Sketchbook: Improvising Aquagirl

Aug 24, 2011 by     1 Comment     Posted under: Adam Drew This, Comics Art, Sketchbook
Adam: This was for my cousin Jill. Because she’d just learned to scuba, she requested “Aquagirl.” I’d drawn Aquagirl for Batman Beyond, but I doubt Jill saw the episode; she just figured an Aquaman have an Aquagirl. What, no Aquawoman?

Jill had donated to the My Angel Foundation charity, which I was raising money for in 2008 (see that Madame Xanadu/Hellboy sketch Brian posted), so I was going to draw whatever she wanted.  I didn’t have reference for the classic (and obscure) Aquagirl from the old, old comics, but I did this.  Brian, who remembers the pre-Crisis Aquagirl but never saw that Batman Beyond ep, either, thought she looked like Namora, from Agents of Atlas.  Which excited him, ’cause he’s a fan of that book. But I digress.

For Jill, I went for something pretty simple and was pretty happy with it … until I looked at it again the next day. Nothing about the original (at right) seemed right … the pose, the expression, and especially the lighting. (As a storyboard guy, I rarely shade anything, so trying to do any kind of lighting is a stretch for me.)

I tried to fix what I didn’t like with Post-Its. (Glorious Post-Its! I love them! They are great for storyboards, and now I use them for everything.) I think I started by putting a post-it over her face. She was too sultry … she needed to be more whimsical. Then a post-it over her swim-suit…the lighting was all wrong. (Actually, that’s still kinda messed up, but better…) Then I wanted to fix the sea-horse, then her hair…It was an awful Frankenstein picture. I figured Jill probably didn’t want her art to have a bunch of post-its on it. I took another pass at Aquagirl, and for once, I think the second take is better. (Usually, when I try to “fix” something, I over-think it and mess the drawing up even worse … )

Brian is serving as outside counsel on this batch of old sketches I’ve got here–if I like ’em enough to show him, and he likes ’em too, we’ll post them.  Got a ton of Batman in your near future … Stay tuned.

Reference Desk: Aquagirls

For reference, we have: the original Aquagirl, drawn by the great Nick Cardy, the Aquagirl from Batman Beyond, and, finally, Namora by Carlo Pagulayan.


1 Comment + Add Comment

  • Thats a really cool Aquagirl. She would look awesome fighting villains next to Aquaman. The seahorse is cool, too. I think this Aquagirl is tougher and more heroic looking than the very first Aquagirl. But, I still think Nick Cardy’s old Aquaman stuff is really cool, as is Jim Aparo’s.
    Cool stuff, Adam !!