Everyone has a game plan until they get punched in the face. I’ve recently been making solid progress on the pencil and ink work for my graphic novel, THE BONESETTER. The game plan was sound and I was executing according to my creative strategy. Tight pencil work followed by organic inking that would elevate the contrast in mood and tone, thus evoking an emotional response in my audience that would guarantee comic book AWESOMENESS. And then the punch came across the page.
That punch came in the form of a blob of water, which danced across hours of hard work. You see, I decided that I would use an ink-wash to my inked art. Ink-wash is basically watered down ink that’s applied by brush, much like an artist would use watercolor to paint a picture. I wanted to add a gritty mood to my finished pages. Ink-wash allowed my to produce that type of feel very quickly. I did a few practice pieces and the results were fantastic. What I didn’t do was practice the art of ink-wash on panel work. Working on an 11X17 post is one thing but when you segment out 4-6 panels on that same piece of tabloid board it poses some new challenges. There is less room for error at a smaller scale. Ink-wash is also harder to control when you dab that grey-toned brush on the paper and there is just a bit too much water…arrrgh. Needless to say the application of ink-was seeped across the panel and I was left with an unfix-able mess. No erasing, no Command-Z key-stroke, nothing but a throw away.
I’m over it, lets move on. I have a Wacom tablet and 15 years of Adobe Photoshop experience under my belt. What did I do? I jumped into the world of digital coloring. I’ve taken some time to research how the pros do it. Everyone seems to have there own approach and process. I suppose I’m looking for a digital brush set that will mimic my ink-wash style but for now I’ll do what I can. A little cut and grade, a smudge here and there and we’re back in business.
The game plan made sense for the most part. Unfortunately things don’t always work out as planned. Sometimes you have to take that punch in the face, rub some dirt on it and get back into the game. A brush with watered down ink or a tablet and a laptop, they’re all simply tools to get the same results. Heck maybe I’ll combine them all create something really unique, hmmmm…