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  Soluble scribblesJul 19, 2013 12:23 AM PDT | url
Added 2 new A* pages:A reader sent me a link to a neat YouTube video of a Japanese comic artist drawing a dramatic martial-arts-type dude in a poster format, using what certainly looks like water-soluble pencil (after the initial regular pencil sketch, then more polished pencils over that with a light table); water soluble pencil is kinda like regular pencil except that if you get it wet it turns into a wash, sort of like ink or black watercolor, although it's hard to get it really dark.
The plus is that it's erasable, to an extent--at least, in that video, it looks like it erases beautifully, but I'm doing something wrong I think because I can't get mine to erase well (as I would have remembered if I'd checked my blog entry from about three months ago when I first tried this after another reader suggested them : D). I suspect that I'm just not putting it on heavily enough, because in the darkest part of the wash I made in this little test
it did erase maybe halfway. It doesn't go all the way white, though, which is frustrating to me. Hm and I suppose that might explain why the artist in the video touches up the snowflakes or whatever they are with a white pen. Anyway the guy in the video is really good with it, and I'm not, and therein lies the meat of the problem, I would guess. ; ) (After watching it again I also see that he used a pad to pull up the pencil marks after wetting them; I didn't do that, and you can see that traces of my original marks remain under the washes.)
But maybe it's just as well that it doesn't erase enough for my liking anyway because I feel like I've still got a lot of exploring to do with just the use of line. For instance, in page 101 today, like in 98 yesterday, I was faced with the problem of how to render a big linear expanse of wall; the arrays of parallel perspective lines I finally settled on for 98 worked okay, but I wasn't confident I could get the 270-degree, rib-divided surfaces of 101's corridor view done with that scheme in a way that would be orderly enough to hold together; the half attempts I made quickly fell apart. I tried a few other types of line arrays but they collapsed as well.
Finally in some desperation I called upon the power of...scribble. Not totally mindless scribble, mind you, but rather just letting my hand and eye throw in lines where they felt like they were needed, without trying to follow an overall pattern. I didn't think this would work, but...actually it kind of did. Huh! Perhaps I'd been encouraged by the way I sort of scribbled in the nose and especially the mouth of the previous page, 100, and those seemed to read all right as part of an actual face--better than the careful individual drawings of facial organs I'd been trying up to that point.
Ever since the first, accidental page of this episode, I've been telling myself that with pencil I can really cut loose and let it get wild, since the eraser can always salvage things if necessary, but somehow I haven't really managed to let myself go with it as I'd imagined I would. Maybe I've been trying to be too neat. Or maybe I didn't trust myself with it, being new to this pencil-only approach. Or maybe I just hadn't gotten desperate enough yet. Or maybe it was just something in the air today! But hopefully this is something I can put to good use again.
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