Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Attic Puppets

Drawing freehand with dip pen and black ink.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Script Writing

This is how I start writing a story, it helps me set the scene.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Tropical World Sketches

Today we succeeded in going to Tropical World in Leeds and I took my sketchbook and camera. I was not prepared for the sauna like heat which was great and well worth the £3.30 entrance fee in itself. This was the plan in cold January a few months ago but we managed to pick a day when they were closed and so ended up at Leeds Museum again. Tropical World is a great place to go for drawing , there are a variety of animals and some are really slow moving which is ideal. I have not sketched from life (with all the storytelling going on) for a long time, so this was quite luxurious in fairly comfortable surrounds.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Mrs Ma Page One Process










1) Starts with a Ben Haggarty script.

2) Page thumbnails and layout, very rough but becoming aware of the amount of text needed in each panel.

3) Pencil art drawn on scraps of paper at A3 size, scanned and arranged into a 300dpi A4 page using Photoshop.

4) Next is lettering, this is important so I don’t waste time colouring up a patch that then has a great big speech bubble plonked over the top of it.

5) Sepia colour layer with highlights and shadows painted in using the Dodge and Burn tools.

6) Using the Lasso selection tool I select areas and use the Hue/Saturation slider to get colours into the panels. Ideally this should be done all in one go, flesh, Mrs Ma Blue tunic etc, that does get really boring so I tend to work on it panel by panel.

7) Tweak areas with Burn and Dodge tools.

8) Experiment with effects. Exported the art layer into a free program called paint.net and applied a photo filter I like called Soften Portrait, then imported that layer back into Photoshop on a separate layer. Applied Overlay to the Layer then erased areas with a low opacity Eraser to keep some of the subtle details from being lost.

9) The finished colour page with tweaks and editor and writer editorial changes to make everything work on the page.

Mrs Ma and the Dumplings can be seen in The Phoenix Comic #15

Friday, 13 April 2012

'Mrs Ma and the Dumplings' in The Phoenix Comic #15

I have drawn another four page strip, written by Ben Haggarty and it can be seen in the latest issue of the weekly The Phoenix Comic issue 15. AVAILABLE NOW! By subscription from The Phoenix Website and from OK Comics in Leeds.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Artline Calligraphy Vs Artline ErgoLine Pens

This is a follow up to the last post where I had just ordered a box of the new Artline Ergoline Calligraphy Pen 2.0, I was expecting to have to wait longer with ordering them over Easter but they arrived in this mornings post. I was a bit giddy opening the box.

First off, I have to restate just how much I like drawing with the original white barrelled Artline Calligraphy Pen 2.0, comparing it to anything would be a challenge at this point. The chisel tip of both the Artline pen gives a lovely smooth line with a variety of line widths similar to that obtainable from a small brush with the control and feel of a marker type pen. Which makes it ideal for sketching and for more solid drawing work. I have used the pens for cartooning, sketching and for large scale public art commissions and although I find it a bit chunky it's also very nice to write with.

Why would I want anything else? The white barrelled 'old style' Artline Calligraphy Pen was wearing a sore patch on the middle finger of my drawing hand, I guess its not been designed to be held for hours on end where there is the annoying ridge for the pen cap. I let out an audible 'oooooh' when I saw the smooth barrel of the new black barrelled Ergoline Calligraphy Pen. The lid also fits on the body of the Ergoline when uncapped, the lack of which I found a irritating with the white barrelled version.

Now then, the ink quality in the Ergoline is disappointing when compared to the original Artline Calligraphy pen, which has a lovely 'solid' matt pigment black and more importantly waterproof ink. The ink in the Ergoline is non-waterproof and will create a grey wash when wet. Which is great if that's the effect you're after but say goodbye to using watercolour over the top of the line work. I have tried to show the effect of the ink wash effect in the sketch above, look at the colour quality of the yellow stars.

That's not going to stop me using the Ergoline Calligraphy Pen though. It is much more comfortable in the hand and is a great portable drawing tool for positive bold and expressive drawing. I am still a bit giddy from it all.

Artline Website