A couple months back, we were honored to host The Dark Knight artist & writer, David Finch, for a weekend of book signings and artist talks at our Bonifacio High Street store. If we could condense our experience and describe the man in a single word, “generous” would probably be apt. David Finch sat for hours (even until store closing!) to meet his Filipino fans, sign their books, and give free sketches. He didn’t complain and didn’t even take a break for dinner. What a guy! He kicked off each afternoon with a live drawing exhibition in our U-View theater, giving plenty of time to take audience questions as he drew. We learned so much from those sessions!

For those of you who weren’t able to make it there, we’ve decided to share what we thought were the best tips that we picked up from the expert himself.

The Batman writer and artist with his trust mechanical pencil.


Tip #1: Hockey tape isn’t just for hockey.
As David plotted out his figures on the paper, everyone was craning their necks to see why his mechanical pencil looked… well… funky. There was a weird grey wad of rubbery textile wrapped around the middle. “It’s hockey tape,” Finch explained. Apparently, the extra girth allows for greater control of the tip. We tried it out, and it’s also a good way to keep your drawing hand relaxed. Unfortunately, hockey tape — while ideal in it’s tackiness and texture — is not so easy to come by in the Philippines, so we think that badminton racket grip tape or athletic support tape (such as leukoplast, available at any respectable drug store) will make a good replacement.

Tip #2: Learn the Golden Curve.
In the middle of pencilling Catwoman, David paused to draw this line:

The Golden Curve — David Finch, The Dark Knight penciller's example

“This line is in everything I draw,” he said. Here’s a picture of the final drawing.

Batman with Catwoman from live sketch session at our Fort Bonifacio branch

Observe how that curve appears over and over in the artwork: Catwoman’s hip, her neck, etc. Apparently, this is what’s known as the Golden Curve. Many artists and scientists alike have agreed that the proportions on that curve represent the perfect proportions for beauty. Finch went on to talk about how he just kept practicing and practicing that one curve over and over, filling page after page with the squiggly line until he got it.

Tip #3: Draw fingers as “tubes.”
Everyone has trouble drawing hands. It’s just a fact. But David put this little diagram together to show how to simplify the process.

David calls these “tubes,” but they kinda look more like 3D boxes. What do you think?

Admittedly, Finch says that he still hates drawing feet. 🙂

Those are our favorite “Expert Tips” that we picked up listening to David Finch. Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, try them out! And don’t forget to watch the video featurette that we produced while David Finch was in town. See that here

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