After I worked my way through a few warm-ups for my new portfolio (like my Underground drawing), I decided to push myself and take on a more challenging piece. I’d been playing Fallout 4 for the nth time and Fallout 76’s release date was coming up, so I decided to create some fan art for the series. Specifically, a super mutant vs. a suit of power armor.
I had to rework the composition on this drawing several times to find one I was happy with, and I eventually turned to covers from my favorite comic book, Savage Dragon, for inspiration. I love how exaggerated the foreshortening is in Erik Larsen’s art, and I tried to bring some of that over-the-top energy to this drawing. I also pulled inspiration for the background design from the cover to Savage Dragon #1 (from the 1992 mini-series).
In addition, I was trying to be more aware of the balance of light and dark areas. The one thing I disliked most about how the Underground drawing turned out was the lack of dark areas to weight the composition, and that was something I kept in mind as I was laying out the design for this one. The areas of deeper shadows, both on the figures and in the ground, should create a more visually accessible image once it’s inked.
In addition to trying some different things with the composition and foreshortening, I also wanted to push myself on the gray tones and indicate a greater variety of textures and shading through the hatching lines. This meant being more detailed and deliberate, which is time-consuming, but in this case, worth it.
I’m generally happy with how the pencil art turned out and this feels like a meaningful step in the process of finding my new technique. After years away from serious drawing, I’m constantly surprised by what’s different, what’s the same, and what my strengths and weaknesses are at this point in my life.
As much of a positive step as this was for the pencil art, it’s going to be a greater challenge to ink, so I’ll need to push myself on that end as well. Should be fun.