So, now that I've got this going again, I'd like to talk about the current process I'm using to come up with these pages.
I want you guys to be prepared for a little experimentation with my technique as I move forward into Chapter Eight. Next week's page has been done in grayscale marker and watercolor, a look that I think goes well with what I imagine the pages looking like in my head. The marker lets me put down smoother fields of color, that I can build different textures on, and tends to take white ink and pencil shading better than the watercolor. Using the watercolor lets me add different tones and textures that I couldn't get with the marker. I think they go well, together. I'm curious, next Saturday, to see if you guys like it, or even notice any difference!
I'm working from a script Stoker (the bat, not the original author. Though I am talented, communicating with the dead is beyond my power
) and I have developed from the original text. I do a rough thumbnail sketch to figure out my layout from the script.
I do a more detailed pencil sketch at the size of the final page. A good chunk of the Wreck of the Demeter was done on 11x17 sheets, but I'm back down to my original size, working on 8.5x11 pages. Sometimes, when I'm confident with a detail, I'll leave it pretty rough. Sometimes, for things like architecture, or poses/expressions I want to work out in plenty of detail, I spend more time making sure I have it down before I move on to the next step. When I'm penciling Crimson Flag pages, this is as far as the train goes. What you see in the voting incentive pictures is about as detailed as I usually get when setting down my sketch.
Then, using my trusty lightbox, (I've had this thing since high school, and I haven't ever needed to replace the bulb) I ink the comic page onto a new sheet of card stock. Usually, I'll ink a panel at a time, then tone it, and move onto the next one. Finishing up a panel is a good reward, and makes me enthusiastic to start the next one.
Right now, the supplies I'm using on each page:
Faber-Castell PITT artist pens
white gel pen
white opaque pigment marker
I got a bottle of white acrylic ink, but am still figuring out how to use it, as I learn to ink with a brush, in general. I am not sure I want to ink Dracula with a brush until I get much better at the technique, but when it can be pulled off well, it looks -really- nice.
So, keep an eye on the next few pages, and let me know what you think of the current style!