This is an illustration based on a contest prompt "Dragonfly". I was way too late to make it to the contest, but I found the prompt inspiring and had a lot of fun trying out different technical approaches to the final art, which I ended up doing with ink (a brush marker and technical pens of various widths).


Comic clip: Sultans of Swing

This is the raw release of my 4-page "comic clip" project based on "Sultans of Swing" by the Dire Straits. This song was an important part of my youth, and to date remains one of my favourites.



This raw release consists of the scanned originals, that are drawn using Prismalo color pencil (sepia) on somewhat grainy paper. The comic was not designed for web consumption but rather thinking of a traditional printed page format (in particular you may notice that page 3 doesn't read that well on a horizontal screen).

Later on I may release a "digitally remastered" version.

Creative Commons License
This work by Carles Barrobés is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://carles.barrobes.com/drawing.

Frog and Prince

This is an illustration I made some months ago, while practicing with Prismalo sepia color pencils.

By then I was deciding whether this was the technique I would use for the final art of my "Sultans of Swing" comic clip (spoiler alert: I decided to go for it, I already have two finished pages - also, I will probably not use this technique for future comics in a while, it takes a lot of work and I think other styles suit me and my subjects better).


Techique: Prismalo color pencil (sepia) on paper.

October of Ink

This October I was inspired by a worldwide challenge to make an ink drawing every day. I didn't follow the challenge à la lettre but I used it as an excuse to spend some time improving my inking skills by trying to spend more of my art time making ink drawings (or inking other people's drawings). In particular I am trying to become more proficient using a brush pen.

I took a few preparatory courses by Jake Parker (the creator of the Inktober challenge) and used some of his exercises for practise, as they came with permission to repost.

This is a montage of some of these Jake Parker drawings, inked by myself on traditional paper (with brush pen and mechanical pens):


This is a drawing from David Revoy, a sketch for his webcomic Pepper & Carrot. David publishes his work under Creative Commons licenses, which makes it a great source of material for my exercises, as I know I can safely post any sketches based on his fantastic art:


As for the rest, I worked on sketches for characters for my future comic project endeavours:


A more extensive selection of my inked drawings in its own gallery.

Face a Day 2020 (bonus)

The face a day challenge of 2020 is now officially over! I wanted to conclude with a final more elaborate drawing as a final challenge.

This one is a portrait of my friend Jordi Grifell, a man of many qualities: singer, musician, stage actor and tap dancer among others.

The reference photo I used had really beautiful lighting, it was perfect for this exercise. It took me a bit to realise how important a good sharp reference photo is, and the impact it has in the quality of my drawing.

I've drawn this one over a couple of days, one where I concluded a 2H pencil drawing, and a second day where I experimented with the finish. I have also used this opportunity to document the process a little bit, so you can see the steps I went through.


I start with a sketch that focuses on the general shapes, in order to get the proportions right, and the placement of the features:

Secondly, I use a kneaded eraser to lighten up the general shapes and start focusing on smaller shapes and details. I use a kneaded eraser a second time.

At the final drawing stage my concern has become the quality of the lines, make sure they are fluid and not shaky.


Finally, to experiment on the finish I took a photocopy of the 2H drawing and used a combination of compressed charcoal and soft graphite pencil to get much darker blacks:


Face a Day 2020 (21)

  • Graphite (HB) pencil and callibrated marker on sketchbook

  • Source: "Brutally Honest" by Deya Muniz, and imagination

  • Drawn on August 24th

A day with no time for a full portrait, I found this comic style that I really liked - so different from anything I ever draw, that I wanted to give it a try. It was also fun to start doing some inking as well. (I may eventually ink some of the portraits I've made so far).


The pencil drawing is the first face in this series that is drawn from imagination. In the end, this is my end goal, make up believable characters for my comics and graphic novels.


Face a Day 2020 (20)

  • Graphite (H and 2B) pencil on sketchbook

  • Source: photo from Steve Harris (bassist) at a live Iron Maiden concert

  • Drawn on August 23nd

I picked this up because Steve's "mad scream" face seemed like great reference that I could use in comics.

Steve's hair, and in particular at a live gig, is a curly tangle that felt like a helluvalottawork to draw, so I only hinted at it.


Face a Day 2020 (19)

  • Graphite (H) pencil on sketchbook

  • Source: screenshot from "The End of the F***ing world"

  • Drawn on August 22nd

This screenshot of James as a kid at the burial of his mother was a great subject. I was also well aware that many of my subjects had ended up bein young women rather than the variety of gender, ethnicity and age that I was initially aiming for, so I wanted to counter that.

I enjoyed tackling the expression in his eyes - someone lost in his own thoughts, having a hard time expressing his feelings.

I'm also happy I drew the full hair with decent results for a second day in a row :)


Face a Day 2020 (18)

  • Graphite (H) pencil on sketchbook

  • Source: photo from the internet

  • Drawn on August 21st

Profile of a young woman, from when I was collecting reference, while learning to draw the profile.

This time I chose a subject with hair that was easier for me to tackle: blond hair, tied up in a ponytail. One I could solve with a few strokes.

I also went for a very lightweight line drawing, and tried to focus on making clean flowing lines.