comic | episodes & e-books | store | about | forum 




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 126 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
A* Episode 20 
Author Message
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:18 pm
Posts: 4371
    
sunphoenix wrote:
Hubba-hubba! What a hottie!


Hey, The New Yorker is a classy magazine! : D


Tue Nov 26, 2013 3:26 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:18 pm
Posts: 4371
    
Added 1 new A* page:
It's been a while since I snuck my way through a blog entry by showing the pencils for the day's page, so here goes!

Image

Yep. In retrospect, adding lots of black ink helped a bunch!


Wed Nov 27, 2013 12:11 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:18 pm
Posts: 4371
    
Added 1 new A* page:
You can blame the cooked, aliased lines in today's page on Photoshop's "Hard Light" blending mode, which I ended up going back to in order to punch up the colors and contrast. I (over)used Hard Light when I first started using digital color in the comic (that was page 116 of episode 19); it made the scanned pencil lines I was using at the time even more jagged than they already were; now that I'm using ink, that effect isn't quite so bad.

The other main difference this time was that instead of blending the color image with *itself* in Hard Light mode, this time I used a grayscale version (or more specifically, the result of a Hue/Saturation layer set to full desaturate and Hue blending mode) of the image as the Hard Light--this blew out the colors far less than using a color copy, but still heightened the value contrasts. You can see that gray "luminance" mixing layer on the left below:

Image

The image on the right is what you get if you perform the Hard Light blending *before* scaling the image down from the high-res original to web size; it looks a lot smoother, but it loses what is to me one of the charms of Hard Light blends, which is that the edges of black lines get loaded with high-saturation color; when you compare the two, the pre-blended version there looks pale and fishy around the lines, whereas the pre-shrunk, then Hard Lit version I went with for the final image has a sort of red glow around the admittedly more jagged lines. In a way, though, a little pixelization fits the comic, if you ask me, what with its hard digital origins and stubborn web-only format.

~~~~~~~

Yeah yeah, blah blah blah. I'm going to be occupied with family Thanksgiving festivities tomorrow--well, today (Thursday)--so I won't have a new page for you then, but I'll be back at the drawing board on Friday (and probably finish up that page in the wee hours of Saturday, as usual : P). Have a nice Turkey Day, or just a nice Thursday! Hopefully I'll pull off the mashed yams okay. : P


Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:35 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2010 11:51 am
Posts: 247
    
...so..umh... What DID she do?!?


Fri Nov 29, 2013 11:52 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:18 pm
Posts: 4371
    
Added 1 new A* page:
A reader recently brought up illustrator Alex Raymond, and that got me thinking about the massive volume collecting the first few years of his Flash Gordon comic that another reader got me some time back (I blogged a show and tell with it here) and which I hadn't finished reading through because the hardcover is so big and heavy--like, 17" tall (just about the width of an original A* page, as it happens!)--that it's tough to read without hurting yourself! But now I've found a good way to prop it up so I'm gonna get through it at last. And I think it helped with whatever mojo made the unusually precise page 60; like, it occurs to me that I don't work in say a studio with other artists around to keep me on the ball, so maybe having (and reading!) books of art by really good artists is the next best thing.

I came across a page recently that I thought was particularly interesting from an illustration development point of view; this is the Flash Gordon strip from April 21st, 1935:

Image

Notice how in the last panel there, where Azura is making her dramatic appearance to Flash and his group, Raymond filled the shadows and currents with tight arrays of swooping brush lines--and contrast that with the previous panels, where he mostly left the backgrounds blank, possibly with just an isolated foreground or background element or two: that's how the previous Flash strips had looked, but this last panel here seems to represent his discovery of this curved line technique for expressing volumes, and the following strips would use it more and more heavily, until the whole production was packed with richly volumetric, dramatic panels of shadows and currents--all starting from this one panel!

I also like the way these strips are colored (although I don't think the color was done by Raymond himself); kinda makes me wish I could watercolor the A* pages, but I've tried that before and it didn't really work out for technical reasons (the main one being that I can't watercolor over my corrective white ink; I suppose the other main reason is that my watercoloring was coming out all blotchy : P)...maybe I'll hafta try some non-A*-page drawings with it, though.

Anyway it occurred to me that dang I should have more Raymond stuff around to keep myself on the ball, art-wise. Time has passed and more of those great oversized Flash Gordon collections have come out, so I've added them to A*'s Amazon Wish List, which I'd left empty for a long time. I also put in the first "Archive" volume of the collected "Legion of Super-Heroes" comics; those started out in 1958, basically introducing super-powered kids (often alien kids) from a superhero club in the 30th century who initially came back in time to visit Superboy--but anyway they're from the 30th century and apparently spend their time bickering over club meeting times (their clubhouse is an old space ship, I think I read), and saving the universe.

Image
1958's Adventure Comics #247, first appearance of the Legion (source)

Sounds like good clean fun, and also I like that lovely, polished pre-Kirby-explosion Silver Age DC illustration style.

So yeah, comics!


Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:11 am
Profile
User avatar

Joined: Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:18 pm
Posts: 4371
    
Added 1 new A* page:
End of episode 20!

Trying out a new inking method, too--well not entirely new, because I used pens for parts of the ink work way back around episode 16--line detail on the back of the rocket there, for instance. But this time around I'm using different pens--these are Rotring Tikky Graphic pens, which have a much "juicier" line than most "fineliner"-type markers, which means that I can make big drawing motions and the ink flow keeps up with my hand, rather than skipping--and I'm going to try to use them in a more stylistic, expressive way, sort of like some of what I did when I was working solely in pencil last episode. With a bit of practice I think they'll give me a nicer line quality than what I've been able to get with brushes--and I'll still be using brushes for certain effects, and big black areas; I didn't use any brush in today's page because it's sort of a dissolve to white, so I kept it light.

Speaking of which, I wasn't quite sure what line width pen I wanted to start with in today's image--I have these pens in 0.1, 0.3, 0.5, and 0.8 mm tip sizes--so I did a test sketch with the 0.5, sighting from the pencils, approximating the same scale:

Image

I decided that was a bit too thick, and went with the 0.3 for the main outline instead. In retrospect, though, I think I'll mostly use the larger sizes for main figures like that, get a bit of a bolder look. And I like the expressive lines of the sketch; my final pages almost never seem to come out with that same freedom, I suppose because I cramp up or I get too locked into following the pencils closely. Maybe I should actually do the final inking not directly over the pencils, but on a separate piece of paper, just sight sketching from them. Hm. I suppose I could give that a shot, after all it just costs a sheet of paper.

Speaking of paper, it was sketching in my sketchbook, a little 5"x7" Robert Bateman thing with thick and soft 110 lb recycled paper--I got a bundle of these back in high school, and this is one of them, which makes it like 20 years old! still looks like new, though; I never used them much aside from a sketch of a tower in Scotland (or was it Ireland?) and people at the airport on my trip over there...no idea what I did with those sketches. Anyway what I meant to say was that it was sketching in that sketchbook with the pens over the weekend especially that convinced me I should give it a try for A*, they just had a great feel and nice solid line on that paper. So I wasn't too surprised when I tried them on my regular A* paper--Canson Bristol--and they didn't work as well, I guess because the purpose of Bristol is to be hard and smooth, whereas a softer, slightly fuzzy paper is what will take marker lines much more effectively: paper like the sketchbook! So I looked and wouldn't you know, they come in a whopping 14"x17" size, just right for an A* page (actually two, slicing it in half), and the art store across town had them in stock!

Lucky day, I thought, rushing over there. Until, paused in some unexpected traffic, I noticed a carload of gaily caparisoned people disembarking in an adjacent parking lot, their color familiar--the colors of our local football team, in fact...because oh yeah, today they were playing on Monday Night Football, in the stadium that happens to be right between me and the art supply store. Noooooo. Kickoff wasn't for two and a half hours, but it still took me two hours to make the 14-mile round trip there and back. : P

Anyway I got the paper (and at least our team stomped the opposition something fierce : PP). It's nice! It's actually darker than the 20-year-old version in my smaller notebooks, although it's actually kind of easy on the eyes, a nice neutral light gray rather than the slight off-white yellow that even the whitest papers usually are. And it takes the pen lines just as thirstily and solidly as the old stuff, which is the main thing.

So, I think this will be fun. Might also be a life-saver for the next episode--starting tomorrow!!--because it's going to have a lot of very bright scenes, and I was a little worried about trying to get that across with brushwork alone, which easily gets a bit heavy. (Actually, come to think of it, what really convinced me to give pens another try was that I finally gave way to temptation and picked up another Pentel Pocket Brush brush pen over the weekend, figuring it'd be handy for brushy sketching--and found that it was too brushy, and smushy, and just way less impressive results-wise than I'd been getting with the pen sketches.) Episode 21 will involve some almost literal shark-jumping, so, you know, why not go for it!


Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:53 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 126 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 9, 10, 11, 12, 13


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group.
Modified from the "Hestia" theme designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin.