The Art of Ryan Francis

The portfolio website of Ryan Francis


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Holiday Sale!

I have a new printing of Shirley’s Day is up for sale on my Etsy Store!

I also have a holiday sale for the month of December where it’s 25% off with free shipping!

Thank you for your support for all of these long years!

Please look forward to what I have next in the future!

In other news, my progress on my Gamestop comic is slowing down a bit due to my day job. I hope to pick up more after December.

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Let’s Make A Comic Story Part 2: Reference Hunting

I continue showing off my process of making a comic where I adapt a story of a weird encounter at GameStop.

This section I’ll be demonstrating gathering references.

Since the story primarily takes place in GameStop, I gathered references of the store chain.

I also did a bit of hunting of how I want the Fedorable Man(That’s my name for him) to look. It’s a funny thing to design a stereotypical “Neckbeard” nerd character. There’s many ways to tackle it, and there’s no one way to make any character.

 

I grabbed a few refs of fat people and how fat works. I especially got some refs of baby hands as they seem the fattest of the hands.

When I think of the horror he eventually turns into, I imagine a fat, bloated blobbed nightmare, like The Boomer zombie enemy from left 4 Dead or Nurgle the Plague God from Warhammer.

Reference hunting also gives me an excuse to hunt for anatomy references for the girl’s butt (These are the safe for work refs I’ll show you ;P). Don’t spend too much time.

Since there’s some minor fighting actions, I also looked around for fist punching and choking references. This is the best time to restudy drawing hands and fists.

Some Refs for the crazy fluid attack!

And for when I can’t find a specific picture to use as a reference, I take my own pictures as references!

I gather more references as i make the comic which I’ll demonstrate during the making comic process.


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Ryan’s Recommended Book List for Learning the Basics of Art

Many of you are debating whether or not you’d need to go to art school to learn how to make art and my short personal answer is No.

Sure, it will be easier to have a teacher show you the ropes and speak with you about your work in person, with all the many resources available on the internet, from video tutorials, articles, blog posts, and books, it’s extremely easier to acquire art knowledge provided you are willing to put in the time and learn.

As I’ve been asked a few times about my art education, I want to do my part in helping people out on their art journey, so I made a list of books that I own or have read a bunch to help anyone else out.
Some of these books are books I studied in college to learn how to draw. Many are books I’ve picked up from my local library to preview and buy.

Good Books for Drawing in General and Learning Core Fundamentals

Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards – If you have never ever drawn before in your life, this book will help you learn how to not only start but enjoy putting marks on the page.

Fun With A Pencil by Andrew Loomis – This book is great book for beginners as it can help you figure out what kind of things you like to draw. It’s also a genuinely funny book.

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Keys to Drawing by Bert Dodson – This book is a great intro on how to simply put lines on the page. I actually gave away my copy to a friend so he could learn drawing so I don’t have a picture with me.

Picture This – How Pictures Work by Molly Bang – This book will demonstrate the basics of composition. Composition can truly make or break your artwork, possibly more than good anatomy or perspective.

Perspective Made Easy by Ernest R Norling – The biggest thing to learn if you want be be an artist whether professional or not is how to draw in perspective. This book will help you learn how to draw with a sense of 3D depth and space.

The Figure by Walt Reed – This book is great for learning the general structure and key points of the human body. As an artist and not a medical illustrator, you have a bit more freedom to fudge the details a bit. But this book is the best and highlighting specific landmarks of the human figure that will keep up the suspension of disbelief.

Drawing Scenery: Landscape and Seascapes by Jack Hamm – After you get a better grasp on perspective, this book with help you understand how to start creating outdoor scenery. This book isn’t a good alternative to actually going outside and drawing what you see, but it can help reduce the indecision of where to start drawing in a landscape.

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Bird Art Process

I haven’t done much that I can talk about this week. but I can show you my process on traditionally coloring this illustration of Gloster Canaries in marker.

I’ve already scanned the ink art of drawing and you can read my tutorial about how to scan and edit inked line art so you can have a good clean drawing for digital coloring!

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This is mostly a drawing done with a Pentel Pocket brush. It’s a really good brush in terms have a portable brush you don’t have to dip in ink all the time, but this is a soft nylon brush so it will catch every wobble and heavy handed mark you make.

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I spent most of my time trying to understand the colors I needed from my bird references.

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I was recently introduced to the joys of Pro White, it’s great for covering up black line mistakes, but not for being colored with Copic marker…

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Beginning to color my next two birds. Gloster Canaries come in a variety of feather patterns, so I had an easier time adding variety to the piece.

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My weird ideas was to use an under cover color so it would look better mixed with the over cover colors. I haven’t confirmed if it make the marker colors look smoother and not streaky, but it does look smooth to me.

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Last two birds getting finished. I do regret my middle brush work as I think I’m not as great with dry brush techniques as I want to be.

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This is the final drawing! I’ve used my Uniball Pen to add a free highlights to push the birds support from each other and make them stand out. I did use Photoshop doctoring in the scanned version to clear out the bad blobs on some birds, but all and all it this looks fine enough.

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You can stop by my store to get a print of these birds for $10 or to get the real drawing itself for $60!


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A Great Time at Galaxy 2018

I had a great time at Galaxy Comics and Entertainment Expo! This was my first time ever selling my artwork ever and this is a great start!

I probably sound like a kid talking about this, but here is my first table! Of course it’s tiny, but it actually exists!

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Galaxy Comic Book and Fantasy Art Expo 2019


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Galaxy Comic Book and Fantasy Art Expo 2019

I’ll be exhibiting my work for the first time at the Galaxy Comic Book and Fantasy Art Expo on September 22!

It will be at the Joliet Historical Museum where you’ll meet a bunch of local Chicago-land artists, writers, sellers of comic and pop culture stuff, and of course, meet me in person for the first time!

There, I will be debuting Shirley’s Day, where you can pick up a signed printed book straight from me! But if you aren’t able to be there, I have the issues for sale as a print or digital piece! This is one of the few ways you can support me and my future work as an independent creator!

I’m excited and nervous, but all the efforts lead to all of this! So if you want to hang, high five me, have a chat, or support me in my future endeavors, stop by Galaxy this Friday!

I hope this will be the first of many events!