Just finished this page last night for the Oz Comics sequential fortnightly challenge.
This was a real sod of a page - libraries, skeletons, 10 panels. Actually 10 panels isn't a problem with a well written script and this one was (I've of course deleted all my files and can't find the writer's name. Anthony someone?). It ended up taking much more time than I wanted, working 2 hours a night over 5 days or so.
I didn't think I'd do a post about this one so I didn't do any production scans but my method is pretty much the same for every page I do. Check out this post for more on my methods.
Here are my thumbnails though.
Not very clear but I did change the angle on a couple of panels. Not sure why but there's always a bit of difference between the thumbs and the final page. Especially as I never do the thumbs to scale. these were done on a loose bit of A4 printing paper. You can also see some calculations for splitting the page into 3 panels width ways.
Here my most used tools (minus a Staedtler Mars rubber). So from left to right I have a Hunt 107 (I think) - a nice hard stainless steel nib which does fine lines and can, with pressure, do quite fat lines, a fairly common nib this one but too blackened for me to find out what it is now but it does fatter lines, a pentel water colour brush pen filled with Pebeo ink, trusty, trusty white out and a line tool - this one can adjust its width for very fine to very fat lines, just be sure your straight edge is raised off the page otherwise ink will seep under and make a ink go all over the place.
On this page though, I only used the brush for filling in blacks and a few fine lines.
Killeroo creator Darren Close recently announced a new 120pp Killeroo comic and has been looking for submissions from artists and writers. I was fortunate enough to have my submission accepted. Here is the process I went through to create the submission page.
Here are the rough page layouts that I came up with. I was happy with the angles and general images in the first attempt but not the placement or frame sizes so I redrew the frames not bothering with the sketches.
Next I framed up my final on a piece of bristol and roughly sketched in the panels before inking the panel borders to make sure everything fitted like I wanted. Notice the seam in the middle - I have an A4 scanner and consequently have to stitch every page I do together. With these pencils the seam is noticeable because I couldn't be bothered fiddling around for an hour when the overall effect comes across just fine.
Happy with that I drew up the final pencils
You may notice a few extra elements added in these preliminary inks. I never know what the final page needs until I get some ink on. I find creating a page a very organic process and never do 'finished' pencils. It involves so much rubbing out, increases the amount of time I spend on a page but mostly because I hate tracing. Tracing makes images stiff and lifeless. Slapping on ink gives me so much more flexibility and movement, sure sometimes a little bit of white out is necessary but the end result is so much better.
Then the final inks. I've blown up the 3rd panel in photoshop as I felt it was too small and cleaned all the smudges my scanner leaves. I also changed the expression on Jock's face in the last panel as he looked like he was smiling. And voila!
I just borrowed the second instalment of Moebius and Jodorowksy's The Incal featuring John Difool and the Metabaron, amongst others. I can't say I'm the biggest Jodorowsky fan so this left me a bit flat on the story side of things. The art on the other hand... looked crap. What!!! What did I just say 'Moebius crap??' Sadly yes, but it wasn't his fault. The copy I had is an English DC edition published in 2005 which features new colours by Valerie Beltran. Now I'm sure Beltran is a great colourist for her own work but for Moebius... Half of what is great about Moebius' work (alright maybe a third or a quatre) is his use of colour. Moebius' colour lets the line work breath, adds depth, and conveys emotion. Beltran's (in this particular book) is claustrophobic, homogenous and soulless. Moebius' work becomes generic and uninspiring.
I did a little google search and found a site which shows original pages with the new ones, the contrast is striking. What else is funny is that the new work has been censored. Is it the comic code? are the Americans prudes? I haven't bothered to find out but the end result is disappointing and an inaccurate introduction to Moebius' work for the uninitiated.
Inking! How do you do it, how do you choose the right brush or nib, how do you look after said tool, what paper, lead or blue pencil? The list of questions I've posed goes on and on. I've compiled here bits and pieces that I've picked up over the years helping me on my inking journey.
I must say though, I haven't found any one solution. Why? Because art is a very personal thing. You can be shown a million techniques but ultimately you have to come up with your own. Coming up with your own doesn't mean that what was shown you didn't help - it helped a lot - but you take a bit from here a bit from there and that's how you create your own.
Following you will find a list of links and clips which have helped me in my quest for how to ink. Very different approaches to the same problems but all helpful.
First up. Any one who hasn't bookmarked or gone through the archives of the comic tools blog should do right away. Matt Bernier (and others) has systematicly broken down each process to comic creating and gives great tips from different artists on how they tackle the problems they face. Inks, pencils, papers, rubbers and a whole glut of tools are all reviewed and compared. Use this wonderful resourse, it's great!
Secondly. Inkers buy this. Gary Martin's Comic Book Inking book really helped me, especially when it came to using a brush. Martin is very systematic and controlled - not a very exciting inker but he is a clear and comprehensive teacher. Though the best thing about this book is the end, where different artist ink over the same pencils. What's great about this section is that it lets you know there is no right answer and that an inkers style really defines the final image.
When inking other peoples pencils I use a brush but brushes are so hard to look after properly. At $30+ a pop you want your brush to last. I've never gone past 50 pages with one brush and I'm afraid nothing I've found out has helped me so far (appart from Matt Bernier's insanely anal approach - which I can't do). But I do have a solution: brush pens. They definitely don't come close to a good sable brush but they come close enough. I use these Pentel aquawash brush pens (here are some I found on ebay) with Pebeo ink - which was recommended me by Brendan Halyday.
There are a gazillion clips about inking out there but here are a few that have inspired me.
Saen Gordon Murphy
Nat Van Dyke
Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba
From these clips you'll find the following parts and other great clips.
I hope this helps anyone out there looking for answers.
I'm temporarily without a studio for a while (and have been some weeks) but I can't let that stop me from drawing! Since having joined friendface I've been participating in the weekly oz comic challenge which has been good for keeping my hand in. Of course I should be working on other more pressing projects but working at the kitchen table doesn't seem to get me in the mood.
Not long now though... but while you wait here are my entries to the past 3 challenges. Can you guess who they are?
Well, it's been a while between posts about the studio. And a lot has happened in between - as you will no doubt notice.
Today A mate and I put up the facia boards and the gutter. Fuck, that's been weighing on me a long time! They went up rather quickly with only on little problem at the end - I attached the gutter hangers on upside down... easily fixed though.
My side of the studio is almost completely painted - just another coat on the ceiling. Skirting and architraves still need doing. A few panes in the front window and then it's done...well, nearly. There's still the other side...
I've got shitloads of work to do and so what am I doing? Drawing stuff for fun.
I was working on Kensuke today and I did ink wash 3 pages but I was inspired to do this little number after having bought American Vampire 3 yesterday.
Prior to this I did this fellow who is heavily (very heavily) inspired by Carl Critchlow's style and a character he did for 2000AD. Look up his site and you'll see what I mean. But this is how one learns. At least, that's what I'm told.
This is also a rare forray into colour - computer colour - which hasn't gone too badly.
Some details from Kensuke. They still need the gouache washes but I'm hoping that will go quickly - I'm already 2 weeks over deadline.
All done with my trustly medium Pentel Aquash brush pen with some crappy ink that rendered my pen not so trusty and Pebeo ink that got it back on track.
There's been quite a lot oon this past month and a half. A lot of progress on the studio but then garlic planting and Easter in the middle of all that has meant comic work has progressed slowly. It doesn't look like picking up either but I keep chipping away!
Though I'm having a ball with Kensuke I've felt the need to, every now and then, do something spontainious. And rather than plumbing the depths of my imagination I revert tomore easily thing already well known.
I'll be ordering the roofing iron tomorrow. Woo hoo! Still a long way from the end but the building inspector came and passed the frame work so I have only the final inspection left and all that really entails is making sure the tank is conected to the gutter. Easy!
These photos were taken a week or so ago before the weather got bad again. The weather isn't set to improve but I might aswell have the iron waiting for the next good day.
The stuff on the front is bracing ply, it holds the frame rigid and acts like the diagonal steel bracing you can see on the right hand side of the image above. The intermediate board and rafters are called hyjoists. They're a manufactured timber beam made from ply. Very strong, very light and very straight! I went over size with them so I could fit R6 insulation in the ceiling.
Things are moving along. Tomorrow I think I'll order the rafters and battons etc. I'm a bit further on in construction than in this picture but basically things look pretty much the same (except that wall that's lying down is up).
What we're look at is my half of the studio and that far corner is where I intend to dig myself in and create my rats nest.