Saturday, March 16, 2013

Marvel's Black Knight

I used to do a lot of these little character costume studies. One reason was that I had plenty of small pieces of illustration board left over after I had cut the boards up for larger works. Another was that I love costumes but don't have the skill to create them for real (what is now called "cosplay") nor the figure or theatrical ability to present them. With a little bit of acrylic I could render colors and textures the way I wanted to see them. With comic book characters such as this one, I could image them in a more "realistic" style than the crudely printed art on the pulp pages of Marvel or DC. This character is the "Black Knight" of Marvel Comics. He wielded a magical "Ebon Blade," rode a winged white horse, and was briefly a member of the Avengers.

Nowadays the comic art and print quality is far superior to that of years past, and character/costume portraits like this one are turned out by the millions by concept artists all over the world. I still want to do this kind of character portrait but in digital medium. For a modern rendering of this character, look at this digital piece.  (I don't know who the artist is.) Note how exciting and action-packed the figure is. He's not just standing there. This is the level of digital character art that I aspire to.

"Black Knight" is acrylic on illustration board, 3" x 7", fall 1985.

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