Sunday, June 29, 2014

Hannibal sketches: draw the rude

Some things I have been doing: packing, getting hooked on the Hannibal fandom (I was already sold on the show), and spending more time with my mom before going back home to London.

I am not a horror or a gore fan, but I love murder mysteries. Silence of the Lambs is one of my top five all-time favourite films. Still, the TV show is even more stressful than I expected!

One coping mechanism I have is eating food that will ensure the Gentleman Cannibal will want to murder me but won't dare eat me, for fear of dying of cholesterol, sodium, or sugar. The other is speed-sketching.

Drawn with Pentel waterbrush and Sailor Profit Brush Pen (expect a post on this soon!), with Noodler's Bad Blue Heron ink in various dilutions.

And one more quick sketch:

Not a real scene from the merboy story, just a piece of fluff: Fionn teaching Hyacinth to read out of one of those 'fairy tales from around the world' books that I had as a kid. Pentel waterbrush, etc.; plus Koh-I-Noor Hardmuth brown lead with Cotman watercolours for the background.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

merboy illustration 3

Hyacinth rescues the Prince, and Fionn finds him. I'm sure I don't need to tell you what was playing in my head while I was painting this. Just be glad there isn't a seagull listening to his foot!

Later I noticed something was missing, and painted it in but didn't scan the finished painting. Can you spot it?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

doing the work: between 70% and 100%

I've been listening to Chris Oatley's ArtCast, and he talks about the difference between being 70% done and 100% done. In my own work I've been learning to tell whether I'm 'finished', or not.

A sub-optimal 'scan' from my camera phone.
Just because it's a concept sketch and not an animation cel, book illustration or comic book page, doesn't mean I shouldn't flesh it out as far as I can. I should always strive for the feeling I want to evoke from a certain scene. It may not be 'perfect' this time (next time it will! I vow to myself), but it should not be 'oh well, I guess that's ok'. It should be done.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

mysterious beasts

I wanted to incorporate more background elements for the merboy story. Noodler's Bad Blue Heron ink, Sailor Clear Candy fountain pen and Pentel waterbrushes on Muji sketchbook. I tweaked the hue and saturation in Photoshop so the blue wasn't so bright.

This is pretty much the look I want for the comic. Strong character lines, detailed but slightly hazy backgrounds, all in sea-blue on cream. Progress! (Although next time, text should be created and scanned separately.)

Monday, June 9, 2014

tmi time

Share the misery! Ahahahahahahaha ew. Gouache on unidentified notebook.

Friday, June 6, 2014

we are tradition: kalinga woman

In the Cordillera Mountains in the Philippines, there are people called the Igorot, certain tribes of which traditionally wear tattoos all over their body. The art of this style of tattoo is dying; a woman called Whang Od, who lives in the tiny mountain village of Buscalan, is the last surviving fully-trained tattoo artist.

I learned a lot making this piece. I'm not quite where I really want to be with my art right now (to totally mangle a quote from Frank Herbert, the only true art of mankind is the art of discontent*), so I was happy to go back to something that required a lot of patience and craft. It was a slow start, and I made quite a few mistakes at first, but I got into 'the zone' after that.

One thing I did learn is that if you make a line with a Faber-Castell coloured brush pen and then immediately go over it with a Derwent Inktense watercolour pencil, you get a pretty amazing blending effect with a lot of richness and depth. But those pens dry really quickly, so you have to work fast and at the same time be patient: lay down a few lines, blend in, lay down a few lines, blend in.

I did the tattoos the same way I imagined them being done in real life: I rendered the bare skin first, then drew the tattoos in thickly with the coloured pencil, then went over it with the ink pen to make it solid and permanent.

The story came last. I got most of the information (as well as the photo reference) from travel blogs: here, and here, and here.

*the original quote goes like this (minus narration and contextual speech tics):
'Mankind has only one science.' 'And what is that?' 'The science of discontent.'