14 October 2014

inktober: the prologue

I started doing Inktober this year thinking it would be good to do something off the cuff. I got a few days in and real life started to happen to me, I missed a few days and have been trying to catch up ever since. Any how, above are the results. It hasn't got a title apart from The Prologue and is based on a James Bond themed dream of which there is a part two. Will October be long enough for me to draw it?

The Strain in the UK

I had written a few lines down regarding the idea of UKIP recently. 'No matter how white you think you are by supporting UKIP it's only a matter of time before they come for you, for not being white enough'. I've written and drawn before how much I enjoyed The Strain in books and tv, so when I keep seeing Nigel Farage with his huge gaping laughing face in the press it's not hard putting the two together.

Original pen and ink drawing scanned in at 1200dpi Black and White and then converted to RGB and resized to 300dpi at approx A3 size.


Pen drawing 'Multiplied' over flats.

Using Burn and Dodge tool.

Changing background colours.

Went with a blue background to complement the skin tones in the foreground.

Adding textures to break up the 'flat' Photoshop feeling.

Playing around more with colour and adding textures.

Tweaked colour of background characters to reinforce the gag.

And after all that colouring I prefer the black and white drawing.

This was how the drawing started out as a rough sketch.

The original drawing in the sketch book. Mainly drawn with dip-pen, brush and Indian ink, there are also brush pens and white ink thrown in there for good measure too.

4 October 2014

Light Painting Experiment
Out in the Woods

Spent the weekend with my friend Stuart and Saturday night helping him experiment with 'light painting'. We both know a little bit about photography but were mainly making it up as we went along. I altered the Curve setting in Photoshop to bring out the detail in the background but apart from that these images are made with LED Torches, a tripod and 15 - 30 sec exposure times.

24 September 2014

Hairy Houdini

This was one of those ideas that just 'came to me' and I regretted it not long after starting it. I had been watching the Houdini mini series and saw a promotional photo and thought 'It should be a werewolf tied up with those chains'. The period cops just seemed right for it. This also tied in with my desire to use PhotoShop again as I've been doing a lot of pen and ink work of late...

Started out with the fore ground figures, you can see the reference photo top right. I drew freehand for most of the image but did trace the chains, it/I needed the 'chainy' feel to make the Lycanthrope feel trapped and imprisoned. 

You can see from these screen grabs the sketch in the background and the digital inking with an Intuos 4 M pen tablet over the top.

Lots of little pen marks in black and some in white. This is where the regret and aching knuckles from drawing come in, it was taking too long.

The trick is to get the density of the hatching right.
The darkness of the coats acts as a frame for other things in  the picture.

After the line comes the the colour flats. I've talked about these before. Along with saving selections you can control colour areas of the image. I wanted the chains to stand out and colouring by hand in-between those tiny links would have driven me crazy. So from an early stage I kept a Saved Selection dedicated just for them.

Line work over the top of the colour flats.

I start to add in textures.
Those flats and selection make it easy to erase/alter areas that I want to change.

Colour hues and lighting effects, not wanting the image to get too dark.
Lettering starts to appear, I think the font is Komika Text.

Close up of the final image with a faint colour half-tone filter effect over the top to give it a photo printed feel. The gag is the cops have all been scratched in apprehending our furry fiend and will probably be joining him when next the moon turns full.

18 September 2014

MBO Cult Comics
featuring selected pages from the
Goathland Diary Comic

Back in the late nineties I did a diary comic called Goathland, Ilya the Editor and creator of the excellent End of the Century Club finally convinced me to reprint some of it for his MBO Cult Comics. It will be available through all good tax paying comic and book shops. (Contains lots of good stuff including 35 selected Pages from Goathland.)

17 September 2014

'The Strain' is Now Showing...

I have been enjoying The Strain TV Series of late. Having read the books I kinda know what is in store for our heroes and anti heroes. The question is, at the current rate the show is going at (full pelt) will it make it to three seasons? 

Detail/close up of the pen and colouring work. I sketched the layout in pencil, erased, inked and then coloured with watercolours and a few other things that were to hand. The lettering was 'patched' into place afterwards. The image at the top of this page is Photo-Shopped enhanced a little, it's been awhile since I have had to use it and like to keep my hand in.

Image in the original sketchbook