I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got seven new comics.

  • Hillbilly – 8
  • Manifest Destiny – 31
  • Motor Girl – 9
  • Paper Girls – 16
  • Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses – 28
  • Usagi Yojimbo – 162
  • The Walking Dead – 172
  • Check them all out here:

    This week I’m taking a look at a faux comic book cover that I did back in August. The date on it is August 10, 2017. That’s the day I finished it. The date on my stuff is always the day I finish something but that doesn’t tell you when I started or how long it took. Sometimes a drawing like this can sit around for weeks before I finish it and sometimes I can go from start to finish in a day.

    I keep a calendar of when I do stuff so I can look up when I started this one. Looks like I inked it on July 12. I’m not sure when I pencilled it though. I randomly name my drawings and paintings and often I will make a drawing without knowing what I will be using it for. When that happens the drawing can have a different name from the finished piece. I think that happened in this case. I made the drawing long before and used it to create this faux cover from.

    This one was also part of a burst of covers. I like to do things in bursts. It doesn’t always work out but it’s cool when it does. A burst is when I set up a bunch of things to be done. I’ll make a half dozen drawings, scan them all in, and set each drawing up as a faux cover, and then print them all out to be inked. That way I’ve got lots of stuff to chose from depending on what I want to do. But I also can have a lot of stuff sitting around in various stages of finish. That’s why it took me almost a month to get around to coloring this one after I inked it.

    The first thing I notice when looking at this cover is the color. I really like the way the color come out. I find it bright, vibrant, and attractive. I’ve used all these colors before but they are at their best here. I like the pink. I’ve used this pink marker before (Copic RV04 Shock Pink) but usually in small spots. I find that it can let me down in large amounts as it looks artificial. But it works fine here as every color looks artificial. The woman looks as much like a piece of candy as she does a person. Hot pink works well for candy.

    The second color is a purple (Copic BV 13 Hydrangea Blue). I’d say the pink and purple are the two main colors with maybe the pink being slightly more dominant. Or maybe they’re in balance. It’s hard to tell because of the way they work well together. I often find purple a difficult color to work with since it usually skews too much towards either red or blue and that can mess up the whole balance of color in a piece but here the purple finds a nice home next to the pink without being too dark or too anything.

    Though it’s only an accent color, the yellow (Copic Y18 Lightning Yellow) might be the strongest color in the piece. It has a lot of presence. It may not have the most real estate but since those two swoops of yellow that go from her hips to her legs are the longest bits of color in the piece they stand out. Plus they create an “X marks the spot” over her crotch so how is that not going to stand out? The bits of yellow in her upper body bring some brightness up to her neck and face.

    The two other colors on her body red (Copic R29 Lipstick Red) and blue (B04 Tahitian Blue) pair very nicely together. The red is denser than the blue which isn’t the usual case. In many cases blue is denser than red but I wanted to avoid that. This lets the red be the darkest color on her body which is not normal. The blue floats slightly above the red and hits the eye first. The blue and red also sit harmoniously with the pink and purple. That’s what I was looking for. A little harmony.

    The green hair sets itself apart by not playing nice with all the other colors. It stands out. All the other colors blend together well but not the green (it’s three greens really). I consider the green the icing on the cake. Its the fancy part. It’s the part you can take off the cake and the cake will still be cake but it won’t be as complete as if it had its icing. The icing is the part that makes everyone oh and ah.

    I remember having trouble when it came to making the background. I saved it for last and I liked the body color so much that I was afraid I was going to mess up the color balance when I came to the background. At first I was tempted to make the whole background neutral color but I didn’t think that would work. So I decided to emphasize texture and keep the background to more expected colors like blue and green. I didn’t exactly draw the sky and trees but I used their colors.

    I used repetition too. I wanted to break the literal part of the sky and trees but still keep them there somewhat. So I broke the background down into three sections. I started with a blue sky, went to an orange sky, drew in some green ground, and then some brown dirt. This was all in the top section. The second section has blue sky and blue green water. I mixed it up. The third section has blue sky and green grass. The fourth section has orange sky and a brown fence. I turned the background into four backgrounds.

    I also used fairly light and not so dense background colors. This made the body colors stand out. It helped the body colors keep their already established relationships. If, for example, I made the background orange too bright it would fight with the pink for dominance. But instead it quietly sits behind the pink.

    I’ve enjoyed making most of my faux comic book covers. I’ve done fifty of them in my “Dreams of Things” series. I think most of them came out well but I might like the color in this one the best of them all.

    I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got five new comics.

  • Berlin – 21
  • Lazarus X+66 – 3
  • Saga – 47
  • Southern Bastards – 18
  • Aardvark Comics (Cerebus) – 1
  • Check them all out here:

    It’s time to pull out some old work and do some art writing. This week I grabbed a binder off my shelf that holds a bunch of my paintings on paper. It also has some ink drawings from when I was first learning how to draw directly in ink with no underdrawing. As proof of that this one has an unfinished ink drawing on the back. Looks like I couldn’t get it to go anywhere so I turned the paper over and started again. I didn’t title or date this drawing but the dates of the others around it are from 1999. I bet this is from then too.

    The first thing I notice about this drawing is the paper it’s on. Coquille board. That’s a heavy paper that has a fine texture to it. A friend had introduced me to it around this time so I wanted to do some drawings on it. It turned out that I wasn’t so fond of the texture when drawing on it with a pencil so I turned to just ink. Ink and whiteout at this time.

    There is even a color version of this unnamed drawing. I colored it on the computer and printed it out. The printout was in the binder with the original drawing. This was the early days of my making computer fine art prints of my work and this one doesn’t measure up as a print. Mostly because of the paper. I can’t remember if I’ve had three or four printers over the years but this looks like printer number two. An Epson photo printer. The dot pattern is tight so it’s not my first Epson printer, that much I’m sure of, but this must be before they were making a lot of heavier stock fine art paper. That’s the paper I switched over to after a while. This paper stock it too thin for my liking.

    The drawing itself is one of my old standby compositions. Big figure in front and little figure beside it. Other than that it has some odd compositional elements. The horizon line almost cuts the drawing exactly in half. That’s not something I would normally recommend but since the big figure cuts off a third of the horizon line plus the little figure cover up a bit more it works out. In addition the composition emphasizes the building in the background. Lots of elements point to it. The building makes a good counterweight to the big woman’s head beside it.

    When I was drawing this one I did some underdrawing with the brush and ink and then used the whiteout as coverup. I also used the whiteout as white paint in places to make positive shapes rather than as coverup. That worked fine for the hair (both big and small) but not as well on the large figure’s shirt. All those white lines over the black are drawn with a whiteout pen but they don’t say much to me. Are they folds or a design? They look like both without making a definitive statement about either. They seem to be halfway there. If there was one thing I could go back and change it would be those white lines but I still don’t have a better solution today.

    Looking at the original art really makes the figures stand out. There is whiteout throughout them and none in the background. The two slightly different shades of white give it an element that’s not usually in my drawings. The black and white sleeves of the small figure are much more vibrant in the original than in the printout. I missed on properly embedding the feet of the figure into the grass but that part looks better in the printout. Color helps.

    One of my favorite parts of this drawing are the trees. I think I did a nice job on them. They’ve got a treeness about them and that’s a lot of the battle. I had to make them stand out from the building yet blend in with it too. That’s not an easy thing to balance. You have to be able to see through some of the tree but not all of it. I erred on the side of not blending them in too much and I think that worked. In the color version the trees blend in a little bit more but I think that’s okay.

    The trees are better than the grass is. Not a lot of technique in that grass. If I was making this drawing now I’d use my busted brush technique to lay down lots of grass all at once and it would look fine. But here I was just throwing down ink marks one by one and trying to make something that looked like grass. They ended up looking like ink marks. Oh well, can’t win them all. Especially when you’re learning a new technique.

    Coloring this piece on the computer was also learning a new technique. I got my first computer in December of 1995 so it was less then four years since I bought it and I didn’t have nearly the number of coloring techniques that I now have. It looks like, for this one, I was going for simple. I didn’t want a lot of modeling or colors in general. I wanted the graphic design black and white elements to shine through. I think I succeeded in that arena. I kept the color simple and strong. Some nice magentas, cool blue and green, solid neutrals, and a pop of yellow to catch the eye. The only thing I question is the large figure’s eyes. I kept them the same solid color as the rest of the face but I wonder if they would be better off with color. I’d make the whites of the eyes white and then color the eyes a bright blue or green. Maybe I did this way back then and decided against it (I probably did). But I want to see what that would look like now. But I’ll leave it be. It’s all good.

    I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got four new comics.

  • Invincible – 140
  • Dept. H – 18
  • Snotgirl – 7
  • Wayward -23
  • Check them all out here: