Head on over to gocomics.com to read the latest episode of the Conjurers comic. I’m trying to get another page up by Friday. There’s a lot going on in this sequence and I’d rather not make everyone wait a week between scenes. So, I’ll kick in a little over drive and pump out some pages. It’ll help me get a better handle on this “quick” style. It’s odd attempting to produce pages rapidly and still make them look cool.
Here’s a quick shot of page 43 in progress. This entire comic has been an experiment in process. I knew going in that it had to be fast. I’m used to tightening my pencils with a vice grip before inking. For the Conjurers comic, I’m slowly refining the speed approach. After thumbnailing the page I rough it out with blue lead, focusing on shape and placement. It’s hard to shut off the detail side of the brain, but it’s getting easier. After that I go right in with inks. These days, I’m having fun trying different ballpoint pens. Avoiding my brushes and technical pens keeps my from tumbling into the pit of over wrought crosshatching and stippling.
The magic happens when subtle, sloppy watercolors are sloshed on. This has been the hardest lesson. Go lightly into the night with a soaked brush and diluted pigment. Less is more on the first pass. I brush in light shadows, again, focusing on defining shapes and light. After that, I break out a shredded sponge and dabble on some texture with an eye for how hit spotlights the important bits.
After this, it gets tossed into photoshop for finishes and lettering.
Not sure what happened with yesterday’s comic, but here it is. My annual Halloween strip. Had to draw some zombies. Give it a click for a larger version.
Art for the Conjurian map in progress.
No secret by now that 99% of my drawing supplies come from jetpens.com. That 99% does include every pen I use. They were kind enough to post a small interview. Leave ’em a comment and tell them what they think. Or what you think about my answers. Or general statements regarding puppetry and Tesla’s squirrel training manual. Your choice.
Quick peek at some art from page 40 of the webcomic. For this project I have to work fast and small. Usually on letter size paper. And fast. Did I mention fast?
One draw back: after a time, I tend to suffocate my work under those constraints. Panels become flat, emotionless. So, to break out of that, I draw the shots and scenes on larger paper. Let my hand move further, wilder. That lets me work fast and punch in some emotion.
After the shots are drawn, I’ll composite them in photoshop in their letter sized pixel cell.
Inking the cover for book one. I’m trying to keep my line art thin and clean. Once I had the rough layout, it took a bit of mind twisting to decide on a final style. I don’t want it coming off as overly comic bookish and at the same time I didn’t want to do a full on painted piece. Mostly because it’s not my strength and also, I didn’t want to stray to far from the interior art.
So here is the beginnings of some clean inking. Already made a color guide so that part shouldn’t be as challenging as it normally is for me.
Testing out some techniques and color guides for the cover. Trying to keep things bright. This is close to the color schemes I want to use on the artwork for the novels. But I think the art for the book covers needs to be tighter and a bit more realistic.
So this is what a first draft looks like. At least the hand scribbled part. After the notebooks, I transcribe it all in to the computer, cutting and patching bits as I go. Then I give it one more look, jotting down a few notes of things that need renovating and it’s off to my editor.
There’s lot’s more to be done. Rewrites, cover art and interior art. All of which I am greatly looking forward to.