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Ep. 21, Page 55
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Comic 1560 - Ep. 21, Page 55

19th Feb 2014, 6:31 AM in Episode 21 :: Save My Place | Load My Place
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)

Author Notes:

smbhax 19th Feb 2014, 6:31 AM edit delete
smbhax
For today's page I set out to implement the new brush procedure I was talking about coming up with after yesterday's page, namely using a big brush for most of it, then coming in just at the end to sharpen things up with the smaller brush, but I realized too that for this to come out like I wanted I'd also need to draw both more realistically and more freely, like really going to town with the pencil and not worrying so much about coming out with something clean and streamlined. For me this often means erasing the first drawing, because for some reason I tend to start out with something more cartoonish.

Image

Like, the first thing I drew today was this dude's head, but after drawing his body and then Selenis--and the pencils finally loosened up there--it was clear his head was too like '60's comic bookish, so I finally convinced myself to erase it and put a new head on his shoulders, which took some doing to get it all lined up. : P (I usually start a figure with the head, maybe the general shape but especially the eyes, then the nose and the mouth, then the rest of the head, then I usually sketch out a rough outline of the body attached to it, and refine from there as needed--so changing the head out is kind of a disruption to my normal plan of attack. ; )) (Another thing I do that is probably wrong is only adding the background in later, after the figures, most of the time anyway; I think because I find it much easier just to draw the figures how I want to and fit the background to them, rather than having to work out how to get them to fit the background.)

Oh yeah, I also realized that with the pencil and big brush and all I'd just have to be fearless; to get the look I want I think that's pretty much what you have to do, just go for it and not worry about ruining your pencils or whatever, heck you can always draw new ones if you really need to, but a mediocre drawing will haunt you forever. : P So I didn't worry too much when the on-wet-paper underpainting looked disastrous:

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As long as I can still see the pencils it isn't ruined yet! Then as per the new plan I whacked in the main colors with the big brush:

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Gosh, pretty much done already, right? So now we break out the small brush and go in to sharpen things up, first with very saturated dark watercolor for the lowlights

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and then white ink for the highlights; something I found yesterday was that adding just a little water to my white ink made it much more liquidy and easier to lay down gracefully and fluidly, without lessening its covering power--actually improving it, really, since it lays down over the paper better; I took more advantage of that today to give the highlights some swirl--may have gone a bit overboard but you know I always gotta find the limits when I get a new toy:

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And that was it! Just a bunch of waffling around with value levels in Photoshop after that. : P It all worked shockingly well, actually, and I feel like I've finally worked out the combination of materials and method to start getting where I was hoping to go with watercolor in the first place. Whew! For a while there I was afraid I just wasn't gonna be able to figure it out, and about five times a day I'd fantasize about just falling back to ink (the sales leader!) or the computer (so clean and sharp!) or pencil (so pure and straightforward!!). But maybe I'll be able to hang with this for a bit.

Comments:

cattservant 19th Feb 2014, 6:45 AM edit delete reply
cattservant

Do they have a secret hand shake?

[RE: "...hang with this..."
Just sit on the knot and enjoy the breeze.]
smbhax 19th Feb 2014, 11:52 PM edit delete reply
smbhax
Not that they've told me about : o
gary cramer 19th Feb 2014, 7:18 AM edit delete reply
gary cramer
Ben, this is all coming together for you. Your art, to me is becoming fully realized and original. The reader can see how much thought is going into the pic. Watercolors are like a wild animal, sometimes hard to control and unpredictable. I like it.
smbhax 19th Feb 2014, 11:53 PM edit delete reply
smbhax
Gosh, thanks! Yeah I like how watercolor is never quite under control : )
moizmad 19th Feb 2014, 10:52 AM edit delete reply
moizmad
Totally agree gary, but now poor Ben must go back and paint his entire archive! I wonder how long that will take???
smbhax 19th Feb 2014, 11:53 PM edit delete reply
smbhax
Ack! : O