Tuesday, 22 November 2011

'The Apprentice' Comic Strip...

So, by now the secret is out across the internet. There is an Issue Zero of the new children's comic The Phoenix, Ben Haggarty and I have got a five page comic strip called The Apprentice residing within it's freshly hatched pages.

Issue one of The Phoenix, featuring lots of lovely other artists (not I) will be available in the first week of January 2012 through subscription (check out The Phoenix website for details) and hopefully through more traditional outlets. But that's 2012, for now you can get issue zero by going to the Phoenix website, it may not be that straight forward for some but with a little effort you will be sent a pristine copy of this 32 page full colour, story-centric issue in a special printed envelope... for FREE.

Internet ordering process explained more eloquently than I ever could here by Mr Neil Cameron... and also here by The Etherington Brothers.

Notes on Making 'The Apprentice'...

The Apprentice
Five Pages, The Phoenix issue zero
 Carries on the candle lit world of Haggarty and Welding, where magic
and the devil are never really that far away.

Blue pencils for The Apprentice Page 1.
Drawn A3 size.

Experimental page, using pencil and Photoshop.
Because of the panel count at this stage I decided to go with pen and ink for the finished strip.

An earlier attempt at pencil and Photoshop.

Pencils without Photoshop.

The strip printed in The Phoenix issue zero.

Thursday, 17 November 2011


'Die at Midnight' Page 10

Drawing style and colouring has changed a bit. I am justifying this as the dream world is different from the waking world. In truth the human character has been in the dream world for a lot longer than he suspects. This dream sequence is now riffing on the sensation of being able to run fast and athletic within the dream. Freed from mortal constraints, like the kids you see doing Par Kour in  the city centers.

The drawing is more detailed, pen rather than atmospheric pencil. Tree moss and individual leaves are now visible, being able to see clearer as his transformation takes place. There is a colour halftone effect thrown in with the colouring and finger print overlay, which is not really visible on this web jpeg web version.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Drawing and Redrawing

Die at Midnight Page 10 (well, most of it).

Started using a Pental Colour Brush to draw over my rough pencil layout yesterday. The top frame came out great, off character with the rest of the strip, but looks great. By panel three I was losing panel one's quality and so decided to go back using  my Faber-Castell  Jumbo Grip (sharpened in a style to impale vampires with). If I could start all over again... from birth, I would love to have a style like the first panel and be working on a series of graphic novels called 'Car Killer' or some such the like.

'Die at Midnight' Page 5 was drawn with a Pental Brush, the rest has been done using the Jumbo Grip, which is, (checks the website Faber-Castell website)... HB lead and a lot of Photoshop colour texturing over the top.

My drawing alters from day to day, morning and night. If anyone has any tips on drawing in the same style for the next 20 years I'd be eager to hear them.

Die at Midnight Redraw

'Die at Midnight' Page 10 Panel 1

The Redraw.

But there is something about drawing with a brush pen that will not let me go. After redrawing in pencil I intended to to scan that in and get on with colouring in Photoshop. But after scanning a little devil  on my shoulder said 'go on... you can ink that panel now'. Which is what I did, along with the rest of the page...

Sunday, 13 November 2011

'Die at Midnight' Pages 8 and 9...

Pages 8 and 9 from 'Die at Midnight' an ongoing
comic strip which incorporates several of my recurring
dreams and nightmares from recent years.

Originally there was to be more internal dialogue on page 9, as in the
thumbnails. I have edited it down as it just seemed to be describing and the
repeating the images. Wandering (or sleep walking) into a forest seemed to work
better from the characters perspective, without dialogue and savoring the moment.

The thumbnails for pages 8 and 9. I guess these are the closest record to
how the dream actually unfolded. I plan on putting 'Die at Midnight' online when this first
segment is complete, in approx seven pages time. The project is something I am doing
in-between illustration and comic strip projects for others and so I'm taking it as it comes.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Thursday, 3 November 2011

What I did drew today 3rd November 2011

In between jobs at the moment but will be starting on another Cordwainer of Scarletwell Street story very soon. Spent an hour researching  and then felt the need to draw freehand with a Joeseph Gillott 303 Extra Fine nib and Higgins Black Magic ink. The nib is scratchy but gives a great line to draw with.