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Ep. 21, Page 54
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Comic 1559 - Ep. 21, Page 54

18th Feb 2014, 4:03 AM in Episode 21 :: Save My Place | Load My Place
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes)

Author Notes:

smbhax 18th Feb 2014, 4:03 AM edit delete
I made a discovery about this watercolor stuff over the weekend: the trick to getting that smooth, glowy atmospheric look that the better watercolor paintings have is...water. I mean, wetting down the paper before painting your base layer, so that instead of jagged areas of color with seams between them like you saw when I showed my underpainting in Friday's page, you get this gorgeous smooth undulating plane of color with mysterious shapes and shadings.

My test sketch from the weekend makes this pretty clear, but it's already past my bedtime so I'll try to get it scanned tomorrow. I tried this approach in today's page, but the effect is pretty subtle because I went very light on the first layer and a lot darker on the next, which is most of what you're seeing. And I was worried about getting enough detail over the blurry underpainting, so I switched to my small brush and went right into detail work on the second layer, but now I'm thinking that maybe it would have kept a more lively, abstract look if I'd stayed with my bigger brush for putting in the shadows and main colors, *then* finally switched to smaller brushes just for the final highlights and shadow details. Also along with that maybe I'd consolidate the shadowed areas of the figures more--not adding all the interior shadow detail on the neck and torso, for instance--so the brush would have a larger area to play and wash across and create those surprising gradients that watercolor is so good at. Oh well, something to try on the next page.

One big advantage of this approach for A* is that the final page comes out smoother, with less jagged edges and clumps of pigment, so once I scan it into Photoshop I can make it just about as dark as I want without having to worry about dark artifacts becoming too prominent; the original artwork for this page isn't as dark as the artwork for the previous page, but because it's smoother I could adjust the final version to be darker.


hrwilliams 18th Feb 2014, 5:23 AM edit delete reply
Great use of lighting and color.
smbhax 18th Feb 2014, 2:29 PM edit delete reply
Thanks! : ) Watercolor is great for that, I just have to get out of its way and let it do its thing.
cattservant 18th Feb 2014, 7:14 AM edit delete reply
Sex and/or violence!
Or maybe business?
smbhax 18th Feb 2014, 2:29 PM edit delete reply
Such arbitrary categories ; )
moizmad 18th Feb 2014, 11:22 AM edit delete reply
I love Selenis' new pony-tail!
cattservant 18th Feb 2014, 12:12 PM edit delete reply
Seeing it's her,
maybe it should be a 'python plait'?
smbhax 18th Feb 2014, 2:29 PM edit delete reply
Yay! They're fun to draw! : )