March 06, 2007

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.)

click above for larger view

"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.

8 comments:

LordShen said...

I was very pleased to find this one posted here. Besides two other possible contenders for my favorite He-Man characters of all time (being Two-Bad and Modulok [which was also my favorite toy!]), Trap Jaw is perhaps the first cyborg love I've ever had.

That being said, I like this drawing by-and-large, tho some of the sketchiness does not go well with Trap Jaw. I know I've been a proponent (sp?) to you loosening your drawings and developing your own style separate from most other stream-lined boring-assed illustrators and animators, but Trap Jaw is a 'borg (not to be mistaken as one of The Borg... altho that would make an interesting fanfic!!!). As such, his lines should be comparatively pristine, at least insofar as his mechanical parts are concerned. It would make a rather interesting challenge to draw his cybernetic enhancements very clean and his meat part (hehehehe... u perv) fairly loose. Here, tho, you're somewhat loose everywhere and (tho I know I've urged u somewhat in that direction) it doesn't quite work for me.

Remember: the 'sketchiness' I've been urging onto u has been to make the characters seem more animated. It's a visual indicator of the idea of motion. It isn't JUST a part of a style/voice/vision, but a tool to be used properly at the right time and place. While I cannot say a sketchier approach would not work with static, mechanical things (just look at German Expressionism [a big influence on me] such as Nosferatu or, more appropriately, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari [again, sadly wiki fails us in portraying only German Expressionism thru film literature and not in it's painting movement, which largely started the Expressionist... but for paintings may I suggest the over-rated Edvard Munch or, one of my faves and def a HUGE influence on me at least in his book Concerning the Spiritual in Art and at most his paintings [a VERY quick read/manifesto]: Wassily Kandinsky... btw: LACMA will on occasion have a Kandinsky or two on display, go check 'em out).

So yes sketchiness works in portraying static items in non-static ways, but here I think you've fallen short. You'd really have had to have pushed it to make it work with Trap Jaw. And since time is a def factor, I'd have said a cleaner approach was called for.

I hope this has been helpful enough to get u goin'. I highly suggest that book. imho it should be required reading over Kant or Foucault or Nietzsche in art classes. Sadly over-looked. Though happily Kandinsky's paintings are rarely over-looked. Sorry for the looong tangent.

~ charles

p.s.: i love Trap Jaw
p.p.s.: <~~ hehehe... it says 'pee-pee'
p.p.p.s.: i love lamp
p.p.p.p.s.: <~~ hehehe... there's two pee-pees rubing together... like that one time u and i were...
p.p.p.p.p.s.: i am oft inclined to use homo-erotic humor to express my otherwise completely Platonic adoration of/for u
p.p.p.p.p.p.s.:ur so gay for me
p.p.p.p.p.p.p.s.: 43
p.p.p.p.p.p.p.p.s.: plz excuse any typos or bad links. i've had very little sleep

illgnosis said...

Jason.. TrapJaw.. F-yeah! Charo said it all.. I would go in to a long ass boring critique but he already did.. :). And you are missing the color unity you have in your headhunter. Again I suggest laying in a med value color and painting into that to unite your colors.. But it looks really cool.. and the sketchiness works for me.. Look at Ashley wood.. sketchy ass robuts all over the place.. So, f you Chuck.. F you!

illgnosis said...

ps.. Kandinsky is a bitch! F abstract expressionism as well.

pss Chuck, no offense. you know I love you.

Joshua Williamson said...

ummm... looks good? its very... jason-ish... i got nothing...
I like it.

LordShen said...

Yeah! F me! wait... no, plz don't. sick bastards.


(i know u all love me ;) )

J.Ho said...

lordshen: thanks dude, long tangents are the best kind of tangent--as always, i appreciate the crits and discussion topics. in regards to mixing sketchiness with pristine lines, i don't think that'll work, but i'll experiment with it--it'll be an interesting look if i can pull it off.

illgnosis: thanks mang, you're right about the color unity--but i won't be putting that level of effort into my he-man stuff ... the he-man stuff is all about matching toy colors and creating a character drawing that exists in a vacuum. but keep up the crits--i needs you guys ta keep me honest. and i do need to be thinking about that stuff when it comes to non-fanart stuff.

josh: hahaha... thanks comrade!

2-bad said...

I've said it before & I'll say it again.This has to be one of your best character designs, Jason. Just love how cool you've made classic Trappy look. I seriously love the pics you come up with.

J.Ho said...

thanks Jazyl!