Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pierre Speaks: Learning to Draw

Like many other artists, I am mostly self-taught.

Although I later took some art classes in college, I mostly learned to draw from reproducing the artwork of the artists that I was admiring as a kid.

So you could say that I had the best art teachers in the world. ;)

Ross Andru, Sal and John Buscema, George Perez, John Byrne, Dave Cockrum, and wayyyy to many others that I fail to mention.

At first I would reproduce some poses that I liked.

But then, things escalated.

I would then reproduce entire panels.

Then I would make a page mixing some of my favorite panels in a comic.

Then I started reproducing entire pages.

And ultimately, I started drawing my own stuff.

Although when you draw all alone in your room, you have no idea how things are supposed to be done.

So like many, I had no clue as to what was proper art supplies. So I was using whatever supplies that I could get my hands on.

I was drawing on lined paper, and once I tried my hand at inking, I was using ballpoint pens since I had no idea as to what was actually used to ink.

And although later I improved the materials I was using by drawing on non-lined paper and was using some sort of technical pens to ink, I still had no idea that comic artwork was done on a bigger illustration board.

So I would still draw the artwork the same size the comic was printed on 8.5 X 11 paper.

And even once I realized that the size of the original artwork was much bigger, I had a tough time finding some 11 X 17 paper.

Heck I once used some 11X 17 tracing paper since it was all I could find of the proper size.

Ahh… the memories.

But eventually I went to college in Arts. A big waste of time. We were making ink blots and sculpting stuff in wood. Very little drawing involved.

Sadly, the first book on how to draw I got was “How to draw the Marvel way”.

Why sadly??

I was about 18 at the time, which I can’t help but think that it was pretty late to start learning that stuff. If only I had found those books sooner.

The first thing I learned from those was how little I knew.

I learned so much about things I did not have a clue that existed like volumes or about composition and other such stuff. Or heck just something like roughing out the artwork lightly in pencil then properly inking that drawing.

For too long, inking a drawing for me meant drawing it directly in ink.

Damn how ignorant I was.

But better late then never I guess.

I later learned a few things in Graphic Arts, but my time studying in Illustration & Design was the best time I spent in college. At last I would learn to improve my drawing power. ;)

Although once more that was pretty late, I was around 22 or 23 at the time.

Once again, if only I had known about that program when I first came out of high school, I would not have wasted my time in Arts or in Graphic Arts.

Well…. Once more…. Better late then never I guess.

Although, even today, I am still learning. I like to think that I am still improving, and from the feedback that I am getting, I seem to be.

But I will let you guys be the judges of that. ;)

Until next time.


Reno said...

It's never too late to learn anything, whether you're 8 or 80. :)

Walter Ostlie said...

I just started drawing and drawing comic books a year ago, I feel really behind in time, I'm 31. So at least you got a head start on me :-)

I am following you training path pretty closely.

Pierre Villeneuve said...

Thanks guys.

Yes it is never too late to learn.

Heck they keep on saying how it is easier to learn when you are a kid.... but for me... my mind has never been as sharp as it is now, and I am learning as well if not better now then I did as a kid.

Strange. :0

Chris Nye said...


Good checking out the Flashback blog again. Been awfully busy with my own stuff....but I enjoyed your comments and insights. I agree with you 100%. I feel as though I'm absorbing more now than ever.

I remember sharing a table with you at a show a couple of years ago and talking about our love for all things Sal Buscema!

Chris Nye


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