Thursday, 18 October 2018

Comic Page Construction Notes


Inktober 2018 Day 18


I nipped out to the Off License to buy chocolate. The sun was low and sickeningly blinding. I walked passed a cat on a wall, which was wide eyed and exotic looking. That was the reality of the day and I turned that into today's three panel strip for inktober, using experience to fuel imagination.

This page started out following a three panel frame work.

Panel 1 - Do Something or observe something
Panel 2 - Thing goes wrong or becomes irritating
Panel 3 - Reaction/Resolution to the first and second panels

The frame work is just a guide to start the page off and can be discarded at any point, it's there to get the idea going. I lightly pencilled the page and made the words up as I went. The words should compliment the image, they don't have to repeat what's happening in the image exactly, words and pictures working together and not competing. For me the panel becomes poetry when our hero from the past is nipping out not for adventure but for a bar of chocolate.

A mundane modern day fable of going to the Off Licence for a chocolate fix. I really didn't have the time to draw streets today so trees became my preferred background quick draw, A slightly more interesting character than me squinted into the Sun and the wide eyed cat that was sitting on a wall gained the ability to talk, adding a mystical twist to the trip.

I painted out redrew the figure in the first panel when I started the inking. The figure was the same proportion as the one in the second panel. This zoom out in the first panel sets the scene, a figure in a landscape and makes the arrival of the cat in the third panel feel more impactful. The cat really did have large hypnotic eyes that filled my field of vision, perhaps not as sinister as I've drawn.


(New favourite nib! I have a box of vintage nibs which I thought were all Perry & Co No. 227 EF but the box turned out to also contain 22 Henry EF Nibs, which have that fine and broad flexibility I crave in a dip pen nib).

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Fake Bees


Inktober 2018 Day 17

A messy page today. I struggled with the pen nibs I've been using for the past 16 days (Leonardt 801's) which are capable of very fine and flexible broad lines and complement the A5 size of my sketchbook. I dropped them or they rolled off the desk bending the nib tines when they hit the floorboards and just wouldn't draw smoothly. I've gone through three in as many days which has severely dented my 'good nib' supply. I switched to Penny & Co No. 227 (EF) and Zebra G-Nibs which I have enough off. Might be a good thing, going bold.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

More Vampires


Inktober 2018 Day 16

Monday, 15 October 2018

Some Vampires


Inktober 2018 Day 15

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Soggy Sunday


Inktober 2018 Day 14

Up, Up and Away!


Inktober 2018 Day 13

Friday, 12 October 2018

Inking Warm Up


Inktober 2018 Day 12

I'm working on a an illustration job at the moment so need an inking and colouring warm up (and can use it for inktober today too). 

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Cat Patrol


Inktober 2018 Day 11

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Turning Up To The Page


Inktober 2018 Day 10

I reread the Inktober rules today, concerned that I wasn't obeying club rules. I think I am. This page is perhaps my third or fourth attempt. Ink smudged, lettering was off, panel order was not right and I'm still not happy with the way that rat looks. This page took far longer than it should.

My interpretation of Inktober is about turning up to the page, club rules mention being consistent, I think that means turning up regularly, not recreating drawings that feel the same. Although I may be wrong on that as Inktober does seem to be aimed at comic book artists. American comic book artists.


You can only redraw something before you lose the line to boredom. The fourth page was the one I was happy with, the lettering as well as the smudge free drawing. I do feel like anyone who wants to get better at what they do can use the inktober model to fulfil the contact and turn up to the page.

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

Monday, 8 October 2018

Everyday Distractions


Inktober 2018 Day 8

Got up. Cycled to work. Worked. Cycled home. Did illustration work and cooked. And that was the official day done.

It was a warm night. Between the house and the garden shed where I do my inky splattering, the cat wanted my attention and wanted to play. The shed light illuminated a patch of garden grass big enough for me to spin around with a stick and for him to chase the stick. He would disappear into the shadows and to my surprise pop up behind me. Hunter style.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Sunday Extremes


Inktober 2018 Day 7

A particularly gruesome abattoir greeted me this morning on my back doorstep. The cat who lives with me usually devours rats head to tail, leaving just a tidy kidney behind. This morning however there was a lot of blood and a good three quarters of rodent corpse left from his nocturnal  mastications. It took a couple of watering cans and a stiff brushing with a broom to get rid of the evidence. Glad to get away from the scene to be honest and have a stroll around Sandal Castle.

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Friday, 5 October 2018

Old Man Stuff, Plus Cut Outs


Inktober 2018 Day 5

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Feral Cat on a Coal Hopper

Inktober2018 Day 4

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Coffee and Biscuits at Work



Inktober 2018 Day 3. Feel all better now.



Tuesday, 2 October 2018

(I Don't) Like the Wind


Inktober 2018 Day 2

After almost a year using exclusively using Parallel Pens as my favourite pen for drawing, I'm now falling back in love with dip pens again. And using ink too. These past few pages have had a bit of ink splatter going on. sometimes it works beautifully and sometimes it can overpower the line work. The top panel of this page had a bit of toothbrush splatter and it didn't need it. Experience is the greatest teacher.

I don't like the wind. It destroys more of my garden than any heatwaves or floods have.

Monday, 1 October 2018

Contains ink and other liquids. Mostly ink.


Inktober 2018 Day 1

This encounter happened about a month a go and I took a blurry photo on my phone for future reference. I was doing pull ups on the monkey bars at Thornes Park trim trail and became aware of the tiny fellow nibbling a blackberry, staring intently at me. A healthy looking specimen and Manuel's line from Fawlty Towers came straight to mind. 'Is not rat - is Siberian Hamster' from the Basil the Rat episode.

This page contains more than ink and yet I am putting it under the Inktober banner. Technically I feel it could be disqualified yet inktober does seem to incorporate more than just india ink straight from an ink pot. I'm using my sketchbook to refine my drawing style. I have been planning a fairly large project for a client and I want to draw it in this pen and ink style. It takes practice, so I'm using Inktober and my sketchbook to get confident with drawing looser. I will also be doing a separate, storytelling comic workshop in November and my storytelling comics skills need a bit of a brush up. 

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Gallows Pole Pull Ups



On my way out this morning I heard 'Gallows Pole' by Odetta on the radio. A jaunty and macabre little number, the chorus became my morning earworm as I ran and exercised around the park. Not quite sure if the words I wrote are the actual lyrics but you get the gist.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Corkscrewing Squirrels




Trying out something for the oncoming Inktober. Pre ruled pages. This was written, drawn and coloured at home and took about an hour. When October arrives hopefully I can ditch the colouring, or keep it if I get quick enough. The sketch book is A5 so when it's divided into three the individual panels are quite small, I want to go with this though. Letting the diminutive size forcing me to keep things simple. I'm using dip pen and ink to do most of the line work and a quarter inch brush to knock in the Blacks and the colour.

I had the urge to redraw the page but having set myself an hour deadline had to get on with something else.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Enjoying the Process


Drawing outside again with dip pen and ink. It's a challenge but I'm enjoying the process and change of drawing pen.

Sunday, 23 September 2018

Mandy Nightmare


I saw Mandy last week and I'm still thinking about it. In the same way I still think about Panos Cosmatos other movie set in the eighties Beyond The Black Rainbow, It stays with you. Images and characters haunting the subconscious, even if the meaning of the movie escapes you. It has a lot to do with the production design and sound scape. Not following the formulaic layout that plague so many films these days. Getting creative with Nicolas Cage (or letting Nicolas Cage do his thing). Being influenced by pulp fantasy book covers, incorporating animation and inventing the Cheddar Goblin.

Below is a bit of drawing process.


Layout. Blue Pencil and Brush Pen.

Inked with a light box and Parallel Pens.

Water Colour and pencil over the top of the ink.

Enhanced in Photoshop.

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Dip Pen Outside Drawing

Autumn is around the corner and the trees are shedding enough foliage to reveal things that have been hidden through the Summer. Inktober 2018 is around the corner and want to try something different to last year. This year I need something that will fit around work and illustration projects going on in the background. Something quick and easy and fantastical.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Live Sketching at 7A Wakefield

7A Project Space in Wakefield held a mini festival for the Erased Tapes record label featuring three of their musicians Rival Consoles, Hati Noit and Peter Broderick. It involved music, paper sculpure, aerialist's, rope walking, performance art and of course neon.

A unique event (but then 7A have done unique before).

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Saturday Morning Doodling


Saturday morning doodling. Dip pen and ink and coffee wash.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Waiting at the Gates of Pontefract Castle

Sunday. Got up early and cycled nine miles to Pontefract for a bit of illustration research. Took plenty of photographs of the outside perimeter an the internal grounds and started a sketch waiting for the castle gates to open. I was really interested in the tree shapes for a project I'm working on. It started to cloud over, cycled home in the rain. Finished the sketch off at home with Parallel Pens, coffee wash and white pencil. My favourite.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Seasons Change



A couple of sketchbook drawings drawn in dip pen and ink and involving an awful lot of cross-hatching. The season is changing, cooler days and avoiding rain is back on the menu. Mighty ominous black clouds lurk on the horizon.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Drawing Outside




Drawing outside with dip pen (G-Nib) and ink.Sketchbook balanced precariously on the saddle of my bicycle. The wind knows and picks up enough to give me a little worry. I use a plastic money bag to keep my small ink bottle and lid together. The tissue is for cleaning the G-Pen Nib when I'm done.