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The First Six

June 14, 2011

I’ve been digging through my old art portfolios and my digital archives all day, looking for a specific piece of art it seems I never properly photographed or scanned. This saddens me, as it occurs to me that it would have made a lovely print. Alas, I have no way of getting a scan, as I no longer own the piece, which I haven’t seen in a decade. I can’t even properly remember its name to inquire about it (not that the person I gave it to and I are actually speaking these days). *shrug*

While digging through all of those old folders and files (and being embarrassed by the amount of old porn files I had saved to disc, one assumes because I was saving them for reference material, no doubt in anticipation of my brilliant future career as an erotic comix artist), I came across a handful of files I’d fogotten I had. I’ve filed the abandoned fiction where it belongs, and saved a few painting files I’d forgotten as well. But the main thing is, I rediscovered some of my old drawings, which I haven’t shown to anyone in a long time, largely because I’m embarrassed by them now.

Enought preamble. Let’s get to the embarrassment!

Years and years ago, probably shortly after college but years before either the mid-90s TV movie or the triumphant 2005 return, I did this:

Six Doctors sml

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that my Peter Davison and Colin Baker are both a wee bit questionable, but over all, it’s not a bad bit of work for a guy who rarely did caricatures or portrait drawings of any kind, before or since. It was long before the internet entered my life, so I had virtually no static references of any kind. This was more or less from memory, the way we amateurs used to do a lot of stuff if we weren’t visiting libraries and knicking images from books we were too poor to own (a practice Idon’t endorse and never took up myself, being far too reverential about library materials. I’d just go to the mall and swipe books from book stores instead. My ethics were questionable, then as now, but at least I didn’t deface library books). I did in fact own one book (which I did in fact buy, thankyouverymuch), but it didn’t really have very many images of the actors using the expressions I was looking for, so I pretty much had to fake it. I don’t think I would be as obstinate now; some of these actors looked much better when they weren’t scowling.

So yeah. Pencil on paper. Not even good archival paper. I was poor and basically drew on any hoarded piece of paper I could find. I kind of liked drawing on non-art paper back then, because you could see the fibers more clearly, which used to inspire me more than those perfectly even pages in my expansive and rapidly-filling sketchbooks. I often saw the images I was trying to draw in the very fibers of the paper (a little bit like Michelangelo once claimed to sculpt living forms from stone). I probably had half a notion to draw the six Doctors for my buddy Rich (I didn’t even attempt Sylvester McCoy because I simply hadn’t seen enough of him at that point. I was woefully behind on my Doctor Who watching, until YTV started replaying the entire series a year or two later, at which point I taped every episode I could make it home in time to record), but I really just drew what the paper told me to draw, based on seeing little patterns in the paper fiber telling me where to put the next line. I may have been slightly deluded, but that’s what I thought I was doing.

And there you have it. I’ve thought several times about doing a modern interpretation, drawing all eleven Doctors (and maybe Trevor Martin, for the fun of it) in a similar manner, but I’d need to know I had some sort of audience for that sort of thing, because it would take time and effort, which is hard for me to justify when I’m trying to make money. I’m a fan, but I’m not that kind of fan. My time is (still somewhat) valuable.

So… should I draw an updated version, or should I just get back to work designing tees shirts and uploading painting scans?

Lee.

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