Monday, May 2, 2016

Tenkar's Tavern and the John Buscema connection

When I made a comment supporting +Jeff Talanian's Mystery at Port Greely Kickstarter on +Erik Tenkar's blog. Erik immediately contacted me and asked for my rate sheet. Once given he pretty much left the rest to me. 

For this project, I knew I wanted an exterior view of the Tavern. That part was simple. 

I started working with three point perspective and that got me the basic view I was going for. Establishing the horizon line at about the split between the 1st and 2nd story of the structure. I also knew that I didn't want it facing the viewer directly.  I wanted a wall, a road and some buildings in the background to show depth too.

A problem I came upon immediately was trying to figure out how I could get some contrasting blacks into the image. A little back story here; I love the works of John Buscema and Alfredo Alcala's in The Savage Sword of Conan on the old magazine sized Conan comics. He really set the tone for what Conan would look like. I am more impressed with his use of blacks, and tone than any other of the artists who were brought into the series. 

I have the collected volumes and I refer to them from time to time for ideas such as line work, use of contrast, composition and a wide range of artistic approaches. You can really glean a ton of information from these awesome tomes. 

As I was flipping through volume 2, I came across this image in the Haunters of Castle Crimson Story Chapter VI. 
(Photo taken by artist. All copyright Dark Horse Comics)

I really love the use of blacks, and the hatching done in the walls and buildings. Now, let me be clear, I didn't want to completely steal this image. I just wanted to convey the same feel, and concept. The use of black ink to "frame" the overall image was what I needed for the Tavern piece. 

I marked in the blacks and it gave that depth and feel I wanted. 

Then came finished inks, and details. 

(Copyright Del Teigeler 2016. Image owned by Erik Tenkar of

I am pretty happy with the way it turned out really. I always struggle with going to black, and obviously my work in no way compares to Buscema/Alcala but I think you can see a bit of Homage to the look. 

 I really encourage anyone who is interested in black and white artwork to pick up at least one of the volumes they are really cheap and will allow you to learn from a few of the masters!

I want to thank Erik Tenkar for his patronage, and invite all of my readers to go to his blog, comment, and participate! Maybe you will see this Mast-head during your stay there, and remember this story!

Thanks for looking, comments always welcome.