Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Light Board

I made an A1 light board (as opposed to a light box) today.I have always been interested in spontaneity in drawing, although I very rarely practise it. The conflict comes when you try to draw something spontaneous again, like a character in a comic strip for instance. The border between spontaneity and 'getting it right' becomes a defining line. Over the years I have come to admire those that can draw straight off and make it look effortless and more to the point in illustration, make it look correct.

Light Box

I took myself off to Wickes in Wakefield this morning, to buy a sheet of Acrylic Glass. Helen donated an old A1 picture frame and I cannibalised a desktop style drawing board stand to fit onto the back. The light comes from an 11w neon desk lamp without its base. I screwed a heavy sheet of cartridge paper between the acrylic and the wooden frame glass to diffuse the lamp light. I have used windows and other smaller makeshift light sources in the past, but this is really nice, to sit down at a large illuminated work surface and draw away layer upon layer of direct ink drawings.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Comic Strip Production Process Part 3...

After I have coloured the pages, I flatten them off for safety and create a new lettering file version. Ben and I decided early on that we wanted hand drawn lettering rather than computer generated fonts, to fit with the 'storytelling craft' of the Will Skoggin's Skull strips. Although saying that, the strip has to be 'readable' and so the hand drawn with a pencil lettering, is treated in Photoshop to make it more solid, letters are adjusted and comas moved to make the page as legible as possible while staying true to the style. Techy Stuff: Hand lettering done with a 0.9mm technical drawing pencil with a B grade lead, scanned in grayscale at 400dpi. I duplicate layer and apply a cut out filter, I multiply the layer over the original to get more solid lettering keeping some of the 'roughness' of the pencil. There's more stuff done after that that involves generating the white backgrounds to the speech bubbles, but really, who is still reading this at this point?


The lettering is scaled down and positioned on another layer to fit with the coloured art work page. Sound effects are coloured and any other little tweaks applied. Writing or words are on a separate layer to the artwork in case the publishers get to publish the strip in a foreign language, it makes life simpler.