Tuesday, May 24, 2016

This Week In MesyComics: Week 11,

I wish all weeks could be as good as week 11 was. I'm lucky if I get 5 hours per week to work on this comic but, thanks to my lovely wife taking the kids Friday night, I got double the time last week. More importantly I got several hours in a row instead of all spread out! It's so much nicer for the creative groove if you get that much time. I think it shows in this week's progress report.

Finished Inks On PG13

Here you can see the progression from thumbnails, to pencils, to what I'd consider my finished inks. Some shading may be added in the coloring stage but this is pretty much it.  (Click on any image for a larger view). Being both the writer and the artist on this I tend to edit as I go. I'll change angles or details to create a better story. You can see panel 4 & 5 inks are a bit more active than the penciled page. I think it was Larry Hama who said, never draw people just standing around. I think the inks are more dynamic and create a better visual story.

Learning Process
I also had a couple major break-throughs while inking. The first was in the inking technique itself. While I've always been using the G-Pen to ink in Manga Studio I have not been treating it like the brush it is.  What I mean is that it creates great thin to thick lines. I use this on the outlines of characters quite a bit. But when it came to shading the characters I was treating it more like a ball point and doing a lot of hatching.  Hatching can be good but you can also run parallel lines of thin to thick to create some nice shading effects.  Here is a work in progress shot I used to communicate the idea better in a twitter conversation I had with another cartoonist.

As you can see, you can get two different looks out of the same tool. I think there's a place for both and I'll probably mix the two techniques but it was a big eye-opener to realize I'd been not using the tool to it's full potential.

Color Change
It was getting late Friday night when I got the bright it might be a good idea to change all the colors in my book! I said I was going to bed on twitter, but ended up staying up another hour or so playing with the look of the colors. 

I always felt like my colors were one of my weaker points as a cartoonist. I tend to be too saturated but other than that I can't put my finger on why I hate my colors other than they just urk me. I didn't want to go back to grayscale as a cop out. I generally like a color comic better than a black and white one and I wanted to beat this problem, not run away from it.

What I came up with was to split the difference. I toned all my pages brown (gray on the night time scenes). Not full on but toned everything way back. It gave me a nice muted look and then I went into each page and masked out selections where I wanted pops of more saturated color. I may have one or two pages left of the first 12 to tint but I'm pretty sure this is the look I'm going with....for now. :)

Hopefully you guys like it! I wish I had as much free time every week as I did this one. I feels good to get so much done!