Weekly Sketch-off #2: Captain America

This entry is technically for last week, but due to several unrelated problems for both of us it was delayed until this week. So just pretend it’s last Friday, and expect another entry this Friday.

After last week, we decided that two drawings per person was a bit much, so we decided to limit it to one choice instead of one choice apiece. This will be the format going forward, and should alleviate future delays based on the amount of work required.

Anyway, this week we (and by we I mostly mean Alessandro/Sagramore) chose Captain America, long-time Marvel Comics staple hero, leader of the Avengers, and one of the stars of the recently released Avengers movie. Joe and I decided to focus on the movie costumes as opposed to comic book costumes, and by some serendipity we picked different versions: Joe chose the WWII version, and I chose the modern version. Also by some weird serendipity, we more or less chose the exact same pose, although our reasons for that decision differ.

By Joe:
WWII era by Joe

Joe’s Notes:
So for Cap I went with the World War II version of his uniform. I deliberated over an action shot versus a still frame and after drawing him running around on Omaha Beach ten different ways I went with this image. Deemphasizing the shield and bringing forward the rifle. It always pisses me off when people forget Cap is a soldier and is capable of lethal force if necessary.

By Dave:
Avengers era by Dave

Dave’s Notes:
As I mentioned above, I chose the modern version of the costume seen in the Avengers movie. The costume itself turned out to be more intricate than I thought, with several visible seams and layers of cloth breaking up the solid blue portions of the outfit.

Now for the pose, the reason I chose this particular composition was because I decided, probably in a fit of madness, to attempt to “correct” a rather famous drawing of Cap by one Rob Liefeld, world renowned for his inability to draw but his ability to be paid immense sums of money to do so. The offending picture is here, but I warn you that madness may ensue if you stare at it for too long.

With that…. thing… as a base, I attempted to fix the most glaring problems. One change that I didn’t expect to make but soon became necessary was to swap Cap’s shield to his left hand. Cap is right handed, therefore the shield should be on his left hand, freeing up his right hand to hold a gun or punch a guy or whatever. Liefeld, being Liefeld, put the shield on the right hand just so he could avoid drawing Cap’s arm and hand, and so he could take up a lot of space in the drawing with an object easily produced using a compass and a protractor. Saves a lot of the trouble of drawing pesky anatomy.

Ultimately, I’m not terribly pleased with the result. I think I have improved on the original, but there is still no life in the pose or the drawing as a whole. Liefeld’s version is soulless, devoid of any passion or interest in the material, and my reproduction does not fare much better. It might have been a mistake to use that drawing as a base or inspiration, but so it goes. Next time I’ll know.

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