Thursday, August 09, 2007

How Does That Go Again?

From the forthcoming Stickleback: England's Glory
Stickleback © 2007 Rebellion/2000AD Created by Ian Edginton & Me.

Have just finished the first episode of the new series of Stickleback (a ten-pager, no less), and was afflicted by a problem I'd never experienced before - forgetting exactly how to do the technique.

This isn't quite as drastic as it sounds - I could certainly work out what I'd done by looking at the files from the previous series, but getting a comic in on time requires more than that, you need to remember the most efficient way of doing things. Since the Stickleback technique requires nine processes split between pen and paper (for the rough layouts) and three different software packages, getting back up to speed was a bit of a struggle; I finally got on top of it round about the fourth page.

I was also not helped by the behaviour of my new copy of Corel Painter 10; despite being engineered for Intel Macs and my having oodles of RAM and hard disk space to play in, it was crawling along at a horribly disappointing pace, almost unusably slow and certainly no match for Painter IX under Rosetta (though IX was just randomly unstable enough for me to want to avoid it). After trying just about everything I could think of, I finally narrowed the problem down to where Painter X was installed - apparently it's not happy in the Applications folder with all the other boys and girls, it wants to live down on the root of the hard disk. This revelation came just in time to see me through the near all-nighter needed to finish part 1 of Stickleback: England's Glory, though it still falls over every time if you try and use full-screen mode. Joy.

Rough "pencil" stage - the pale blue is a leftover from working on paper; pale blue pencil doesn't copy, so you can use it to lay down a rough drawing before making a finished pencil drawing.

"Pencils" - I do a finished drawing in mid-grey, indicating outlines only; the blue is left visible to indicate shading.

"Blocking" - underneath the "pencil" drawing, I use Adobe Illustrator to add blocks of bright, flat colour - in the following stages I use these blocks of colour to mask off areas to add texture or shading.

Using the blocks of colour as masks, I add textures to areas of the image in Photoshop.

Next, I add grey tones under the textures.

Finally, I add black and shading using Corel Painter's Digital Watercolour brushes.

Apologies for the disappearance of the pictures from this post last week; I'm at a loss as to why it happened, and even after reloading the pictures this post isn't displaying properly on my browser - I'm getting flattened rectangles where the pictures where originally posted, though nothing shows up in either the "compose" or "edit HTML" settings when I edit the post. Hope this doesn't spoil your enjoyment, 'cause it honks me off royally :-)


PJ Holden said...

Another great post - gotta say though, love the coloured bit - looks like some mad disney animation that never got made.


Graeme Neil Reid said...

Delicious. Yup agree with PJ, reminds me off the Pixar exhibition work too :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your creative process with us D'Israeli.From rough doodles to a masterpiece.

Captain Storm
p.s.Thank you for including Adam Eterno in your last Stickleback adventure.I know!It's not Adam Eterno(but it is really isn't it?!)

My tribute site.Why not pop in and enjoy the madness!!!

Chris Weston said...

I'm with PJ on this... the coloured, blocked-in image is my favourite... do a strip like this! If you don't, I will (I'm shameless, me)!

Declan Shalvey said...

Man, that's a lot of work for one panel. Surely, you could have drawn that in silhouette.........?

Unknown said...

I've had complaints that the images aren't displaying on some people's browsers - they show up okay on my own PowerBook, but the internet cafe PC I'm writing this on can't see them (Windows XP/Firefox) - I'll sort this out soon as I can, but it may have to wait till Sunday as I'm away from home right now.

the comics expert said...

Hi, I was wondering if you (or anyone else) knows when/if your Stickleback will be collected at some point? I have no access to 2000AD, but I adore your work & have been following it for quite a bit now. Thanks!


Beautiful work as always. Can't wait to see this in print.

Unknown said...

PJ, Graeme, Capt. S, popartists - cheers, guys.

Chris - Dr.F is of the same opinion - check out this week's 2000AD (Prog 1551) for my first tentative steps in that direction.

Dec - 'course I could, but where would be the fun in that ? :-)

Nout - sorry, no news yet, though I'm pretty sure they'll collect it at some point.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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