I was thinking recently about how much my drawings have changed since I started making Survival Anxiety. This is the first crows comic I drew in 2016.
And this is the most recent.
What a difference 5 years makes! I was using Clip Studio in 2016 for all of my drawings. At the end of 2019 I started using paper and ink. Those are technical details, but it has had a stylistic affect. I’ve been evolving and experimenting with those traditional tools more and more, and I really like where it’s going. I like drawing digitally, but I love the traditional tools so much more.
My drawing board today. I shook a bottle of ink with a loose lid, and the masking tape isn’t holding up it’s end of the arrangement, but still, this is a good mess. 🙂
Comic work in progress, page one of two. Brush, some sponge, and a bit of black Lumocolor pencil I’m going to regret applying before a proper clean up.
I’ve been trying some different paper recently, and was reminded that one of the goals of this comic was to experiment. It’s a flexible goal. What does experiment mean? Mostly it was to place curiosity over visual consistency. To not be anchored by past choices.
I’ve been soft on that goal since I started, and this past year with moving the comic to traditional media, I mostly just wanted to make more comics. I wanted to get comfortable with ink and paper, so I stuck to what little I already knew. Although I did experiment a bit with water-colour, before ditching colour entirely, speech bubble shape, panel layout (but not aggressively, not impressively), and even character design.
The recent paper thing has made me interested in creating textures and shapes with tools other than a brush. I suppose it’s an extension of illustrating in black and white. It’s certainly an extension of feeling that it all looks so ordinary. So uniform.
I gotta go make a mess now. Ta.
Working on this comic is making me reconsider my paper size. I need to start spreading these things out over two 11×14 pages, or move up to 14×17, or even more ludicrous, two 14×17 pages.
I’m not sure what my hangup is, but I’ll have to decide before I start the next comic because my current situation is too cramped.
I haven’t been happy with my comic lettering for a while now, so lately I’ve been looking for a different pen to try. Again.
A year ago, I started with a .7 Copic Multiliner, but I didn’t like the plastic tip. Also, the ink faded more than I liked under the eraser. Then I tried a C6 nib, but the strokes terminated a bit too pointy. It was also scratchy on the bristol, but the ink was great (Deleter 4). Other dip nibs were similarly unsatisfying. I followed that with a Koh-I-Noor .6 Rapidograph. Lovely pen, but it was also too scratchy, and just a hair too thin. Their ink was surprisingly good though, especially since it was from an unopened set from the 80’s I bought off eBay.
So, I wanted to try a pen that was smooth on the bristol, so I could print in a natural feeling way. I wanted to be able to choose my ink, have a relatively stable line, and a stroke thickness a bit wider than my tech pen.
I landed on a TWSBI Eco fountain pen. Medium nib. I’ve loaded it up with Platinum Carbon Black ink. It faded a bit under the eraser on the last comic, but the pen writes fairly wet, so the heavier ink flow might fair better. I have yet to try it on a comic proper, but lettering tests on scrap bristol look very hopeful.
It’s a very cool pen, man. Analog drawing tools are the best.
Squirrels exist, whether you want them to or not! Mistakes were made. What can you do? Platinum Carbon ink fades a bit under an eraser. Maybe it’s the bristol. I think I prefer Deleter Black 4 for brush and dip pens, but might keep the Platinum for tech pens, etc. Very happy with the bizarro layout. Read the full comic.