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Ep. 21, Page 37
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Comic 1542 - Ep. 21, Page 37

23rd Jan 2014, 11:58 PM in Episode 21 :: Save My Place | Load My Place
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)

Author Notes:

smbhax 23rd Jan 2014, 11:58 PM edit delete
After yesterday got a little strokey and washed-out, I decided to go hardcore on the "spotting blacks" style today, I mean using the pencils just to outline areas that will be filled with solid shading, and avoiding hatching and feathering, for the most part. Today's near-final pencils looked like this (uploaded as I finished them earlier today to Instagram/Twitter/Tumblr):


It strikes me as odd now that I hadn't really tried this approach in watercolor yet, since it was what I went to right away when I moved into coloring pages digitally earlier in this episode, but I guess I was so enamored with watercolor's swirly color mixing that it didn't even occur to me that they could be effective in this bold, solid fashion. And you know, I think they even work better than the digital stuff with the polygonal lasso tool did, in a way, since watercolor's natural shades and eddies add hints and variety to what would otherwise be flat, plain areas of solid fill.

Probably another side benefit of this approach is that it forces me to define contours pretty precisely in the pencil stage; otherwise I tend to leave bits and pieces of the outlines undefined, and then wind up with a big mess on my hands in ink or watercolor when I find they don't connect like I'd hoped. : P

Oh yeah and you can see in the pencils that I'd drawn the facial features, and I tried working them in, like, leaving the eyeballs and teeth white in the shaded faces--I was kinda doing this in the earlier digital stuff--but it just looked cartoonish. It was scary and for the dude I mocked it up first in Photoshop, but it's actually surprising how not having the face there doesn't necessarily feel like the face and its expressive qualities are missing. Although, some of the pencils are still there under the watercolor, you can see them if you look close--'cause you can't erase 'em once they've got watercolor on 'em, at that point they get soaked into the paper or something.

Before I went in with watercolor I even busted out my long-neglected gouache (aka "opaque watercolor") tubes to see if that sorta thicker, creamier, more intensely colorful medium might work better for this approach, but I still found, as I had before--the pink on the hand in the foreground of episode 18, page 29 is I think the only spot gouache made it into the comic, back when I originally got them--that some gouache colors scan in, in some bizarre chemistry of electromagnetism that I don't understand, extremely faintly, *particularly* that pink, Winsor & Newton's Opera Pink, which is actually highly intense in real life, and which I had to edit severely in Photoshop to restore its vibrancy after scanning. And I can't be doin' no color without my hot pink. (And I think maybe one or two other gouache colors I have also scan in a more faded way than the others, although to a much lesser extent than the pink.) Also they don't cover pencil any better than regular watercolor, really, and they spread more smoothly, so they don't have the mysterious shadings and fadings that regular watercolor does, which I think in this application would make them a little more boring. But mostly I just like the quinacridone crimson / ultramarine blue combination I've found in regular watercolor--I haven't found a combo in gouache that complement and/or mix with each other nearly as well.


cattservant 24th Jan 2014, 1:26 AM edit delete reply
More Balls!
smbhax 25th Jan 2014, 12:04 AM edit delete reply
moizmad 24th Jan 2014, 5:07 PM edit delete reply
..and those fingernails too!
smbhax 25th Jan 2014, 12:05 AM edit delete reply
Fingernails are why I don't play girls in basketball anymore. Ow.