Friday, December 3, 2010


An example of my current style

I admire Mike Mignola. And not just because of his incredible ability to juggle humor and horror at the same time, although that is certainly enviable. I admire him because he’s developed a comic art style that is fast.

Because let me tell you, coloring takes for freaking ever. No, let me amend that. Shading takes for freaking ever. The beauty of Mignola’s Hellboy style is that the heavy use of black replaces shading so that all he has to do is fill in matte colors. The trick is to make the page look complicated and dynamic when, in reality, all you have to do is fill a few spots with color. Brilliant.

Because of my tendonitis, I have had to develop my own simplified style, which I now use for RLF. I draw the inks by hand, scan them in, convert them to vector to clean up the edges of the lines, and then bring them into Photoshop. At that point it’s a simple matter of filling the linework with color. Sure, there may be a lot of detail, but many of the lines in that detail do not actually connect with each other. They only look like they do. The only time lines join up is when they form a ‘barrier’ for the color to keep it from bleeding into a part of the picture where I don’t want it. Simple!

Well, that’s how it started out, anyway. Unfortunately, I keep getting more and more elaborate when it comes to shading. I’ve tried to simplify this process by using the pen tool, but the fact is that shading is just going to take forever if you want it to do it well. That is, unless you use a heavy black style like Hellboy has. I’ve experimented with that for Oddewulf and like some of the results. However, that style only really works for dark, gothic stories…it is not well suited for a lighter comic like RLF.

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