I’ve found I have a compulsive need to draw the faces of the characters who show up in my books. Why? Well, probably because I was never a very good descriptive writer until I got seriously schooled. I could see them easily enough in my head — there was just the teensy problem of making sure everybody else could see them, too.
Lately I’ve been putting my practice to use by drawing the main characters from Crosswind. It’s been loads of fun, especially because it lets me play around with different techniques for drawing people. My strengths tend to run more toward starships or things exploding. You know, important stuff. Crosswind also features a lot of late 18th Century clothing, which presents its own challenges. Hey, when you’re drawing a spacesuit, you don’t need to remember buttons, do you?
The most difficult part? Eyes. They were the bane of my sketches, in part because they’re just so small, it’s hard to get the details right. But thanks to the monster-sized drawing pad my wife got me for Christmas last year, I can draw people in larger scale and thus add more of the detail I like.
One interesting side effect of this effort–I’ve become more drawn (pun alert!) to graphic novels. I expanded my collection to include Batman: Earth One, and Iron Man (Marvel Noir), which have some top notch art, in my opinion. And it doesn’t hurt that the writing is good, too.