Jul 29, 2011

Pencils to finish

Every artist is different - every technique is different.
There's no such thing as a "wrong way" - just different ways.
What matters is that the product gets completed.
That said - here's how I ink and color.

Outline the panels with a sharpie Ultra Fine marker.
(Not the best idea because it bleeds so bad, but it stays clean if I move it fast)
Panel outlines quickly drained my nicer pens of ink and made me wonder why I spent $3.50
on a pen just for panels - that's the reason for the Sharpie - because I don't care if I waste those.

Brush pen for most of the panel. Heavier ink where shadows should be.
(under his arms, chin, chains, blah blah blah)

Medium Faber Castell pen for smaller details (mouth, wood, whatever I don't feel confident inking with the brush) - then thick textures with the brush again (mostly in wood and grass).

Scan at 1200 dpi - bring to photoshop - blast out the cyans and blues with Hue/Saturation.
(It says Reds 2, but that's my mistake. I meant to take a pic of the Cyans and Blues - you get it though)

Blast out anything else with the Levels.

Then I forgot to show this part - convert to grayscale - apply Threshhold at the default levels.
That'll turn the image into 100% black and white.

Save and open in CMYK and shrink the image by 50%.
Set the inked layer to "Multiply" and lock it.
Create a layer underneath for colors.

Apply flat colors.

I add textures on their own layer using layer effects and custom brushes - opacity, hard light, soft light, etc.
I say etc. because it's not always the same for every image. Some things need extra tweaking.

I add shadows on their own layer - I use layer effects here too - setting back opacity, switching to
multiply, subtract or what have you.
Inks add one layer of depth (the heavy inks under his arms and his chin)
shading adds a second layer of depth. Together, they weigh Scrap down.
He's small in the panel, anchored to the bottom, and looks defeated.

Add text and balloons in Illustrator.
Boom. 99.99% finished. There may be additional tweaking if something looks off.
For me, "additional tweaking" usually means hours of work.

And that's how you make eggs benedict!


  1. I'm glad you use organic, free-range eggs. And by organic, free-range eggs, I mean paper and ink. Nice shot: lines, textures, 'lighting', angle, expression... it all sets the mood perfectly (if my perception of his mood is correct).

  2. Thanks! I think your perception is correct. If it's not then I've failed... miserably.