I love animals, colors, and YOU.
Here are some things I've done:
Little Fox | a wordless comic
Your Developing Body | a comic about classroom films, menses, and mayhem
My Big Fat Panic Attack | an illustrated essay
Let's Party | an illustrated essay on the awkwardness of being a non-child at a children's birthday party
How to Be a Man | mostly about beards
Well hi there, Little Watercolor-y Bleed Lines in Manga Studio…
I was just messing around, drawing mermaids (I do that a lot), and getting more used to Frenden’s awesome Manga Studio wash brushes. They’re so organic and pretty and yeah, I could go on and on, but just buy them because they’re seriously kick-ass and SO inexpensive.
But! I found out something surprising and cool last night. After I’ve done a super-loose rough sketch, I typically finalize the shapes in a new layer of neat pencil-lines. This gets used as my guideline for painting or inking.
In this case, when I monkeyed around with the blending mode a bit and set it to Soft Light, I got this:
It has lines… sort of. But it comes off as more of neat, subtle watercolor kind-of-deal. A very interesting find.
By the way, here’s the version with the pencil-lines layer set to the Normal blending mode.
By the way, those pencils were done with Frenden’s Real Pencil set, which is also awesome. At some point I’d like to explore doing some all-pencil comics. I’ve tried it with analog materials, but no matter how careful I am, I always manage to smudge something important. I figure that’ll be much harder with my tablet.
Anyway, yeah. Mermaid!
Ah, hey. Look at this guy!
He’s kind of cute, right? I’m doing a short comic with some bandits in it. Last night, I was sketching a bit and came up with that dude.
So, of course, I wanted to share him with the internet. I think he’s pretty cute, you know?
But since I’ve also got a huge freaking complex about my imperfect sketchbooks, I feel the need to share some of my shittier sketches, too. Because, seriously, every time I see someone’s amazing, beautifully composed sketchbook pages—and not like ONE finished piece out of a dozen loose sketches, I’m talking like PAGE AFTER PAGE of perfection—I really want to just go to the art store and have a breakdown in the Copic Marker aisle.
So, uh, yeah.
Here are some less-awesome bandits from the same sketching session, because exorcising your bad sketches are what sketchbooks are for, right?
Creatively, I’m just really messed up right now, and I think it has everything to do with the fact that I’ve just given myself too many freaking options when it comes to my comics.
I started working almost 100% digitally on the graphic-novel-thingy I’m doing. Which was good, because I really think that’s helped me with productivity. Not to mention being able to zoom in has done wonders for me. Like, there’s a lot of stuff that I have to draw for this project that I just feel inherently skittish about drawing…
Like cityscapes and crowds and dudes.
But the advantages of working digitally have also sort of addled my brain. I have too many options right now and I feel like I’m drowning in choices.
I think Jack White had some good points on the value of creative limitations. And maybe that’s what I need to do for myself right now.
So yeah… Restriction. This is what I need right now. And for me, that means going analog and not worrying so much about convenience and productivity. Also, sticking to just a few tools.*
* Pentel Pocket Brush Pen and a Carbon Platinum Desk Pen, in case you’re wondering.