Visualising Vance

I was going through some of my kroki sketches last night, looking at several of a male model that we had several weeks back. He was a very tall man with dreadlocks, and he had a striking, unusual face – looking a bit like Ron Perlman. There was something about the flat expanse over his mouth, his facial bone structure and the intensity of his gaze under a deep brow – “saurian” was the term that kept coming to my mind.

At any rate, I’ve been wanting to try a rendering of a Dirdir – one of the four alien races from Jack Vance’s Tschai series – and I kept going back to these sketches. So, with apologies to this poor chap, I’ve used him as the basis for one of the pale, lizard-like Dirdir:


In the novel “The Dirdir”, there are also dirdirmen – humans who believe (or wish) that they are genetically related to the Dirdir, and who use prosthetics and body modification to emulate Dirdir appearance (The Dirdir, on the other hand, don’t seem to spend much time thinking about the Dirdirmen at all). With that in mind, I wanted the Dirdir to look roughly human in form and facial configuration, but to become stranger and more reptilian the closer one looks. The long antennae-like bits are called “effulgences”, and can glow or change orientation based on the emotions of the Dirdir.

Open croquis 110510

I had a nice sketch come out of the latest open life-drawing session at Konstnärshuset on Tuesday. I can really feel the difference that attending these sessions weekly has made. If you have the means, I highly recommend going to something like this.

Here is my favorite of the evening, from a five-minute pose:

Kroki 110510 01

I switched from the black Copic Brush-M pen I have been using to a “Jajayo” YY101 brush pen. I had put off using this pen after I picked up a handful at Jordi Konstnärshandel, because I thought it looked a little cheap and possibly gimmicky, but that’s my loss – it’s amazing! It has a much more brushlike feel than the Copic (which is a good pen), and one can easily get all sorts of strokes and textures out of it. I found myself using it for fine lines as well as the heavier areas. One can apparently also dip it in some water for more varied effects. It’s really a pleasure to use.

Open croquis 110329

I ended up with a few nice sketches from the weekly life drawing croquis at Konstnärshuset. I was somewhat nonplussed at the start because for some reason the model decided to pose partially clothed, which made things a bit awkward. I was mentally trying to erase the garments, which is a hassle when one only has two minutes to draw the pose. It also changes the lines of the body, which is what I was there to practice drawing.

I go to two other weekly drawing sessions where the models are clothed, so this one has importance as the only chance to specifically draw the body itself, rather than just the poses. It’s been a great and very helpful event up to this point, so I hope they get back on track.

I bought some Copic pastel brush pens, and started experimenting with them. They react nicely with the black ink brush pen, yet on their own they are much lighter than I expected them to be. Interesting results… I plan to work with them more tonight…