Saturday, January 14, 2017

Three Colors

Making my robot stamp awhile back has gotten me motivated to make more. I even have ideas of trying to do a whole comic in stamps. I have no idea what the comic would be about, but it would definitely have to be short, eight pages max probably.

But the robot stamp made me see some of the possibilities with layered stamps that I hadn't really thought of or taken advantage of, so I wanted to try and get more complex coloring on my next.

I started with a pencil drawing that I thought would make a good stamp. Then I flipped it over onto the rubber stamps and rubbed the back to transfer to the lead to the rubber. I find rubber stamping material really difficult to draw on, so this is much easier. Also, using the same image as a base should make registering easier.

Then a bunch of cutting into the rubber.

My first pass ended up a little muddy, so I added some empty spaces to bring out more depth.

I use these pads from Distress Ink, which is a really stupid name, which is in turn written in a really stupid font that looks like it could have been used for the titles of the first season of The Real World on MTV. On the upside, and much less superficially, they come in a pretty wide variety of colors, and can be bought in these little sampler four packs for cheap. They don't lay down ink super smoothly, which means you won't get a super solid color, but it also means that you can mix and potentially get fades on a layer.

The final result, which didn't come out exactly as I would have liked it, did succeed in taking the three ink colors and with overlays turning them into roughly seven colors.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Learn How to Draw Snakes

I've been doing a lot of really detailed heavily crosshatched drawings of late, which are in preparation for this fantasy story that I'm getting ready to do. The story follows a warrior cut by a poisoned sword who has to enter an evil castle in order to find a cure.

I'm planning on a length of 48 pages with most of the pages being splash pages. It's a different kind of storytelling from what I have done before.

Before I get to that I have an eight page prologue in mind, which will function as a stylistic test. I'm still not sure how big I will be drawing this, but probably at around nine by twelve. Crosshatching is so time consuming, and the bigger I draw the more torturous it will be.

These are some raw notes on the sequence of the prologue.

These are thumbnails of what I imagine the full eight pages will be. It's looking like five splash pages. I hope to start on these in the next week or so.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Three Layer Stamp Cake

I've been wanting to do layered stamps for awhile now. I've had these stamp blocks and linoleum blocks for an embarrassingly long time and they have just sat in my studio waiting very patiently. I was hesitant to use them because they are a one shot deal. There's only one image to be gotten out of them. Pens can produce all sorts of images, and paper is cheap, so if you screw it up there's always another piece of paper. I never felt like I had an image in my head worthy of the three-color block treatment.

I could tell those rubber stamp blocks and linoleum blocks were getting antsy though.

It's just a robot with glowing eyes similar to a lot of the robots I've found myself drawing recently.

Immediately upon stamping, I realized I wasn't using the medium as well as I could. I was really treating the stamp as simply three colors, but really there are seven colors that can be created with the three. Each overlay creates a new color, so there are the basic colors, red, green, blue, but then also red over blue, blue over green, red over green, and red over blue over green, which can be seen in the off register parts in the close up. The next set of blocks will try to take full advantage of these possibilities.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Building Crosshatch Muscles

I've basically got two books going now. One is in the ending phase, where it's all drawn and figured out, and that is really left to do with it is editing and clean up. The boring stuff.

The other book is in it's nascent phase, where it's still taking shape. I've been doing these little drawings as stylistic tests. I'm basically just figuring out how this next book will look. At the moment my plan is for 48 pages of splash pages with a lot of crosshatching.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Finished Draft

Thanks to a productive week, I've completed the finished draft of the next book, currently titled This World is not for Burning. It clocked in at 134 pages. Next up will be all the scanning and an edit on my part. After that, I'll make some copies and pass them around to people for feedback and then another edit. Then, there'll be coloring and figuring out how I'm gonna get this thing printed.

These were the pages I finished this week:

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Back to the Track

I've decided to pick back up on my race car comic Faster Miles an Hour. I think maybe five people will be excited about this, but Faster Miles an Hour is not really a book for other people. It's really for me, and what it is for me is a place for pure creation.  

With my other work, I lean towards to control. There's so much of an effort to get things right: get the drawing right, the facial expression, the sequence, the turn of the pages, get them all right. If it doesn't work, do it again.  There is a creative element in all this of course, but so much of it is editing, taking the creation and pounding it into shape and polishing it. These are important things to do, but I wouldn't really describe editing and redrawing as joyous.

Faster Miles an Hour is for my own joy. It's the child in me getting out all his matchbox cars and racing the afternoon away.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sit in the Chair and Do the Drawing

I'm at the point in the next big book where all the creative, exploratory, fun stuff is pretty much over, and now it's just a matter of sitting down and grinding it out. Drawing really feels more like a chore than anything else.

I was able to make myself sit down on Saturday and crank out about ten pages of comics. It may sound like a lot, but the style of these comics is pretty loose, so it's not really Jack Kirby six-pages-a-day territory.

I'm very proud of the starry sky in the third panel of this page.

And this page gives me the willies.

But of course, because this is the grind-it-out phase, my mind is very open to all sorts of distractions. There are so many ideas and semi-ideas that come calling. I could continue with Faster Miles an Hour or The Sex Sex. I could do a panel for panel redraw of Youngblood #1. Or I could just rewrite Youngblood #1 entirely. Draw it in the style of Tom Gauld. Or I could do a vampire comic. Like a cyber-punk vampire comic. Or maybe something where everybody rides wolves and bears. Or dinosaurs.

They're all so alluring.