The Duel Colouring Process

That's me, I am the one with the sword stuck in me guts.

I am busy doing a bit of book design for a client at the moment, which will take time and require a different brain to my usual drawing one. I am also hobbling a bit with a twisted left knee from cycling too hard at the gym and it's snowing freezing outside... perfect conditions to continue with my dream comic.

In the original dream I die but I am changing that for the sake of a laugh in the strip. These strips are planned in that I use the ones that are the most lucid and memorable for material. The irony being the more strips I do the less vivid dreams I am having, almost like therapy exorcising the brain of reasons to hate me. I do miss them though, I have said before it's like renting a movie - only for free without the trudge back to the shop the next day.

This dream is probably 14 years old, it has recurred a few times throughout the years. Strangely enough I do have a weak left shoulder (where originally in the dream I am stabbed) is it a past life experience, the body remembering for the soul or is it just plain old middle age arthritis?

I started this strip last year and then got distracted with paid work, so with the New Year decided to get it finished in one state or another, hence the pencil and computer style seen here compared to the pen and ink seen here. Lettering as I write this and it may need a bit of colour tweaking to keep the continuity of the pages that precede it, also note the tiny colour palette for the strip on the right hand side of the page.

Process Screen Shots

Here are some screen shots of the scanned pencil artwork for pages 4 and 5 being coloured in Photoshop. The order is a bit random because Blogger is useless at multiple uploads and page spacing, but you get the general idea of how the colour is built up and tweaked. I use a limited colour palette which suits the dream 'oldy worldy' feel I want to the strip. Blurring Lens Flare filters and applying them with the Overlay layer set to a low opacity (25%) is a way of getting warmth into the colour scheme.

I also apply Soft Light Texture Layers into the final mix, I can make my own textures but there are many fine sites offering some strange and unusual textures for free/donation out there. My favourite are from Lost & Taken. I felt the grungy scratchiness of these Old Film textures suited the 'Lofty' environment and imagined time period. Again the Layer opacity is reduced (I think to about 40%) so that they don't take anything away from the story but add something to the process.


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