Don’t Go In There–It’s A Trap (Jaw)!

The subject of today’s mega-nerdy post is Trap Jaw, another henchman of Skeletor, described on as “Evil and Armed For Combat.” (Unfortunately, Wikipedia lives up to its reputation for inaccuracy in this instance–”Trap Jaw” is not hyphenated. Shameful.)

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“Evil and armed for combat” is all good and fine, but as you can see, I changed Trap Jaw’s blurb to “Evil Master of Arms.” I prefer it because it’s a title rather than a description, plus it has a pun in there, which is always good for a He-Man character (Trap Jaw has a prosthetic arm with interchangable attachments, for those of you who don’t know).

The pose gave me quite a bit of trouble this time around… this is actually my third go at Trap Jaw. I got as far as starting inks on the two previous attempts, but they were really very awkward. I ended up with a pretty static pose (a trap that I fall into frequently), but since the goal of this sketch blog is completion, speed, and productivity rather than perfection, I was willing to make the sacrifice. Better to finish it off and move on to the next one!

The details of the drawing are pretty faithful to the toy. In fact–not being an owner of the original Trap Jaw action figure, I never realized that his left arm is almost completely armored. However, my obsessive internet search for reference rectified this oversight. I’m pretty surprised that I have not previously come across any Trap Jaw art depicting him with an armored arm. The tubes and wires coming from the blaster on his prosthetic arm were completely fabricated by me.

I took more creative liberty with the colors than I usually do–burgundy has more of a presence in his color scheme as a nod to the cartoon, but I scaled it back just a little bit, so that there wouldn’t be large masses of one uninterrupted color.

This was posted on the He-Man.org fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including some of my previous sketches) is here.

That Dude is a Beast, Man!

His name is Beast Man
Fierce Minion of Skeletor
Savage Orange Rage

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I’m pretty happy with how this turned out–just don’t try examining his musculature–it’s an anatomical mess! Action pose is a little awkward, but better than my Mer-Man or Tri-Klops, I think. As usual, I tweaked the colors a little bit, where I thought it was logical to do so–the biggest change being that I made his arm-pads gold instead of red. I have no idea if there is any precedent for his whip to be made of energy, but the idea of coloring a plain black whip seemed BO-RING. I do know that the villain Blade had an energy whip in the live action Masters of the Universe movie. (+4 geek points)

As usual, this was posted on the He-Man.org fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including some of my previous sketches) is here.

TERRIBLE TITLE: If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try, Tri-Klops Again…

A few quick notes–

  1. For anyone who did not notice, I put up a bonus post on Wednesday night. Check it out–it features more J.Ho art as well as some non-J.Ho art!
  2. For those who don’t care about He-Man (who are you people?)–please keep checking back–I have several pieces coming up that have nothing to do with He-Man, and at least two that don’t even have anything to do with cartoons. Really!
  3. There was an issue with the line-spacing in my posts, where I was getting single-spacing and double-spacing at seemingly random intervals. I have fixed it, and conformed all posts to single-spacing. If you have a strong preference for double-spacing please let me know.

Okay, enough with the small talk–today’s entry is Tri-Klops, another evil minion of Skeletor:

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This was kind of an odd one–I started with a really messy sketch, which was so heavy with blue pencil that i couldn’t go over it with ink to tighten it. I was able to do a slightly-refined-but-still-very-messy ink sketch over that. I scanned that in, and tried inking it in Photoshop, but that was too clean compared to the other sketchy He-Man pics that I’ve been drawing. So I cleaned the scanned ink sketch a bit (but obviously retained a level of sketchyness to be consistent with my other drawings), and merged that with the “too clean” Photoshop “inks” to get the final line art. That whole process didn’t take as long as I might have made it sound, maybe an hour or so. The coloring of Tri-Klops was basically uneventful.

This pose is a little more dynamic than the others I’ve posted so far… still a bit awkward, but for the time it took me, I’m basically okay with it. As usual, I took a few liberties in depicting the costume details and colors. I merged the harness of his armor with his belt, because I felt that the design on the original toy was a bit redundant, and I made the green parts of his armor more olive, because I felt this matched the orange better. In a nod to the 200x design, I “covered” his neck. I also changed the colors of his sword, but I’m not sure how I feel about the result.

As for the title “Evil All-Seeing Swordmaster,” well, I’m kind of freestyling there. The original tag for the action figure was “Evil and Sees Everything.” Skeletor is a “Lord of Destruction,” and Merman is an “Ocean Warlord”… all Tri-Klops gets is the same description that I would use to describe a nosy neighbor? Not very intimidating. So anyways, I tried combining what is known about the character to create a more menacing title, while trying to stay within the style of the original toys.

As usual, this was posted on the He-Man.org fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including my Skeletor sketch) is here.

No, it’s not a sketch of Ethel Merman…

… it’s a sketch of Mer-Man–Ocean Warlord, and minion of Skeletor! As usual, this was posted on the He-Man.org fan-art forums. My post is here, the entire thread (including my Skeletor sketch) is here.
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Of my posts so far, this sketch is probably the… sketchiest. The pose is ten kinds of awkward, and the body is just a shade too squat, even by the uber-buffed standards of He-Man action figures. On the other hand, the face turned out the way I wanted it too, and I’m pretty satisfied with the colors… Well, they can’t all be winners.

That’s about all I have to say about that. So now, to fill space as my system experiences a catastrophic crash from a carb and sugar high brought on by my dark lord, Jack In The Box, I will list the sinister contents of my disastrous lunch:

  1. Steak and Cheddar Ciabatta Sandwich (roughly the size of a premature baby)
  2. Miniature trough full of Cheese and Bacon Potato Wedges
  3. Large Order of Curly Fries (I only finished two-thirds of it)
  4. A bucket full of Orange Fanta.
It should go without saying that I skipped dinner.

For more on Ethel Merman:

What’s a Skeletor?

Who am I kidding–I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL TUESDAY. So here now, is my inaugural sketch, the Lord of Destruction himself:


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I ‘m also posting this on the forums at He-Man.org–you can find the thread here (my screenname on He-Man.org is Bootleg, so you’ll see that stamped on any art that I post there).

For those who don’t know, Skeletor is the arch-enemy of He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe. Skeletor’s hobbies, like most 80′s cartoon villains, include sinister cackling and incompetent attempts at world domination.

This is actually the sketch that got me rolling on the whole sketchblog idea. I busted out a pretty quick sketch of Skeletor, inked and everything, because I was just really itching to do a finished piece. I chose Skeletor because he’s a character whose costume I have pretty well memorized (yes, I am a dork), so digging up reference would not slow me down. Color-wise, I took a few liberties where it seemed logical to do so. As for why he’s wearing a Batman-like cape… I guess I just felt like drawing a Bat-cape.

For those of you who are familiar with my artwork, you will notice that this sketch is much simpler and looser than my normal anal-retentive clean and detailed illustration style. Basically, I am trying to loosen the hell up, so that I can be a little more productive, instead of agonizing over every little detail.

My normal process is something like this:

  1. concept sketch (any medium)
  2. loose sketch (blue pencil)
  3. tight pencils (.5 mechanical pencil, F lead)
  4. inks (usually tombo brush pens and sakura microns)
  5. colors (photoshop)
The process for Skeletor, and for 95% of the sketches that you’ll see on this blog is more like:
  1. rough gesture (blue pencil)
  2. tightening/inking (extra fine pilot v-ball pen and pentel sign pen)
  3. colors (photoshop)
So you can imagine that the process is much quicker this way. My coloring style is still pretty clean (and i’m still sooo slow in photoshop), but so far this is working. I might experiment with some looser coloring styles in the future.
Comments and criticism welcome.

For more on Skeletor: