Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Calla of the Sea complete!

Here is the finished art for Calla of the Sea, inked and lettered.

These pages I inked with a Raphael 8404, which is a change from the usual Winsor Newton's I use. Honestly, it feels like a perfect brush, I had all the control over it I could ask for and it felt more sturdy in my hand. I still like and will use the Winsor Newtons but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked the Raphael.

My inking strategy this time around is trying to focus on bounding lines and keeping the art unified. I love the use of bounding lines in Wade Von Grawbadger's inks so I was trying to channel him while at the same time trying to keep things that I like in there. Overall I think its a success, concentrating on an area and the lines within it really helps me stay focused on line weight and how that influences the panel. I was still able to do wispy lines, but they feel more controlled now, so I'm happy with that. I also tried to break away from as much of the dark noir shadows that I've tended to use a lot. My inking professor Shawn Crystal recommended I try to find a balance of their use, so here is my first attempt at it.

I'm happy enough with these pages, which I'm sure will change in a few days. But I did my best on them, so it's time to move on to other things. Next time I want to try inking while channeling the inks of Chris Samnee who is an artist I very much so admire. I played a little bit with it in the bodies in the last page of Calla. I think that's a good natural step, as I've spend the last year getting better at drawing the figure, so now I can start focusing on good use of contrast on them.

Thanks for reading and I hope Calla was enjoyable! It's certainly a step up from the pages I was working on a year ago.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Calla of the Sea pencils

My entry for the Seqa Punch anthology. I wanted a project to work on between quarters so my comics comrade Crystal pointed me in the direction of this anthology. I wrote up a script speedy quick and started to work on it immediately. I think it's a level up as far as my pencils go from the last pages I did for class. I'm currently working on the inks, and I'll post them here as soon as they're finished.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Sketchbook update 11-21-12

Haven't done this in a while! I was so busy with school this last quarter I haven't had time to really dedicate to people drawing, which is one of my new hobbies. So here's the work I did yesterday.

The black and white images I inked with a brush pen. I bought this thing a year ago and had yet to even use it. I found it's great for sketching and doing quick inks but I don't know if I trust it as much as an actual brush. It was fun to play with so maybe. I DO have a package of brushes heading my way so we'll see.

The color images were done with a set of watercolor pencils I bought at a sale at the art store I frequent. I love Faber Castell so I gave them a trial run and they're pretty fun. I don't think I'll get rid of my tubes of Grumbacher but these are a fun and portable alternative.

Well that's all for this update. I'm now setting to work on two short stories, one a western called "The Trials of Nobody" and the other a mermaid story called "Calla of the Sea." Here's my design for Calla, at least as far as I have her so far.

Hope this intrigues anyone who might like to see more short stories from me. I'm trying to keep busy this winter break, especially so I can try and fill my portfolio with more professional level stuff.

Happy Thanksgiving and thanks for taking a look!

Friday, November 16, 2012

No Pressure and Fall 2012

Hello all, I apologize for a lack of updates but this passed quarter has been rather full and eventful. My classes ended yesterday, and I've learned and grown a LOT this quarter. I'm looking forward to doing some fun stress relieving art for the holidays, but here is a comic I finished for finals.

I did well on this, even though I had a bit of a false start at the beginning with this project. I'm still working on getting better at writing but my grades have gone up as far as the art goes. I'm still working on a what tool to use for my inking so perhaps this winter break will help me answer that question.

I also finished a 10 page comic for the Black Belt Challenge. I barely made the deadline and even then I had to print the book much smaller than it should have been. I'll be more prepared for the next challenge and I'll come back with a great piece of work. I'll post those pages later in a separate post.

Also I reaaally like drawing likenesses for characters. Marlon Brando was a lot of fun to interpret into how I draw. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"No Pressure" Pencils and Marlon Brando Ink Sketch

Here are the pencils for my 3 page short for my Inking Techniques class. It's about an anxious waitress that has to serve 3 men she believes are in the mafia. Marlon Brando makes a cameo since he is fun to draw.Here is a nib practice image I did a while ago, which may be the look I go for the mafia guys.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Regular Show Pin Up for Inking Techniques Class

For our first project for the class, we're exploring and practicing inking using markers alone. By markers I mean Microns, PITT pens, etc, so this is a return to basics for me. I used to ink with these alone but then I moved to nibs and then I started going to brush. But yeah this is what I came up with. I like sketching small with these tools but drawing large with them can be a pain since all the thick lines have to be blocked in and such. This means it take a while to get the inking done, at least for me. But I did well on this in the critique so maybe I need to work markers more into my work flow. We'll see. Also, I colored it.

It's been a while since I colored something but this went by super fast. I did this in about 5 hours, which is a huge boost of speed for me. I like to play with saturation mostly, I like the way it can inject life into a color or make it seem dull and sad. But yeah, I'll show more when I have more stuff!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Flowers for Venus revision: Pgs 1-3 inked

Here are the inks for the first 3 pages with Eric Canete's inking suggestions.

I think the biggest change here is no more hatching; just pure black and white. I think this works out better for me in the long run as I'm a really clean artist (so I'm told) so approaching it without hatching is probably going to yield more graphic and interesting results for me. It takes a lot for me to stop hatching though, I've always loved doing it but if it doesn't help me art, then it's got to go. I inked this page and the following 2 with a #2 brush, which was a definitely tricky moving up in size. Luckily with so much black I was able to practice making thick and heavy strokes without fear of ruining the page. I think it might have been a defective brush though, but time will tell.

Page 2, and more clean blacks. I hope the arm being all black in panel 2 still reads as his arm. If not, that's what white ink is for. I was trying to be more bold and daring with these pages so I hope that pays off.

This one may need the most reworks as far as the inking or I may just have to approach it with color to help make things more obvious. I do like the huge mountains in the middle and background, Eric was right on the nose about those. I can't wait to color these; I have a few plans on a limited palette and I'll post those once I get some work done on them. Of course with school starting soon I'll have 24/7 access to the Cintiq's which will make coloring so much easier and fun!

I know I mentioned Anime Weekend Atlanta in an earlier post, but if anyone would like to see a specific character as a print, please comment in this post or shoot me an email! Jorge@jorgesantiagojr.com. I'm open to suggestions, so try me!

I'll also be doing on site commissions so if you'd prefer something personalized there's that too. Have a good day!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Flowers for Venus Revisions page 1-3

I recently attended Dragon Con where I was a helper at the Essential Sequential table in the artist alley. I happily scanned con sketches from the uber talented artists at the table, I got them lunch, I sold art, I was happy as a clam and on top of that, I got to have lunch with Eric Canete and he looked over my portfolio of pages and gave me pointers and a helpful critique. Needless to say, this passed weekend was one of the best I've ever had.

In my portfolio were my first 4 inked Flowers for Venus pages (the pencils are all in my Stillman and Birn sketchbook and I don't want to rip them out when I can keep them all together in one place). Eric went over my storytelling, my composition, my use of spotting blacks, shot choices, and more. It was a great experience and I tried not to appear super giddy. After this great meeting though I'm determined to make Flowers for Venus and all my future comic works better than I could have done even just a few hours ago. Here are some of the edits I made to the first 3 pages in pencils that I will re-ink when I get the chance.

 In this page, I tried to eliminate or at least minimize my use of hatching in the environment. I've been trying to use it as a way of conveying texture but as Eric pointed out to me, I'm only just muddying up what could be a really dramatic black and white only shot. This is a dude in a crater lit only by the light on his helmet, so go straight up blacks and whites only. I also redrew the final panel because it was kinda bugging me. I think it's more clear who is in the helmet this time.
 More hatching becoming spot blacks. I also made Noah's right arm nearly full black in the second panel, because (and my profs have told me this before; I just wasn't using it well enough) you can create the appearance of depth by alternating black and white in your composition. If you have a man all in silhouette in front of a white car, then he pops out visually as being closer to the reader. Eric was suggesting I should put that to work in this panel, to really push the idea that there is some depth in this very chesty shot of a man climbing. In panel 3, I consolidated my hatchings and turned them into black and I made the cracks in the ground point towards Noah.
This page has the most changed I think. Eric suggested I use the rock formations to funnel the reader's eye through the page, so I've tried doing just that. I've also tried playing with the black and white composition as well in order to really put some depth in there. Noah is mainly a figure in black, the mountains are mostly white space to put them far away visually, but they also lead your eye into the valley where you see this space ship cruising through the air. Also, I've simplified the white cloud streaks a lot, mainly from having an idea now of how I want them to look. Drawing Venus's sky from the surface is pretty daunting considering the only way to know what it looks like is from radar imaging since the surface is, from what I've gathered, a sweltering high pressure pit of darkness.

Well that's what I've got update wise for this comic. I've also been working on possible prints for Anime Weekend Atlanta which I will have a table at later this month. I'll post up a dedicated AWA post including new images I'll have for sale and where I am on the artist alley map. Unfortunately Flowers for Venus won't be ready for this con, I'd rather take my time in making something fantastic than rush it to this convention where it's probably not going to appeal to the attendees. I will try, though, to give East Coasters my best shots of previous stories, KCNO and Good Night Mrs. Goose, which are available to sample on smackjeeves. Sorry this was so wordy, but this is my art blog, so I think I should go ahead and put my approach and feelings down in words while I'm at it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Flowers for Venus Inks Wave 1

Not every page from pencil wave 1 has been inked, but Dragon Con is this weekend and I needed some fresh inks for my portfolio. So here are the first three pages.

Page one was fun and interesting in that the most amount of work went into the environment. I would say that's the prevailing focus on all of these pages, is making the environment something foreign and creepy. Since this comic is meant to be read digitally (once I figure out the program to add in all the panel transitions; if anyone knows, please share the program please!) the comic will actually begin on a pure black screen with the first panel (with nnnCHK) simply outlined in white. There will be a transition to panel 2, where you see sparse lighting effects; I was trying for that funky flashlight effect, where it stutters before coming to life fully. The third panel was the most fun, which I mainly did with the G-pen nib, using the brush only for the figure and the black spotting in the crater.

Page 2 is mainly establishing the character of Noah and his struggle out of the crater. I've not drawn the final transition panel yet, which will cover panel 3. Here he's looking down, but in the transition which will fade from this panel, Noah will be looking up and seeing where he is before the reader will. There's less to say on this one since it's more obviously straightforward.

And page 3, we see the surface of Venus, which is really interesting. Venus has such thick greenhouse gasses in its atmosphere that very little light ever makes it down to the surface. As such, the planet would be insanely dark, so I was trying to illustrate it based on a NASA photo I was given on what a composite of Venus would look like based on radar data. Venus also has a HUGE amount of pressure on the surface equal to about a kilometer into an Earth ocean. So I was trying to simultaneously show the darkness of the planet and also the swirling wave like torrent of pressure that exists on this planet. Venus is very interesting, so I had fun trying to get all this across, which ends up having a Van Gogh Post-Impressionist painting feel to it. I don't mind it, but I hope at least that even if it doesn't look like Venus that it at least looks like this man is on an alien terrain. I can't wait to draw more scenes of the Venutian surface, although it did take me a while to ink the sky. I used brush exclusively on this page. I was also testing out some ideas I've taken from my professors at SCAD but also applying inking techniques I've seen used by Wade Von Grawbadger when he inks Stuart Immonen. It's less evident here as it will be in the next page. Which I'll try to post up as soon as I can.

Thanks for letting me share!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Flowers for Venus Pencils wave 1

Here are the first 8 pages of pencils for Flowers for Venus. While I will print this up in the end game, the ultimate goal is for these pages to be read on a tablet or a computer so I hope the flow and panel counts make sense when that's kept in mind. I pencilled these on Stillman and Birn Gamma paper, 11x14 which was just big enough to fit into my carry-on while I was away. Penciled in F lead, I played around with using blue line (both shades) for my character underdrawings and I had mixed results. The non photo blue is too light for me to really make a good drawing call on and the blue col-erase lead is so dark that it's hard to remove with erasing or even adjusting the curves in photoshop. I may just stick with my 2H pencil and F lead holder for these, as that's what feels most natural.

I hope these make for an interesting read!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Comic Journal and Sketchbook update

Here's another comic journal. This one is a bit late, but I haven't had access to a scanner in a while. This one is from July 18, 2012. I still think its funny though.
 The rest of these are drawings of people that I've been inking with Microns. I'm having fun doing quick ink studies with the pens in my sketchbook. Before my goal was just to practice drawing people for anatomy's sake, but with these I was aiming more for how I would take a live model and simplify their features into a form I would like to draw in a comic. These are my steps in discovering my personal art style.

I wish I had brought my brushes with me, but this was still fun exercise.

 My favorite director, Christopher Nolan.
Some of my childhood heroes.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Flowers for Venus thumbnails

Here are a few thumbnails for a short comic I'm working on. I hope to have it ready to go by AWA, but I just wanted something to work on that I'm really happy with this summer. It'll be 32 pages total when it's done.

The format is a bit different from my usual pages. I'm trying to make this so it can be read on iPad's and other tablets first and foremost. I made these templates myself and while they're not perfect, it's been adapting a comic to another paper size.