Show me your face

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.

daisy axford gil davies Winchell Sarklysanne sark

8 thoughts on “Show me your face

  1. Very cool, Steve. Like it. Been awhile since I’ve drawn anything. Hmm….

    BTW, who schooled you in descriptive writing? I can guess, of course. šŸ™‚

    1. Well, that makes two of us then. šŸ™‚ What’s funny is how engrained it is in me now. I just did some proofing work for another writer, and one thing I mentioned to her (thought it wasn’t what she hired me for) was that her manuscript could use a bit more description. Then I even sent her links to the WTME Tips articles. My favorite phrase for skeletal description now is: Hey, turn on the lights here! I can’t see anything!

      I’m such a writing geek.

  2. haha – I’m glad this works for you. My stick people look funny, so don’t think this would work for me. I have had success using photos I’ve found online, making sticky notes on what subtle differences make the character unique from the photo.

  3. Coolness–and good pictures! I drew sketches of things UNTIL I found Pinterest. Now I just scour the Web and I can usually find someone who basically fits my visuals–not always, though. The quirky or older characters are hard to find. I’m sure no one ever realized that Leif Eiriksson looked a WHOLE lot like football player Clay Matthews…at least in MY Viking novel!

    1. Thanks, Heather. I’ve done the same thing with with my drawings, actually, by finding people who have a similar look to a character and then sketching based on their photographs. Soooo… some of them may bear a resemblance to real people!

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