Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Counter Attack #4 Part 2

Final pages of Counter Attack on my desk.

The last step that I do on paper is painting the cover. I sketch it out in pencil on a sheet of printer paper first. Then I tape it to my lightbox and paint over it on a sheet of hotpress watercolor paper that is taped on top of the sketch.

I was rather frustrated with my painting for the cover because I couldn't find the same paper I'd used for the previous ones and this paper reacted differently than I expected. But I'm including the process photos because in the end I think they look fine in the final prints. After the colors are done, I use a brush and India ink to outline it and write out the title on a separate piece of bristol board.

I scan in the art, make any fixes in photoshop, save each image as its own page, bring them into Indesign and export them as a .PDF. Then it's off to the copy shop with my PDF on a memory key! I go in the next day to look at the proof, make any changes if I need to and order the final copies. About a week later, I've got my finished comics! Fidget displays a copy of Counter Attack #4:

Only a week left until MoCCA! Allan Norico and I will be at table H7! I'll post a handy map next week.

Monday, March 28, 2011

On the 7 train

I saw this guy on my morning commute 2 weeks ago and drew him a few days after.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Counter Attack #4 process

Hello and welcome to my drawing desk! It looks kind of messy here because it was when I was in production on the 4th issue of my comic Counter Attack. I took some photos along the way to give a little behind the scenes look at how I create Counter Attack.

Counter Attack is the first mini-comic I started in 2005. It stars my two gray cats, Moe and Fidget. I've put out about an issue a year since 2008. It's only 16 pages of single images, so my production time is much shorter than my other comics. It only takes me about 2 weeks from start to finish!

Throughout the year I write down ideas and do little sketches like these when my cats do something funny that I think would work in the book. After about 6 months, I usually have enough ideas written down to start another issue.

I look through my notes and sketches and decide which ones I want to include. Then I make a layout mock-up on a sheet of paper to see how I want the book to flow. Sometimes seeing the images together helps me decide in which order to put them.

I work on 11x14 Smooth Bristol Board with Rapidograph Black India Ink and a size 0 Utrecht Sablette Brush. I do my pencils with a Staedler mechanical pencil because I like the thicker lead. I also like sketching my thumbnails out with a Pilot pen because I like the immediacy of the line. I letter the comic with a Micron .08 pen. I use a Pentel Brush pen when I'm on the road or sketching outside since it's easier than constantly dipping a brush. Here's a photo of some of the tools I used to make my journal comics.

I pencil all the pages out on the Bristol board and then move on to inking them. I end up erasing my pencil lines before I scan the pages, but here's what a panel looks like before it's erased:

I'll be back next week with some photos of my process for painting the cover and a look at the final comics!

Monday, March 21, 2011

On the F train

Last week I was commuting to the city to do freelance work and found myself drawing people in my mind so I can remember them later. I drew this lady in Sketchbook Pro the evening after I saw her and added color in Photoshop. It's a fun observation exercise and I have a few more to post in the following weeks.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

Allan and I visited Ireland in the spring of 2006 with some of our friends who ran the Connemara Marathon. We climbed Croagh Patrick, the mountain St. Patrick built a church on top of and where pilgrims often traverse barefoot to the summit. I met a few sheep on the way to the top of the rocky peak which inspired this sheep taking a tea break. Their wool was dyed to mark who they belonged to. I had a lovely time in the west of Ireland and would love to visit again someday.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Brief intermission

I just wanted to bring attention to a few different charity efforts being organized by artists for the relief efforts after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I'm sure there are more out there, but these are organized by people I know in some way.

Dice Tsutsumi (art director at Pixar, organizer of the 2008 Totoro Forest Project to help preserve Sayama Forest in Japan and the Sketchtravel Project) has started a page for Give2Asia.

Marty Ito lives in Sapporo which was unaffected by the earthquake, but he is helping raise funds for the earthquake victims. This site is in Japanese, but I figured I'd post it anyway. I drew at the Met with Marty and his wife when they visited the states a few years ago and they are both great artists.

Screenprinting artist Meg Hunt is organizing an art auction to raise money for AmeriCare Japan relief. She is looking for artists to donate art. You can find out more on her tumblr.

If you're able to donate art or your dollars towards any of these charitable causes, please do. Spreading the word also helps. If you know of any other artist organized efforts, feel free to mention them in the comments.

My friends Brian and Lydia are currently teaching in Japan and were luckily not directly affected. Since I probably haven't mentioned it before, they're keeping a neat photo/comic travel blog over here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Doodle face

Busy, busy over here. Also, I don't suppose I've mentioned it here yet, but I will be exhibiting at the MoCCA Art Festival on April 9 & 10! I got my proof from Counter Attack #4 this week and it's lookin' pretty snazzy. I will have some updates about my comic-making process in the next 2 weeks and a sneak peak of the new issue when I pick them up.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Life drawing and some updates

It was great to get back to life drawing last week and also catch up with a bunch of people I haven't seen in a while. I was also excited to excavate an old pen from my art drawer which turned out to work well for gestures.

I really don't know what to do with myself with poses over 3 minutes sometimes. I usually end up overworking the gesture. So instead, my pen wanders to drawing the other artists in the room.

So now, a little blog news. I'm going to be cutting back my posts to once a week (on Wednesdays) for a while. The reason for this is because I want to focus better on a long running project I'm trying to get off the ground. I'm cutting back on my distractions, and blogging 3 times a week is one of them. I'm really excited about this project and I'm looking forward to sharing more about it in the coming months. See ya next week!