Partners In Design


Evolutionary Arts: Frank Quitely

Comic Book Resources has a really in-depth and interesting interview with one of my favorite comic book artists, Frank Quitely, who's currently working with the talented Grant Morrison on 'All-Star Superman' (The logo of which was created by the love of my life, Chip Kidd).

Scroll below to see the evolution of this guy's work over his various titles and catch a couple of excerpts from the interview about his schooling and his approach.

From the Interview:

Your people don’t look like most other comic book characters.

On my figures, they’re not particularly accurate, but it just so happens that for all that you lose in realism or accuracy, when you’re drawing from your imagination rather than from photo reference, I think that you actually gain something. I think what you lose in realism, you gain in something else. Sometimes when you look at the work of a comic artist who use a lot of photo reference, it can be very convincing but it’s very convincing in a very slightly false way. Where when you look at the work of an artist who does everything from their imaginations, it’s not nearly as real looking, but it seems more real because everything looks the same. You know the way when you’re reading “Preacher,” Steve Dillon draws -- I’m sure that he sometimes uses photo reference if he has to do a specific type of truck or a specific type of motorbike or whatever -- Steve Dillon tends to draw people and cows and motorbikes and cities just from his imagination, and everything has a very slight simplicity to it, but you believe it because it all looks the same environment, like it came from the same place. The same way that we’re watching “The Simpsons,” because it’s being done in the same style it all fits together. Some people do use photo reference very, very well. I suppose a prime example would be Alex Ross. What he does with photo reference is very, very impressive and he takes it to an absolute limit where he’s actually trying to make it look as real as possible in a very everyday way. Most of what Moebius does doesn’t involve any photo reference at all, and it’s very real as well, in a completely different way. Getting back to your question of how I would describe my style, I don’t know… I tend to use as little photo reference as possible.

What type of criticism would your art teacher giveyou when you were in school?

Yeah. When I was in art school, obviously a couple times a week there were life drawing classes where there would be a nude model posed in the center of the studio and we would all be standing around or sitting around with our easels or drawing boards either doing detailed laborious sketches or detailed drawings of the figure in front of us, or lots and lots of simple sketches. Obviously that helped with getting to know the human figure. When I was younger I used to copy right out of books with art from Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, two of my favorites for copying, which again gave me a slightly different thing; and I also had those how-to-draw books when I was younger where you start with a stick figure and then you built up to kind of oval to the head, oval for the ribcage, and oval for the pelvis and then you rough the shape muscles around it and you bring a figure to life that way. It’s a method to drawing a figure from your imagination; you don’t need to have something to copy. I have a method for drawing the human figure without having any reference to look at, and sometimes it works better than other times and it works for some readers better than it works for others. There are some people who really like my approach to drawing comics, and there are other people who really don’t.

Catch the rest HERE.


Ernesto said...

thanks for all the interesting selections and commentary. Quitely is one of my favs.

Laz said...

No prob, it's nice to know there are some people who actually know his work and don't think i'm some comic crazed looney! :)

Alexandra said...

But you are my comic book archive!