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Messages - Thomas Grey

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Fan Art / Re: Some of my work:
« on: June 28, 2005, 10:29 PM »
It is my belief that praise is a very easy thing to give and receive. Constructive critism on the other hand is more difficult to give and receive but has more substance, growth potential and if you are truly an artist, you know that there is always something you can try to do to improve. Artistic expression and creativity are things that can always be built upon. Being an artist and an art educator, I feel inclined to give you praise and to try and guide you to things that may help improve your art and ability.

I am going by your info here Kit, so I am aware that you are 21 and also from Belgium. Welcome to the site and we are very happy to have your unique perspective added to our great community! Thanks for checking us out and sticking around!

First, I'll talk about your strengths and ask some questions. I think your style is nice; graphic, strong compositions and you have very strong drawing ability. You are definitely more on the cartoonie side (as opposed to realistic) and your style compliments the character you put into your figures and their details.

How do you ink them? Pens, felt tip, Sharpies, pen & ink, brush, tech pen,  or a mixture? Your lines are clean, so I assume it is a pen of some sort. Just curious more than anything.

How are you coloring them. I see some different styles and they seem experimental, but well executed. I think I am seeing airbrush, colored pencil, maybe some marker or ink and possibly paint. Or am I completely being fooled and you are doing it all digitally? You are very adept and skilled either way at how you color your pieces.

As far as constructive criticism is concerned, I would suggest the following:

1. Your poses are a bit stoic, statuesque and stiff. Anatomy is very important whether you do realistic, comic or cartoon art and the more you know, the better you can imagine what a figure does when you pose them. I just picked up a very large (16") Spiderman figure with 67 points of articulation (fingers even) for a posable resource. It has really helped me do more than imagine and adds a lot of drama to my figure drawings and poses. I also highly recommend any drawing book by Burne Hogarth, especially, "Dynamic Anatomy" and "Dynamic Figure Drawing". They really helped remind me how important anatomy is and how to get the most out of what I draw.

2. Light and shadow. You have some great detailed areas, but you lack light and shadow in most of your drawings. If you add it, you do it with color, rather than black. Don't be afraid to experiment with differnet approaches to light and shadow. It can also lend to the drama of the action you are trying to portray. Even taking a photocopy and a pen is fine. Just adding some larger areas of dark or some cross-hatching here or there can help a lot.

3. Challenge yourself. You know what you are good at doing and it looks like you do well when you try new things (drawing 3 and how you colored it). Just don't keep doing what you are good at because it's comfortable. Challenge yourself. Try things you aren't good at and get better. Don't play it so safe. Take chances and risks and don't be afraid to fail or make mistakes. You have a very strong approach to how you draw and I see a lot of potential in your art and ability. Just keep trying new stuff and build on your strengths as you explore different techniques, approaches and media.

I hope you take this all in good faith and that you understand I am just trying to do more than pat you on the back. Good work and keep it up. I look forward to any future stuff you post! Thank you for sharing!

Updated 6/21/05

Revenge of the Sith / Re: ROTS variation/error thread
« on: May 9, 2005, 12:51 PM »
I have not seen nor heard of a paint variation or error on the eyes of Anakin #28. I assume this is the figure pictured with the cloak pulled over his head. If this does exist, I would assume it is a painting error and not a variation.

Has anyone heard of the Darth Vader/Anakin deluxe figure variations? One has all the armor packaged in the bubble and visible in the package and the othe has it hidden. I have not really looked for this, but it seems pretty cool. There is one posted on ebay if you type: 'ROTS variation' in the search.

I have looked religeously for the Anakin #2 with Dooku saber and have not been able to find one anywhere. You guys make it sound like they are a dime a dozen. While DaBigKahuna says the Dooku is the more rare of the 2, it remains to be seen. It would be nice if Hasbro would release the production #s for each figure. This would answer a lot of questions about how rare one figure is compared to another. I would like to know the ratio of blue Royal Guards versus the red version. I would like to know whether the blue saber version of Palpatine #35 is more rare than the red. We can guess and estimate, but the actual numbers would be interesting to see.

So far the ROTS figures have not given us:
- a mole on Amidala
- Clone Trooper craziness
- text errors
- too many paint errors
- bloody, then fleshy hand variations

And just a question off the subject...

Where is Boba Fett? Will we be getting a figure of him?

Also would love to see more droids.

I'd be happy to do a trade, but I'll get back to you about that soon.

I'm wondering about something...

I was lucky enough to get 1 of the 3 mini stickfa FCBD figures the comic store I 'appeared ' at had sent to them. Were they plentiful at your place or not? I'm just curious about how rare they are and whether it was a fluke in my area or a national phenomenon.

I'll contact you soon to work out details for a trade.

That's great Sithbaker and that sucks Brad!

I spent 7 hours at a table and drew about 6 or 7 drawings. The SW comics were gone quick. I didn't even get one! I also had a request to draw Boba Fett and Yoda and both drawings came out quite good. I was in that zone where time doesn't exist and really into my drawing and I actually am proud of what I ended up with. I sat next to Jeff Lafferty who is a local artist, but really amazing. I felt insignificant next to him, but when he told me he thought my work was cool, I felt better. I mean, he does it for a living and has the luxury of drawing every day and honing his skill. He has done a few Marvel titles and now is focused mainly on freelance illustration (oil paintings) and self-published comic stuff. Check out his stuff at:

I mean I'm struggling to get a drawing done and do okay on it and he's whipping out these ridiculously nice drawings in no time. But, it was fun and cool. I had a sign that said:

Thomas Studholme
- not published
-not famous
- just a guy who draws pretty well, loves comics and knows the owner well.

People got a laugh from my self-deprication.

It did wonders to motivate me to keep drawing and get things going again!

Feedback / Re: jerkytoys' feedback
« on: May 8, 2005, 12:39 AM »
Brian is a person I have traded with again and again and I have never been let down or disappointed. His figures are always in the condition he promises, he packs well, ships things out quickly and communicates very well. He has an intimidating list of great stuff and always is honest and fair in his trading approach. If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend trading with Brian! Thanks again and I will look forward to future trades!

This is a little off the topic, but I recently noticed that my local WalMart has a boxed edition of the original Marvel comics adaptions of the OTC films. They were on sale for like $21.99. Not too shabby. I'd be happy to see what I can do to help you get SW graphic novel/collections. Anything to try and keep people from buying GN or TPBs at a corporate franchise...

Feedback / Re: cohens4's feedback
« on: May 6, 2005, 12:02 PM »
Completed another awesome trade with Stephen. The quality was amazing. The packing job was great. Sent it in a timely manner and is a fair, trustworthy and recommended person to trade with!

Fan Art / Re: An inking nightmare
« on: May 5, 2005, 05:08 PM »
Well sure. Think about it. You decide to stop in a comic place for the first time and just check out what's new. If you aren't sure about what's good or popular, you go for the cover art and logo.

Graphic art is about catching the attention of people that are moving too fast to bother looking.

The more you learn about GA, the less you will like it. I think Bill Hicks (the most crass, harsh, blunt and amazing comic of our time) said something to the extent of...

"How many people out there are in advertising?"

"Please, do us all a favor... Kill yourselves."

"You think I'm kidding, but in all seriousness... Kill yourselves. You sadistic, worthless, scum-sucking whores kill yourselves now!"

"OOh, Bill's using the angry at society angle. Good approach. Great seeling tactic..."


this is a bad elaboration of his extreme talent and actual wording, but hopefully you get the point.

My advice to you is if you become a graphic guy, you have to learn to do exactly what you would never do. Every idea you have will be shot down and the thing you do that you abhor and detest and wish you had never done, will be the exact one they want...

Fan Art / Re: An inking nightmare
« on: May 5, 2005, 03:33 PM »
Wut'r talkin' about?

I had a long talk with Mike Baron (creator of Nexus, the Badger and writer on several SW comic titles of the past) and he told me about this series of The Badger he did.

The Badger is a character that suffers serious mental ailments and has several personalities. He's insane (just like you and me Brad). So he did a series with the Badger and he used a logo that looked like a kidnapper's lettering. Torn out letters from different periodicals... The concept is cool, but the logo/type turned out to be a disaster because it didn't jump out at you. It wasn't making a statement to anyone but a Badger fan.

What I'm saying is cool doesn't always equal desired effect. I also am being ' holier than thou' and I have such a horrible personal atteachment to this particular thing that you wouldn't be right even if you were...

Fan Art / Re: An inking nightmare
« on: May 5, 2005, 01:30 PM »
Sorry to rain on your parade you manipulator of all things sacred to me.

The 'Black' is a classic Disney Script and the 'Dyzney' is the Mickey Mouse font. If the blend, then it becomes confusing and the strength of the graphic nature of each font is lost. If I was doing perfume maybe... But with comics, it has to jump off the rack. Your idea is cool, but not in the lines of the intent or character of BD. I did at least 4 to 5 pages of pencil roughs to get to this and I am happy with them being seperate. Thanks for the suggestions. It never hurts and always is welcomed...

Fan Art / Re: An inking nightmare
« on: May 5, 2005, 12:31 PM »
Alright, I'm letting the cat out of the bag here Brad. I did all the type in Illustrator and used some existing type as templates and had to create others. I haven't done a mock up yet and this is the cover for the origin story. I am thinking that I will start with a little more action, so I am also including a rough sketch of another cover idea. Not sure whether ths will show up well or not...

Fan Art / An inking nightmare
« on: May 5, 2005, 03:33 AM »
I completed this a while ago. I think I spent over 90 hours on it. Much of that time was spent applying correction fluid and re-inking. I think the hands and the ball were re-inked 25+ times. The corrction fluid is quite thick down there. I was using Pro White to correct for a while, but I had to do 3 applications to get the ink covered. I tried Liquitex acrylic white and still had to do more than 1 coat. I finally played around with correction fluid pens and I now swear by the PaperMate Wite Out pens. The feathering on the face also was re-inked 10 or more times. I wanted it to look as good as possible and despite all the corrections, I learned a lot doing this page. It basically took me from a novice to a fairly confident and fluent inker. Everything (except the Zip-A-Tone) is brush and ink. No quill or pens. I used a ton of different inks trying to find the best opaque black and fiinally just started mixing my own. I pour about 2 bottles of Black Magic into a larger jar and let that sit out for about 24-32 hours and coagulate a bit. Then I added a cheaper bulk ink (Dick Blick) to extend it and got some really decent opaque black. I experimented with brushes and I totally swear by the Windsor and Newton Series 7 #2 Kolinski Sable  brushes. I really tried to give the Raphael Kolinski Sable #2 brushes a chance and just wasn't able to acchieve the same fine point and control. I also experimented a lot with Zip-A-Tone. I found this huge cache of it while cleaning out my grandparents basement. A buddy of my uncle's was a graphic artist in the 70's and left it behind (lucky me). Tried to layer it in areas and just played around with different textures and effects. I have some of the newer Letraset tone sheets, but I had problems with the tack being too strong and it was pulling up my paper when I peeled the excess off. It is not as easy as it would seem to use an x-Acto blade to get that stuff to fill the space perfectly. It was all done on a Strathmore 500 cold press sheet. This is such good stuff. I have tried the hot press and the drying time is slow and it hard to manage. This paper soaks it in without bleeding and held up really well to all the crap I put it through.

I am pleased with it considering it was a major chore and huge learning process. I could never make it in the mainstream industry as an inker. I am too concerned with perfection and it being as close to what I imagine it should be as possible.  Getting those fingers to stand out from the glow of the ball and the castle within it was a definite acchievement. There were times I wanted to destroy it and other times I was so into it and everything flowed and felt right. Whether it's good or not in the eyes of others isn't as important to me as just seeing it through and finishing it. I think I started 15 pages and just destroyed them with my ineptness. Finally I sat bythis guy in a comic class that was an aspiring inker and he asked me why I had done so many and gave up. He just looked at me and help up a jar of Pro-Wite and said, "That's what this stuff is for..." I just had this idea that it had to be perfect from start to finish. Right after that I went to a comic art exhibition and every inked page they in the show had correction fluid on it somewhere. So those words rang true and seeing that Frank Frazetta, Jack Kirby, Will Eisner and R. Crumb all used it profusely broke me through the mental barrier of needing to be perfect from beginning to end. I took it to an extreme, but realized that perfection comes from making mistakes and correcting them...

The scan is a bit rough. I'll work on perfecting it and post a better one when I can.

Anyone going to take advantage of this and go to their local comic shop and load up?

I am actually sitting at a table in a comic shop in Longmont, Colorado with 2 other aspiring or established comic book artists to do sketches for kids of all ages, do some self-promo and some inking demonstrations.

I know that there is an ROTS title available on FCBD, so that's reason enough! No reason not to go and get some cool free stuff. Most shops will also be having amazing sales and deals on back issues (the shop I'll be at - Time Warp Comics - is doing a 50% off back issues and massive toy sale and clearance.

So, get off your butts and make it out this Saturday to your nearest comic store and enjoy the free!

Fan Art / Re: Yoda and Darth Maul
« on: May 4, 2005, 11:15 PM »
Good stuff!

I'll post some art here soon and we'll touch base shortly.

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