Pens mightier than the sword

Pens mightier than the sword 

Experts host workshop on graphic and concept art

By Orlando Blacksmith

Originally published by the Algonquin Times 

When asked how to draw action, Algonquin professor and film conceptual artist Geof Isherwood hopped out of his desk, threw both arms in the air and placed them just over his head in a motion as if he’s about to tear a body in half.

“I am Colossus!” he shouted as he arched his body back and slightly bended at the knees. “Man made of steel!”

The AC Hub echoed in the laughter of the 72 attendants as Isherwood started to explain how you can perfectly capture expression and action.

The Pens & Pixels event, hosted by the AC Hub and partnered with the Ottawa Tax Services and The Comic Book Shoppe, took place in room E217 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Student Commons on March 14.

Isherwood, along with coworkers Anne Morgan and Mary Ellis, who teach for the introduction to concept arts class, led the event where they taught various drawing techniques and gave tips for getting started in the art world.

“First of all, you need an idea and the drive to stick with it,” Isherwood. “It’s as simple as that.”

“You’re in the role of the director and the actor.”

If you can’t have fun drawing, you will never improve your techniques, according to Isherwood.

“I will often pose or get someone else to pose for me,” said Isherwood. “Then I capture every single detail from body language to facial expression.”

Isherwood, who worked for Marvel Comics from 1983 to 1998, worked as a prop and concept artist for various movies and TV shows such as Heroes of the North, Gothika, Barney’s Version and X-Men: Days of Future Past.

“During my time at Marvel,” said Isherwood, “I learned various techniques that have been invaluable to me as well as how to deal with feedback.”

“I was once told I didn’t know how to draw and I should just go work at McDonald’s.”

“And now I work on movies for a living.”