giving the impression of thick, ridged hide. Note the ridge or vein to the top left that is really just a white space with a few lines to imply shading. Again, to the right the rock landscape behind is shown using a absence of line, just a few marks.
The wing of the Pterodactyl has a fractured appearance created by mixing delicate angular lines with thinner 'hatched' lines. The use of a few ovals adds organic texture.
The energy from the time machine is made from simple brush strokes.
The lizards tail is made of small, tightly curved lines, built up to look like long ridges.
The leg is covered in nodules of skin, short, shaded curves of ink, thicker at one end.
The throat of the Tyrannosaurus Rex has bold sweeping brush strokes mixed with short shading lines.
These thin dashes are rain falling on the sea which is made of shorter, curving thick lines.
The energy around the time vehicle is shown by jagged areas of white and ovals of energy, reminiscent of Jack Kirby in the old Marvel comics.

Next time I will be looking at Simon Bisley's work on ABC Warriors.

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