Thursday, December 10, 2009

Joker. 'Why so serious?'

This week's post is the Joker. Been a very popular sketch this one (especially after I changed the composition from a side profile) Many requests for this at Lille and previous festivals. More so than Batman! I have included the original layout below for reference. I don't generally use a pencil but instead sketch out the design in marker pen and then tighten up with layout or 80g photocopier paper. My 'tracing' approach is always scunnered though when fans provide their own 260g sketch books for me to work on and I have to resort to 'aquiring' fellow artists and colleagues pencils to draw with. I still have a pen from Cameron Stewart after our Lille trip and more than a case worth of Chris Weston's markers from Bristol!

Anyways. The Joker. I like this pose a lot and the addition of the playing card helps the composition. The actual card changes from sketch to sketch depending on what mood I am in but mostly remains the Joker of the pack. The Joker's eyes are my favourite and I was especially pleased with the bleached-out effect in the original layout. Kinda lost it when inking the sketch but will get it right next time. Biggest influence for this sketch? Brian Bolland's Killing Joke. A difficult character to do well... too many artists turn him into a distorted paody of the original villian and he ends up looking like a melted Spitting Image puppet. The performance by Heath Ledger is possibly the closest to the best Joker in years and another influence on this sketch.


  1. Another very fine convention sketch and I think its a great idea to have a 'set' that you know you can get down and make a great job on them. Nothing scares me more than someone asking for a sketch of someone I've never even heard of.

    Joker's got a great look on his face and I like the shaved head and mop on top look to his hair. Cool.

  2. Honestly I don't stay so pleased with the details of your design, but I like something in it, maybe his eyes, because they make him looks crazy, like schizophrenic.