Karavansara

East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Darwyn Cooke

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I’m going on with my sketching course, and it’s good to see I don’t suck as badly as I remembered.
Now, having the time, a good practice when one wants to learn how to draw, is to check out the works of some artist they like, and start copying them. This is both a good training for eye-hand coordination, and a good opportunity to learn about composition, lighting and volumes.

So, as usual, I did a quick survey of my favorite artists.
Back when I was in high school, I guess I would have given an arm or a leg to be able to do the sort of things that Frank Frazetta or Boris Vallejo did. Or Chris Achilleos. Or, sure, Michael Whelan.

In recent years I found out more artists I like, and whose style I’d be really happy to be able to imitate. Mark Schultz, for instance, and Bruce Timm.
That are very different in style and themes, but whose black and white work I find absolutely stunning.

It was while I was looking up a few Timm sketches online that I “discovered” the late lamented Darwyn Cooke. And I say “discovered” because I was aware of the man’s artwork, only I had never made the connection between the name and the art: Darwyn Cooke was the man who did a comic book version of Richard Stark’s “Parker”, and it kicked some major ass.

parker page

Cooke was also responsible for the redesign of Catwoman.

catwoman

And of course he did a great job on Will Eisner’s “The Spirit”

spirit

So now, too late, I have another artist whose style I love – and I sort of regret the fact that in recent years I stopped reading comics, because there is obviously a lot I missed.

So here, as an inspiration, is a gallery of my fave Darwyn Cooke art.

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Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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