Winterhawk -

Comics Features - Artist Spotlight

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By Blazej Szpakowicz     November 27, 2005

Welcome to thelatest edition of the DCG Artist Spotlight!

Our visiting victim today isHeromorph supremo Winterhawk.

Comics2Film (C2F):How and why did you get into maniping (and other forms of comic book fan-art)?

Winterhawk (WH):Well when I was a kid I would draw all the time. I was drawing before I can remember. I first did some computer art on my Dad's old Texas Instruments home computer way back in the day. Just 2 colors pixel by pixel. Over the years, I practiced doing various kinds of art. But after Art school, I gave up doing art for about ten years. It had become work rather then fun, and because of that I lost my desire to create so I gave it up. Then one day, I received an e-mail that contained a manip of supergirl and I was blown away by it. I started searching out more of these kinds of pictures; at the time I didn't even know what they were called. I had never seen anything like them before and thought they were the coolest things since sliced bread. I found Heromorph and after joining up, I started participating in the forums and commenting on pictures, in less then a month I decided to give maniping a try. I had a combination of three different free programs that I used back then, I used adobe photodeluxe, corel photohouse, and MS Paint and my first picture was horrible. After posting for sometime at HM, I started looking around the net for other sites like Heromorph and found C2F, and it has been one of my daily stops ever since.

C2F:What software/tools/etc do you use to make your art?

WH: Currently, I use Photoshop cs, Poser 4, and a Wacom tablet mainly. I also use google a lot for both reference pictures and base images. Google is one of the best tools I use.

C2F:What most annoys you about manipped images?

WH: Nothing in particular about the genre, One thing with a lot of guys starting out is that they rely on filters to make the images instead of taking the time to learn the other tools that Photoshop or psp have available to them. The first thing any Photoshop owner should do is learn the pen tool. Start with that and then learn every single tool available to you. After you know the tools you can look at the filters. That is the best advice I can give new artists. Take the time to learn the tools and it will show.

C2F:What image would you consider your turning point as an artist?

WH: I have had lots of turning points. The first image I did that I think was any good was a manip ofthe Black Cat My next major breakthroughwas Shadowman because it was the first manip were I felt comfortable with the pen tool, I had struggled with the pen tool up until this image but something finally clicked for me during this image. Next in line for critical turning points was Mary Marvel My dodge and burn technique for skirts really clicked for me on this one. Other big manips for me wereZsasz,Psimage,Mantra, andThe second c2f/HM crossover.Although I have some better images then some of the one I mentioned here, I learned more from these ones then the others.

C2F:Which of your images would you most like to drop into a deep, darkhole so that no one ever sees it again?

WH: One that has already disappeared. I did a gender change of Deadman called deadwoman believe it or not, I used Stacy Sanchez as the model in the image, and it was horrid.

C2F: What is your guiding philosophy as an artist?

WH: Hmm, I guess, "Share art and have fun." I never really thought about it but I just kind of go with what ever looks like fun.

C2F: How do you start a manip?

WH: I have no particular method. Sometimes I see a base picture that screams out to become a manip. Other times I plan the picture in my mind for days before I actually start and then gather the parts to make it.

C2F: What inspires you? Where do you get your ideas?

WH: Everywhere, but mostly from talking to fellow Artists on the net and my comic collection.

C2F: What aspect of your art do you think sets you apart from the crowd?

WH: I can't think of anything in particular. I do not have a consistent style or look. I don't make just one type of image either. This is a real hard question for my work.

I would have to say my consistent lack of consistency. I go for what is cool rather then what is realistic (or at least I try too).

C2F: What, conversely, do you really need to work on?

WH: That depends on whom you ask. I have problems with metal and hair but I have images where the metal and hair looks great. It is hard to say. Sometimes things work and sometime they don't. Currently I am working to improve my special effects in images. My 3d Work needs lots of help, as do my pencils.

C2F: Which artists' work do you look forward to?

WH:My own, Bwahahahahahahahahahha Just Kidding.

I actually have too many to mention. For Manips it would beB,Essex,Biohaz,MysticMorganand Bill Turnerfrom here andBB,JrMcDoodleHead and DarkKnightfrom HM.

For Pencils it would beThayne,Force95B,Shade, andKevin Newburnfrom here and HM.

And many many others.

C2F:What are your favorite works by other artists?

WH: Mystic Morgan's and Bill Turner's team up picture for the first HM/C2F crossover,Night of the Sentinels.Without a doubt. Bill Turner'sFF Vs. Galactusis also a favorite of mine.

C2F: Any advice for aspiring artists?

WH: When starting out, take the time to learn the tools. Once you know the tools remember to try to continue to improve.

Make sure you learn about the pen tool and paths.

C2F:What characters do you want to manip?

WH: I Prefer DC characters so I manip them more often. Batman characters are my favorite out of the DC ones.

C2F: Manipping, drawing, colouring... you've tried your hand at manydifferent types of art. What's your favourite? Which do you have themost trouble with?

WH: And that is just the stuff you have seen. I also make sculptures, scratch boards, lithographs and paintings from time to time but I have never posted anything on the net for those.

Right now, I am playing around with 3d stuff. I am finding that pretty hard to learn. As for maniping, drawing, coloring, I find coloring very relaxing, I usually color an image as a break from a different project when I get bored or frustrated. Maniping, I am always improving, I have good days and bad but generally it flows pretty easy now. I used to draw ungodly amounts but after giving it up for such a long time, I have to admit I am a little frustrated with my current work, I need a lot of practice I am really rusty.

C2F:You're one of the main moderators/administrators atHeromorph and involved backstagehere at C2F as well. Any thoughts on how the two sites compare? Haveany similarities or differences really struck you?

WH: HM and C2F are very similar. The main difference is that HM is an adult site, of course. I enjoy coming to both sites, good people and good times. They just do not have the same sort of vibe. HM is like a night club, flashing lights and boobs everywhere. C2F is more like an art gallery, run more seriously a lot more focus on critiques and improvement. They have a different feel to each of them. My 2 kids really enjoy C2F; I will not let them go to HM. I am hoping to get them started maniping and drawing seriously soon.

For more of Winterhawk's art,check out his DCGGallery or visit his gallery atHeromorph.

Interviewer:Blazej Szpakowicz


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