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! 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.