Wednesday, November 25, 2009

reworking a page...

Had a project on my computer, and one page was just eating me up inside. So I will be spending a bit of time reworking it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Digital Pencils again

Some more digital pencils for my Stretch of the Imagination project. I will hopefully start inking these pages in the next week.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Digital Pencils...

First time I'm working this process. I'm gonna rough in all my pencils digitally, then do the inking traditionally over top my monster lite-box. I'm going to knock out the rest of the pencils (6 more pages) before I move on to ink.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

last update for the night...

and tomorrow I need to work on comic stuff. I will return to this painting after Thanksgiving.

really can't wait to finish and scan...

since some things just get washed out in the hand held photos I'm taking. Making progress though, from the time, I may not finish tonight... but it will get done.

still going

happy with some areas, other areas (the background) have a ways to go to make me happy. Still at it though. (this will teach me to do a color study in photoshop first)

underpainting done

Not a lot of difference from the last update, just finishing up my under-painting by blocking in the darker colors using a mix of burnt umber and paynes gray. I should update at least two more times today with the progress I make on this.

Friday, November 13, 2009

thought I forgot, didn't you?

I while ago I got started laying down pencils for a painting, and then I had to focus on a bunch of other stuff. Obviously I haven't gotten much further, but I have toned the paper and started laying in darks. I will be taking one of my days off next week to focus only on this, and should be able to mostly knock it out, so remember to check back.

My big ol' light table covered in in-progress and failed attempts... I should be using this guy next week also, and will have to clear it off.

My paint, pallet area for my painting.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Practice sketching

Honestly, until the last few weeks I never really inked with a brush to any large extent. My education in inking involved tech-pens. Since I decided I'm going to do "Stretch of the Imagination" largely in brush, Ive been practicing a bit.

This was done all in brush...

and this was me playing around with coloring it.

Now it's time for me to get to penciling pages.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thumbnails: Part 2 the revenge

Here's some more thumbnails connecting to what I posted yesterday, plus a second 2 page comic that would lead into it. This time I'm going to be less talky-talky.

Now to get to doing some digital pencils.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

My Process Step 002

Alright, I figure since I shared the first step of making this strip, I will do my best to keep folks updated in the process till the finish(this will also crack the whip on me getting this done).

This is the thumbnail stage. Since I'm basing this on an idea that I scribbled for myself, based loosely on myself, in this stage I tare apart, rearrange, expand and contract on the text. Dialogue is still up in the air, but space still has to be considered for the text to go.

Here are a couple of brush warm-ups, about 2.5"x1.5" I did at the start of this to get myself in the mood.

The actual thumbs are done in a mix of blue pencil and ball-point pen at 3"x4".
The first page of the comic is just there to set a bit of the fantasy element of the story and to establish the time of year and maybe implant a little bit of craving.

Since I avoided an establishing shot on the first page, I needed to set up the environment that the story would take place in. That's the only real pupose I set for this page.

I know in on the third page that I'm going to put down some narration where the dialogue is gonna wander around a bit, then return the reader to the story.

The fourth page is when fantasy and reality will begin to overtly mix.

I set some restrictions on what I can do on the page (firm belief in the idea that people become more creative when they need to find ways to work around limitations). The main rule for myself was that I would work in a twelve panel grid. No page so far actually uses twelve panels, but the grid format seems to fit a horizontal composition really well.

A bit more of this story to create, I'll post up the final few thumbs tomorrow.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ink Sketch: Stretch of the Imagination

Doing some prep work for my "Stretch of the Imagination" idea. Since the stories I write will involve me, this includes the first self-portrait that I've done in a few years. The drawings in this picture were done with a brush pen(pentel black 101) and an Office Max gel pen 0.7. It feels good to get back to messy materials, but I have to remember to be carefull not to smear the ink as I work... especially with the gel pen.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Final One for the night

Last character sketch I'll be posting tonight... maybe not the last one I'll do, but it's time to get away from the computer for a bit.

and another

digital character sketch

decided to do my character designs for the characters of this story digitally, since I'll be working the entire project this way... and I really don't want any disconnect in my mind on the look of the thing.

A bit of something I'm thinking about...

A lot of what I've done personally for comic work so far has been fairly superficial. I don't pretend to be a great writer, and when face with a deadline I go for cheap laughs or things of that sort. Does this mean I want to get really deep or philosophical... no, I just want to do a project about the stuff I know for the sake of doing it.

That being said, for a few weeks I've been popping an idea around my head called "A Stretch of the Imagination". Initially, I hope to take stories of events that have happened to me, and reinterpret them in hind-sight. I will always have a bit of me in science fiction, fantasy and horror and what I show on the page will reflect that. Eventually I would like to bring in guest writers to tell a story, and for me to loosely interpret that story through my own eyes.

I actually have a few sketches I posted earlier involving this project. It will be a chance for me to get back to inking traditionally, which is something I've been wanting to do for a long time.

Below is a short idea for one of the comics. It's written in short story form, with almost no dialogue added at this point. It is a scratched in outline that needs to be built up, cut down and reshaped; however, since I like to share my process I'm going to post it here.

A Stretch of the Imagination:
A Glass of Pumpkin Ale

by John Bivens

God I craved it. Trying to think of what set me off... the time of year, the article I read, the smell of pumpkin pie cooking at my day job... I don't know. At some point memories of the previous year had started seeping into me in a random fashion.

Pumpkin ale is full bodied, the nutmeg assaults your nostrils as the sweetness fills your mouth. It tastes like fall, like Halloween, like Thanksgiving. Near me is one of the few micro-breweries (second oldest in the state of Illinois) that still uses real pumpkin to make their yearly batch. I remember last year, it was finally perfected. The minute the dark liquid hit my lips I have to believe that my eyes dilated and I saw everything that went into that glass.

Thanks to some publicity that the pub ad recently gotten from a local indie-paper, it seemed like the entire surrounding community was checking in weekly to find out if the batch was finished and the pumpkin ale was being served. Let it be known that I have mixed feelings about this publicity. I am happy that this place that I go to relax, eat good food, and drink some damn fine beer is given the credit it deserves; at the same time, these are invaders coming into a place I feel as comfortable at as I do sitting at my drafting table. My secret is revealed, and now I must share.

Two weeks ago I walked into the brew pub. For food I ordered my usual fall backs: pounder of fries with cheese, bacon and ranch, and a plate of sirloin bits (if I'm with a buddy we add on the Mediterranean Melange onto that) and ask one of my favorite bartenders if they have the pumpkin ale yet.

“Yes, finally I've had enough people asking about that stuff,” his New Jersey accent still hanging in there despite the mid-west transplantation.

I feel both excited to get my drink and sad that I've been one of those people. I place my order and within a minute have a pint in front of me. Everything I wanted this to be is spilling out, growing from the head of foam.

I smell it... the nutmeg is there. Not as pungent as I remember but it is definitely there.

I put my lips to the rim and tilt it back. I'm expecting nirvana, a slap in the face that may blind me. I set the glass down, and it's alright. Only alright. Is this batch different from last years... probably... even if it's not I convince myself that it is. Looking back on it, being two-weeks wiser, I built up that moment too much. I finished my pint, my food arrived, and I ordered a pint of “Big Bad” which is also a usual of mine. The bill was paid and I left thinking, “I wonder what it will be like next year.”

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Since folks were asking...

here's the finished inks.

in progress (outlines)

big fight scene that I'm currently putting my outlines into. I should have this page wrapped up in a few hours.

More Digi-Inks

a full page of Digi-Inks that I finished late last night. Gonna rework a page that I decided was the weakest in the proposal I've been working on. Should have it all wrapped up by late this afternoon.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Popgun Volume 4

The Information to order can be found at the Popgun website. I'm included in this volume, doing a story with the wonderful Elizabeth Genco.


A couple of portrait sketches I did in order to warm up to work on a new portfolio aimed at a potential client. The person I used is William Elliott Whitmore, great musician and all around good guy.