I’m seriously starting to wonder if I should get ahold of a tablet and manually color this shit….. I’m not terrible at it for having so little practice, and of course, I could hardly get worse with practice….. Maybe for my next II II project, I’ll see if I can’t do that, color in a few of these for class—only the best linework though, for class.
As I’m editing these in this web app, I keep going over how I would color them in my head—the base would be the linework, layer one would be the lines and layer two would be a background color, like eggshell or something, then a separate layer for the midground and background/scenery, and a separate layer for the figures/foreground. Then separate layers for shading, and another for highlights. That’s probably not the way they teach illustrators to do it, but I guess I would work it out on my own eventually.
Okay, specifically, I’m looking at Lackadaisy (I don’t follow this one; I just can’t get into it, but the art is magnificent), Ava’s Demon (not as longevitous), and TwoKinds (the artist wasn’t didn’t study art in college, at least not when he started; I don’t know about recently. As I was studying his progress, I noticed a sort of jump, but maybe this wasn’t as abrupt as it seemed).
Each comic is very distinct:
TwoKinds has been running since 2003, and it’s really vibrantly colored, and since Tom has gotten better at drawing, it’s also really crisp and everything is cohesive. His backgrounds are really good too. Very clear and definite. I’m interested in the shading, since that’s something that I have trouble with. TwoKinds pages are very traditional comic/graphic novel format.
Ava’s Demon has been running since about 2012. Michelle offers a gif of her process, which is interesting and I’ve also studied this. What I love about the art of Ava’s Demon is that often it’s soft—shading is soft and painterly. The outlines are ‘behind the scenes’ so to speak, but the characters themselves are also outlined in a way that makes them collage-y. Texture, I think, is one of the things that just makes Michelle’s work. I also love the fact that it’s done frame by frame, giving it an almost animated quality, if you click through without adjusting the frame (sometimes, I like to make my browser window really small and I have to shift around stuff like comic pages).
Lackadaisy is it’s own animal entirely, I think. Started in about 2008, it middles my other two candidates in age, but I think in a way surpasses them. It’s done in sepia tones, and in semi-traditional format, but frame-to-frame transitions blow my mind to be honest. I can’t imagine how much thought and planning must have gone into this comic. Pages from 2008 are great, but when you look at her most recent pages, there’s so much color, even in keeping with the sepia-toned theme, and shading is mind-blowing.
Each of these comics has something to offer just with their art. I guess this just means that I have to decide what I need to do, and which option suits me best. Maybe I’ll practice digital paintwork, and share with you guys once in a while. Maybe I’ll make the first chapter digital and integrate sculpture in the second chapter. Maybe I’ll take a short-cut and make some stop motion dolls…..I mean, if I put my money in the right way, no one will be able to tell that I’m using stop motion puppets, and it could actually have a different aesthetic from BJDs, and then maybe later, I go back and make BJDs to sell, and keep a couple copies for the novel. Or something…..