Ulises Farinas

Email – ulisesfarinas@gmail.com
Instagra – @ulisesf

 

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Slowing down to Smell the Roses

THE IDOL BOX

The last year of my life has been one of a lot of changes. Well, not changes, more like leveling up. I moved to a new city (Portland), distant friends became closer friends, and close friends became more distant. As the song goes, “Love Changes and Thug Changes, and Best Friends become Strangers” Word up. I never have worked as much as i have worked this year, in a career of my own choosing. I got my own apartment, and i thought i’d be terrified of being alone, but that never happened. I became really angry at comics, angry at everyone who makes and likes comics, and then mostly got over it. I’m always terrified that my life will crash and burn, that my career will fall apart, that all my talking shit will come back to shit on my parade. So far, no shit storm. But it hasn’t, so…

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In my Dreams, I was an Engineer

When i was a little kid, i was crazy for those amazing cut away books. I would read them all, pour over the illustrations, and they really are a genius way of getting across how complex systems and machines are put together, and unraveling the mysteries of modern living. They also had books on Ancient Rome, Ancient Egypt, and old medieval castles and warships. Really, you could be a kid genius with those things. You still can, since they sell for cheap on Amazon.

Everyone always goes on about their favorite comic book artists, but this guy, he was it for me. Stephen Biesty, Wayne Douglas Barlowe, and Frank Asch, those were my prime movers. They put a seed in my head, that has grown into a vine that effects everything i do.

Frank Asch – This Sequence is all you need to know to draw comics
Wayne Douglas Barlowe – everything you need to know about World Building, he’ll teach you.
Stephen Biesty – best way to learn how anything works, is to take it apart and look inside.

One of the things i wanted to do when drawing Mega-City 2, is to absolutely define it. I didn’t want to just make a pastiche of other cities i’ve seen before, i didn’t want to do an uninspired by-the-numbers sci-fi metropolis, i wanted to build it from the ground up. I wanted to take things apart, and show you the insides. So in the final issue, i really wanted to stop the action, in the biggest action sequence of the comic, to just say “LOOK AT THIS”. So for an even closer look, here is a behind the scenes look from pencils to finished art, on the Titan Megatrain.

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Colors by Ryan Hill
Colors by Ryan Hill

I had a lot of fun making up the various bits of techno-babble that helps the ship operate. You try to have every function be directly tied to some other function, imagining if one thing broke down how would it affect everything else. Everything has its purpose. If you’re wondering what the Blue Matter Diffuser Array is, I can tell you. Blue Matter are subatomic particles that are time displaced only a fraction of a nanosecond into the future. The Diffuser Array allows quantum entangled computers to measure the changes that the Blue Matter goes through in the future, and allows for limited predictive reactions. When disasters begin from the smallest of impacts, fractures, or mechanical failures, the Megatrain’s automated systems can prevent terrible accidents. As you can see above, none of this made it into the comic, but that’s the joy of making comics. Half your job is just making things up for fun.

The most difficult part of this drawing then was not coming up with the detail work, but deciding what not to show. Keeping the form of the entire structure readable, and not just a random collection of slices and chunks, was a challenge, because you want to show it all! This was probably the most detail heavy, and complex cutaway i’ve done, and its really just a straight up box. Compared to the wide variety of forms and volumes that Stephen Biesty, and other similar artists work with, when i was done i really appreciated the level of imagination, patience, and expertise that goes into these cut aways. In the end, I’m left feeling like the below image, but i hope you enjoyed Judge Dredd – Mega City 2, by Douglas Wolk and Ulises Farinas and Ryan Hill.

 

How to draw Cars!

Cars are really a pain to draw! But after having to draw a bunch of cars, trucks, trains, and bikes in JUDGE DREDD – MEGA CITY 2 (#5 comes out this weds!) I really got a handle on these beasts. Now i like drawing them.

Reference is absolutely necessary for drawing cars, because although they are simply buckets to transport humans in, there is a massive variety of lines, forms, shapes and details to vehicles, that you don’t even expect. Fortunately, you can buy dozens of toy cars for about a buck each, at any supermarket. Hotwheels leads the way!

The first thing to keep in mind with cars, is that the Driver and Passengers are all sitting in a nice squashed cube. The front and back of the vehicle, are simply attached to this cube. But all lines on the vehicle must align with this cube, that is the most difficult part. People are usually sitting in a lower position in a car, than in a standard chair, and when they are standing outside the car, they can almost always see the top of the vehicle.

So i begin by taking photos of the toy car that is closest to the design of the car i’m drawing. Judge Dredd’s vehicle is a mix between a Chevy Vega and a Dodge Daytona Charger:

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You don’t want to just take one photo, because cars are always supposed to look in motion, and the first photo you take will always look very stilted and stuck. Take a number of photos of the toy cars, until you find the right shot. You won’t be tracing this shot exactly, you will be interpreting it. Also, the ‘crop’ function on an iphone is useful, for creating the exact panel dimensions you’ll be using.

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When you begin drawing the cars, you start with drawing the squashed cubes that the characters sit in. Perspective rules are king here, and this is why you begin with the squashed cube. Cars are often hard to draw, because they are shaped like strange tetris blocks, which are moving against a static background, which throws the car’s vanishing points into opposition with the background’s vanishing points. But as long as you follow the perspective lines that you’ve set down with the cube, you will be okay. Having the toy car with you, will help you in keeping the proportions of the vehicle correct. Like a face with eyes, ears and nose, a car has wheels, windows and spoilers.

unused cover pencils
Above are some pencils i did for the Judge Dredd – Mega City 2 #5 cover, that i decided i hated, but its a good detail of the pencils for the car. Occasionally, you will find that you just can’t get some details of the car to mesh right, and you gotta fudge it. I just use motion lines to cover up any wonky spots on the car. Its an easy cheat. Once you got your car, nicely rendered in your pencils, you can begin inking, and this is where other motion flourishes and movement can be depicted. Wheels should stretch and lean a bit into turns, think of old school animation techniques.

And here are the finished inks and then colors by Ryan Hill for this car chase sequence in Judge Dredd – Mega City 2 #5, out this May 15.

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ENJOY! AND DRAW THOSE CARS!

 

AMAZING FOREST

Amazing-Forest-Cover1

If you loved GAMMA, me and Erick Freitas have brought you the next super excellent comic, through MONKEYBRAIN. 4 different artists, a cover by Paul Chadwick, an amazing logo by Hannah Nance Partlow and everything written by the best super team since Batman & Superman.

“It only took one visit to the Amazing Forest to convince me: the breadth and depth of material here gets me all juiced up for the unlimited potential of the medium. Great stuff, from top to bottom.” – Joe Casey

GET IT FOR A DOLLAR –
http://www.comixology.com/Amazing-Forest-1/digital-comic/49199

check out what others have said already about it –

http://comicsbulletin.com/reviews/6179/advance-review-amazing-forest-might-just-be-the-next-flight/?utm_source=hootsuite&utm_campaign=hootsuite

http://popculturehound.net/episode-61-in-bed-with-ulises-farinas-erick-freitas/

http://comicsbulletin.com/interviews/6187/making-chicken-salad-erick-freitas-and-ulises-farinas-on-amazing-forest-and-collaborating/

Tumble on!

Image

Just to let anyone know, who wants to know, i have two tumblrs that I update regularly. This one:

http://ulisesfarinas.tumblr.com/

Is my inspiration tumblr, where I post art and images that jumpstart my brain when i’m having trouble drawing.

http://mistermisses.tumblr.com/

And this one, is my advice column, where I answer people’s questions. It helps me relax at the end of the day, to just write for fun and think of solutions to problems.

Also, check out these Battle Beast designs, for funsies

Recent Work!

I’ve been busy lately, working on 2 books, a show for Giant Robot 2, and cover art for some great comics coming out! First off, make sure to check out on FEB 18, THIS:

Make sure to check it out, it’s a sneak preview for what you’ll be seeing more of later this year! http://www.giantrobot.com/gr2/

AND! AND! Check out these two covers i did. Make sure to read Joe Keatinge’s and Ross Campbell’s GLORY comic, i think it’s awesome, so i did a cover. GLORY #26, go spend money!

And for BOOM STUDIOS! Check out this Fanboys Vs. Zombies #1 VARIANT cover!

I think that is all for now…oh wait, here’s a secret sneak peak of something amazing..

..Motro? Is that you?

Batman vs. Superman

The one thing i always hate in these arguments are the “But if this was a REAL fight,” which is silly since you’re discussing fictional characters. So you actually have to place the fight on the character terms. Batman wins, not because he’s better prepared, but because his character is fundamentally presupposed to win. His character is that he has to face impossible obstacles constantly:

1. fight crime in a perpetually corrupt city, which as a function of story telling, literally never gets better. So 20 years in, or 40 years in, Batman’s job has not made anything better. But, he can’t stop. He’s pretty much sisyphus in spandex.

2. he also must combat epic-level dangers, and be able to hold his own and be a leader to super powered characters. And since he’s right next to very powerful characters, he can’t be shown as weak, so he’s developed this meta-power of always being prepared.

Since his existence is one of perpetual struggle – victory – struggle, if he lost, it’d undo his character completely.

But Superman is almost the opposite. He’s not a human cursed with a literary hell on earth, and remaining just sane enough to call himself human, he’s an alien who’s godlike, masquerading as a human. So, he must constantly be humbled, defeated, and rise again. Which is messianic in it’s nature, which is what the character represents. So when Superman confronts Batman, he loses, but loses until he realises he shouldnt be fighting Batman anyway. Pitted against each other, they must fulfill their character arcs, so Batman wins, continues in hell, Superman loses and returns to heaven.

Its perfectly reflected in their cities, and enemies. Batman lurks in the dark wet Gotham fighting demonic villains (twoface, joker, killer croc) whereas Superman flies above the skies of sunny metropolis fighting Lex Luthor (A god among men) Darkseid (a literal New God) and Mxyplyzyk (A 5th dimensional God).

So Batman wins, cause he’s written to. But his life sucks in the long run.

Superman loses, but he gains in humanity.

weird drawing for my boss

my boss asked me to draw him something for a commission. This is what he asked for, “I want like all kinds of stuff, but in your style, but i definitely want a hot girl, but tasteful y’know? And like dolphins and SPACE!” This was as detailed as i could get. Here is what i drew.

i felt emo

and for some reason, i had to get up and draw this. I don’t ever draw anything manga-y, but here ya go. this is what happens when i feel like crying like a little girl.

RISE!

I started reading Blackest Night from DC in the past week, and so far, its been the only big giant crisis crossover event that hasn’t completely irritated me. Actually, i like it. So i decided to draw this. Hope you like it.

i drew this


This is an old comic idea, that i decided to draw a poster for. Gamma is basically "What would the world be like if giant Kaiju destroyed the world, the Power Rangers couldn’t stop them, and pocket monsters were used in brutal back alley cock-fights?" This is the answer.

ZOMBIE CARNIVAL commission

Hey, i got another commission, it was fun to draw this.

Find these things;

Lego Man
A Sandwich
A Teddy Bear
Bart Simpson
Harry Potter
Corn Pops Cereal
A Robot
Me, Ulises Farinas
A Mustached Cat reading a book and smoking
A Magnet
Raphael, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle

there might be more, not sure. Hope you like it!

MOTRO cover for SPAIN

The first chapter of MOTRO is going to be published in SPAIN this fall, relettering all the pages has been taking up most of my time, along with a few other things. So here is what has taken my time this week, the cover for the SPAIN version. I might switch the two text boxes, to their opposite sides, those are the inside flaps of the cover, btw (if you’re wondering why its so long), it’s gonna be printed at mini-comic size i think, by this group called Polaqia. Check it out:

MOTRO cover

I sent out the first chapter of MOTRO to Comixpress, for it to be printed on demand. I wanna see how it works out. Here’s the cover i made for it. Check it out!

Portfolio Dumping!

These are the Gigantas, they are sorta the mascot for the New Elegant Universe. Their life cycle is clump of dirt, that rolls up into a larger clump, into a baby-hill, into a mountain man, which then molts into a Gigantape, which may grow until it stops moving, and begins to gather more and more sediment, (maybe in space, like GALACTAPE) until it turns into an asteroid, a moon, a planet, or even a star. Then the cycle begins again. Gigantapes are the most common of the Gigantas, but there’s also the Gigantopus (very near, foreground), the Gigantaslug (standing on the Gigantopus’ head), the Gigantabehr (with flying bunny friend), and the Kiwahirsuta (The Gigantalobster). All gigantas have the need to constantly be moving, and also are guardians of the natural order. Galactape is a guardian of the galaxy. Galactaverse…that might be a drawing for the future.

portfolio dump, part 5ish?

This was a freelance illustration i did for INC. Magazine. I did one version, but they wanted more “complexity” and ‘details”, like my heavy detail work, so here are both versions:


It’s a pretty good magazine, and i like to call this the “Mail Planet”. The article it was for, was how to make Microsoft Outlook more efficient with a few tools and other thingies.

a commission!

This is a commission i did, for a friend’s first Father’s Day. I’m really happy with how it came out, i’ve never been asked to do a drawing for someone, and i really wanted to give them something i’d be really happy with. So i tried my bestest!

Anywho, i liked doing it, so i thought, maybe i should try to do more. So yeah, if anyone is interested in me drawing them something, i’d be interested in doing it! Okay, i think that’s all.

HERE IT BEGINS!

I’m dumping my portfolio, from like years! One post a day! Fun, huh?! This is basically the cover image, of my ENTIRE FICTIONAL UNIVERSE! See that little Mushroom Monster, remember him from MOTRO? Well, look for him!

my pet turtle

My pet turtle, he is named Susan. I’ve had her for about 7 years or more. But i’m gonna let her free in central park, very soon. She is getting too big for my tank. These are some last blurry pictures of her. I’m a bit sad:



She is a snapping turtle. People think she’s ugly, but i think he’s so cute. He’s very mean though.
I haven’t been able to clean the tank recently, so that’s why her water is so icky. Its okay, Snapping turtles are notoriously dirty. I can’t ever get it cleaner than a pale yellow. hehe. Bye bye Susan.