Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ligan Square

Above is from the latest page of Border Crossings, which, if you follow the webcomic at all, you will get to see come Friday, when it's updated. It depicts our first view of The Last Island, where all the land-dwelling races have converged upon (either by choice or by force) as the landmasses have sunk below the ocean. If you notice, the Rhizome is sporting a funky pattern on its camo-sheath, something that was spur of the moment and that I really enjoyed compared to my previous solution for depicting the swirling, psychedelic colors of the sheath.

I wanted to talk about this panel for two reasons. One, because I'm actually quite happy with it as a separate little piece of work, and two, the inking on this is FAR different than what I've done since my process post about inking a few weeks back.

Ever since I did page 9, I've grown unhappy with using rapidographs as my inking solution. I never felt totally happy with it, and often I noticed I moved veeeeerrrryyy slowly when inking. So, since then I started an experiment of inking digitally. Remember the Frog Grazer illustration a few posts back? The reason for that piece existing is because I was testing out a new brush that was to become my standard inking tool for BC. I figured if it was a bust, no one would be the wiser, and if it worked out, hey hey, I have a new thing to practice.

I've noticed lately that I've been inking faster now, mostly because of a boost of confidence (probably because I always know that that ink I'm throwing down isn't permanent.) At some point in the future I'd like to switch over to traditional brush, but while I continue to practice with a real brush, scrawling mishapen characters with the permanence of Higgins Ink, I'll keep going along with this digital solution.


Charlie said...

Very nice Andrew. I like the sail boat! I think your inks look just as good digitally as they do traditionally.

I am also digitally inking my comic and loving it. Actually, tbh, everything past the scanned in thumbnail is digital. It is just faster plain and simple. Sure there will be no original art, but I don't expect people to want to buy many indie comic artist original pages. Telling the story with a good comibination of visuals + word is what matters most. Hopefully just telling the story well will lead to other work like commissions etc. I am new to the comics thing, so I don't care about the whole saving face digital vs. traditional inking BS. You do what works and doesn't slow you down. Unlike the big wig artists, we do it all, start to finish. Who can blame you for finding and using shortcuts that still work. I don't think anyone who picks up your next book will even know, unless they ask, how you inked the book.

Now some inker is going to hunt me down at a convention for saying all of the above, but oh well. Marc Deering already shunned me playfully on Twitter when I told him I have finally embraced digital inking. haha!

Here is a sample WIP page I am working on: http://charlieharper.net/gallery/thedd/tdd_p1_diginks_6.jpg.

Drew said...

Haha, I'd be careful when ya say "unlike the big wigs..." A lot of artists I know do try to do as much as possible. In fact, it seems more often than not that these days the penciller and the inker are one and the same (one doesn't need to look much farther than my own little blogroll to see a few people who exemplify this: Mathieu Reynes, Paolo Rivera, Guy Davis, Cheeks...)

Your WIP page is looking pretty good! There's only two things I'm not crazy about -- The gradients, and the curtains(and, to a lesser extent, the hope chest in the hallway.) The gradient thing is just a personal distaste for it -- I like the idea of using digital tools to mimic traditional as close as possible, and when I ink, I strictly think that I have a pretty binary system to work with -- Either black or white. But stuff like grays, gradients, etc. can be made from that. Of course, it's just personal taste.

The curtains though I think show a misunderstanding regarding fabric and how gravity affects it. When people draw curtains, you can always tell right away if they've observed fabric folds closely or not. You got the general idea down (Which, some people don't, which leads to the "lumpy potatoes behind the cloth" effect,) But the ink effects seem too mushy. In fact, compared to the rest of the inks, the curtain/window areas are really overworked. Since it's digital though, you can go back and simplify it down, and draw less attention to it.