Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Art of the Sketch!.. or how I learned to to stop worrying and love penciling.


I've been drawing a long time and when I find ways to make it more interesting to do so, I try to stick with it.  Usually, that comes in the form of inking or how I ink or what I ink with.  The W&N series 7 #3 is one of those times I found a tool that really likes me and I stuck with it.

When it comes to penciling, I can't stand it.  I hate the amount of thought and struggle when trying to get the right angle or the right action... it's maddening.  Also, I make the pages dirty with my sinister, left-handedness...

ANY-WAY, I've gone through a dozen or so different techniques to make the actual DRAWING of the page less of a hassle.  The favorite up to this point is the half-page (as I call it).  It's a full comic book page, drawn at half the size of an original and then blown up and light-boxed to create an original.

This was meant to alleviate the amount of time it took to draw a page because all the thinking was done smaller so all the heavy lifting was done in the initial, smaller stage making it, for one, easier to see the whole page as well as the speed in which one can draw a page that measured 5 x 7.5 inches.  It was great.  Also, I believe if you can see what's going on that small then you will be able to see it when it's blown up.. or printed.  That's what counts.

The down side of doing it like this is that there's a bit of time between doing the sketches and doing the finish where you're doing something else.  Whether it's scanning the pages to be blown up or going somewhere to get the pages blown up.  That time, for me, is enough to cool the inspirational fire and even though I can get the page finished, it takes me a bit to get back in the swing of things.

So, because my printer is low on ink, I decided to go back to doing something I used to do in college, that's draw my pages, full-sized, on tracing paper and then transfer those sketches to the board.

It came out, okay.  I used marker to refine what I was thinking in the sketch and it turned into a bit of a mess, but I could see what I was doing so it wasn't that big a deal.  I finally transferred the image to board and inked and... Voila!

It worked.... and what's best was I rode that drawing buzz all the way through the end of the piece.  AMAZING!  I'd forgotten how much fun it was.  I did one, so I decided to do another...

This time, it was comics shaped; 10 x 15 live area border on a 14 x 17 piece of tracing paper with intentions on putting it on a same sized piece of Bristol with a slight kid finish.

I did the sketch on the tracing paper (made a few mistakes, erased the whole image and redrew it on the same piece of paper without missing a beat, I was rolling) and tightened up some of the looser bits with a brush pen.

I liked it. Time to transfer.
Not bad.  I started inking, one thing led to another...

I feel like this step being more immediately followed by the transfer led me to wanting to try and experiment.  I used to do a lot of experimenting with my pages when I was in school and I think it was because I went straight from layout to page without the in-between time of looking for a photocopier.  It makes for a much tougher job when traveling (I'm thinking in those instances it's going to be computer or back to the half page) but while I'm in the studio, this is going to be my mode of travel for the foreseeable future...

... also, it gives me more possible things to sell.  ;)


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