Monday, 30 December 2013

Oops! No, wait, it's all good...

I've been busy with a comics style illustration project for the last little while, and today I sent off the files for final approval. Sounds like we're good to go, finally. But there were some problems during production.

Part way through, I decided I'd made a bit of a blunder, and had to make a substantial revision to one of the illustrations. Between the thumbnails/roughs stage and the final pencils I changed my mind about how to portray two characters. Compare the images below:

 I had decided to put the vampire character's face in deep shadow, to add more drama and mystery, or so I thought. But when I looked at the final inks, I was not happy. This is, frankly, crap - heavy-handed and poorly executed.

 Now, a brief aside. My typical approach to this kind of work has been to do all my pencils and inks traditionally on drawing Bristol, and colouring and lettering digitally. But I have been interested in doing more digital drawing and inking. I recently got a new computer and upgraded my graphics tablet from an old Bamboo to an Intuos Pro. I decided to attempt a digital revision using Manga Studio 5.

First, on a new layer on top of a scan of the inked artwork, I whited out the offending heads and re-drew them in layout blue, with the positions and angles more in keeping with the original rough. Already the layout is more dramatic, there is more tension. And the drawing is much better...

 Then, using MS5's incredible inking tools I inked the heads on a new layer. The new Intuos made all the difference in achieving the kind of finished line I have been looking for in a digital program.

 I finished the illustration with a simulation of grey washes in MS5, converted the file to a hi-rez jpeg and sent it off.

When I get the okay, I'll post copies of all the illustrations for this project. Now, to produce something from start to finish in Manga Studio that I will feel is of a professional level. I'll keep you posted!


  1. Nice work, but I noticed that they are standing outside of Walmart, is this intentional? LOL, just wondering.

  2. Believe it or not, it's part of the story!