Batman and Robin from The Dark Knight Returns.
I used to be into (superhero) comics, but that was a long time ago and so I haven't really drawn much comic-related stuff since. This was done though because it's for my brother.www.facebook.com/brihoangdraws…
I say "for" him, but it's not exactly like he asked for it. And heck, he's much more skilled at art than I am, so it's not like he couldn't do something for himself. I did ask him months ago if there was anything he might like to see me do though, since I didn't know what to draw, and one of his suggestions was Dark Knight Returns Batman and Robin.
I'm only getting to it now because by the time I received the suggestion back then, I had already started other things in the meantime and had still been finishing those up until recently.
I've never actually read The Dark Knight Returns, so I had to look some stuff up and am only vaguely familiar with some of the key points. For example, just looking for reference pictures shows me Batman in a blue and grey costume as well as a black and grey costume. I didn't know the difference and could've ended up using the blue and grey. I think that might've been inaccurate though since apparently he only wears that before officially working with Carrie Kelley Robin..?
That unfamiliarity carried (haha, no pun intended) over into the poses/idea. I couldn't do anything really specific to The Dark Knight Returns, such as a scene, since I didn't know many details. So here's a general jumping-into-action thing.
I couldn't even do like grit and battle damage like a lot of my pictures have had, even though I get the impression something based on The Dark Knight Returns would be suitable for that. The problem was I didn't know if Robin would really fight hand-to-hand to have that sort of grit and battle damage, and it would look weird to put it on one character but not the other.
Robin's pose came really naturally and this is pretty much the exact same pose I initially laid out on a small scrap of paper on my first try before starting the actual picture. I don't think I tweaked anything on the scrap before settling on a final pose.
Batman on the other hand, I didn't know what to do with him and had trouble thinking of a pose. It wasn't intentional that this came out somewhat similar to that iconic jumping pose in front of the lightning on one of the comic covers. My idea was actually just him jumping at someone and getting ready to punch him, thus the arm poses.
My thinking was that Batman was tough and experienced enough to just throw himself at the enemy from a building without using a rope or whatever, but Robin's still new and needs some help via the rope.
I'm not entirely pleased with how Batman turned out. I still have a problem with judging how much space I'll need on a paper so that nothing gets cut off. I misjudged the scaling of Batman and ended up having to draw him more squished than I'd like just to fit most of him in the space that I had. This is definitely what messes my proportions up sometimes; consciously or unconsciously squishing things down so that it fits onto the paper.
This is kind of OK here since it seems like Dark Knight Returns Batman is often depicted wider and bulkier than other Batmans, but it still annoys me that this isn't quite what I wanted to do. I mean, that is why I drew him bulkier than I would draw a "normal" Batman, but I didn't want to have him be this squat. And even taking foreshortening into account as it's stretching backwards, I'm not sure his right leg works OK...
The original scan actually cuts off at the bottom of Robin's left foot and Batman's left "ear" (the pointed one on the cowl). I drew a bit extra in at the top and bottom with a mouse.
I also wish I could've made Batman look older. Aside from just not having much experience drawing older faces, I feel I was also held back a bit by the cowl. I didn't want to draw too many wrinkles on it. I mean, I know I don't draw realistically, but still, how skin-tight would that cowl have to be to show all those face wrinkles??
I'm pretty pleased with how Robin turned out, at least. Other than her cape (and Batman's), which just looks weird since I don't know how to draw capes flowing, my only notable complaint is the hair. I wasn't quite sure what it was supposed to look like since it looked different at different angles in the reference pictures I had.
For example, the way it looked in one picture at a certain angle didn't seem to quite match up with what I would think it would look like at a different angle being shown in a different picture. So it confused me. On top of that, I had to account for the wind blowing it as she's swinging through the air.
The overall picture originally had more of a faint orange tint and the background had more purple and orange. I preferred it to what I have here, but the problem was that it didn't look as night-time as it should. So I reluctantly gave it more of a faint dim blue tint so that it would make more sense for the setting.
Some people mention I should use references when I need help. I try to limit my use of references so that my stuff is entirely (or almost entirely) original and from scratch, but I do agree with using references if I desperately need help...The problem is finding references I can actually use.
I must've went through pages and pages of Google Images (and when I say pages, I mean scrolling all the way to the bottom until it just ends or asks to load more) and I still didn't find exactly what I needed for the parts I was unsure about.
The angle's always a little off from what I'm trying to draw, the lighting's always different, the pose is never quite the same, etc and I end up not being able to use anything most of the time or getting very minimal help from it at best. And I don't want to work the other way either, with compromising my original idea to fit the references.
I don't know how many people even read these long commentaries but I do like just getting my thoughts out, especially when a lot of consideration went into a picture.