Gul Dukat and timed inking tests
Published by Suisei at 20/02/2021 à 15h45
So as promised last time, today I'm going to talk to you about drawing, and even more precisely about inking techniques and timed tests.
I had been thinking for months about making a black and white illustration and inking it several times with different techniques while timing myself to see which one was the fastest. This approach is part of my search for optimization in the time it takes to produce my comics.
So there are all the drawing tricks, 3D, Clip Studio Paint's tools, the programs and softwares developed by myself with which I saved a lot of time, but there is still this inking phase whose execution time tends to resist any form of compression.
At the beginning of the year 2021 I made a penciled illustration, and it seemed to me to be a perfect candidate for the exercise: a character, scenery elements and various texture effects.
The illustration in question:
To introduce you a little bit to the man, it is Gul Dukat a villain from the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine series, a humanoid alien with some reptilian attributes.
This is my favorite character of the show.
You know me now, I like charismatic bad guys with complicated stories. x)
Let's go back to the illustration itself.
Concerning the pencil phase, I refined it more than necessary, but it's because I wanted to make a beautiful illustration and it was my pleasure. That said, I still used some tricks to make the work easier.
Basically, I drew the different elements of the illustration separately and then scanned and assembled them by computer. This allowed me to draw them carefully without getting bogged down in their interaction and optimize the final composition.
Then I printed copies of the final composition that I have already shown you in magenta for my timed inking experiments.
I have made exactly 6 versions of them, as follows. (You can click on them to enlarge them).
Well, if you have the impression to see 6 times the same thing, it's normal, the goal is obviously to have an identical or almost identical result with different methods, the finality being to get the fastest one to use it on my next comics projects.
Let's go through them to dissect the different methods.
The first version, I made it with liners.
It took me 5 hours. The main drawback of this method is that the clip on the liner cap presses on my « comic artist ball ». A callus ball that formed on my middle finger over time by dint of drawing, where the pencil rests. And after a while it's painful, so it limits the duration of the work sessions.
Then comes the brush version.
This is the version that took me the longest: 6 hours and 20 minutes.
The main waste of time is during the inking of the background. It has many geometrical shapes and the brush is unsuitable for that. On the other hand, for the character, it goes just as fast.
In any case, the holding of the brush is pleasant, the handle is thin, so it never hurts me. I can work as long as I want with this technique.
It is difficult to evaluate at this resolution, but overall the lines drawn with the brush are cleaner and sharper than those drawn with a liner.
So! Longer, but prettier and more pleasant.
Then, the 3rd version I made it entirely with the graphics tablet and the software Clip Studio Paint.
This attempt is the fastest so far: 4 hours 15 minutes.
The inking of the character does not go faster the flaw being that the pen slides much more easily on the tablet than a traditional technique on paper, so it is more difficult to control the line and I use a lot of ctrl+Z. Moreover, the pen tip does not deform under pressure, so it is more difficult to anticipate the width of the line and you have to repeat the process several times.
The big advantage on the other hand is for the background and its geometric shapes (circles, parallel lines, ellipses). The rulers integrated in Clip Studio Paint allow you to draw them really quickly and cleanly.
Also, for all textures and particle effects, I created a lot of brushes for Clip Studio Paint. So, I only had to make a click to draw each of the stars.
As on this version I had the impression that I was wastig time on the character, so I decided to try a hybrid technique: the brush for the character, the CSP for the rest.
This version took me as long as the one entirely digital. It seems impossible to reduce the work time on the character below 3 hours and I have confirmation that digital mainly saves time on the geometric patterns and elements and effects that can be drawn with brushes.
I leave these tests a few weeks and then I had a new idea.
Here is the result. I let you guess which tool I used, you have 4 hours before I pick up the papers. :p
Well, I stop making you marinate, here is the answer in picture. :p
And yes! It's simply a mechanical pencil! :p
The idea was to see if I work faster than with the usual inking methods and if by playing with the contrasts in the scan I could make it look like inking.
For this version, it took me about 5 hours. I was a little faster for the character than the other attempts, but for the background, it's always the digital that wins hands down.
The problem with the mechanical pencil is that to have an intensity of black roughly constant is that I hold it strongly to press down enough for a long time and I ended up crushing my thumb, so I had a hard time finishing the background. I think it slowed me down quite a bit at the end.
So! No tool is perfect on its own.
As a result, I still had one last thing to test: making the character with mechanical pencil and the background with graphic tablet.
And this time I managed to go below 4 hours of work. :D
3 hours and 40 minutes more exactly.
I managed to ink the character in 2h20 then before moving to the background I had to do some cleaning up because of an unwise choice to do some textures partly in pencil and partly in digital. I think I have a way to spare a few more minutes of work by optimizing some choices.
I'm happy to have finally carried out these timed tests.
Used alone, there is no ideal tool. Now I know that, once again, it is in the hybridization of techniques that I will have to look for optimization.
I have the idea that in the future I should imagine a small roadmap to ink or at to clean my comic pages. I will put all this into practice in the next project.
That's all for today!
Next time I will make again a small compilation of our online Drink'N'Draw sessions.
Have a nice week-end and see you soon! :D
Queen Mera, Poseïdon and Drink'N'Draw online
Published by Suisei at 27/01/2021 à 15h45
I haven't given news for a while. I was lost in Star Trek Deep Space Nine, coding and drawings. :p
So to begin with, happy new year to everyone, hoping that it will be more positive than 2020, which was a very strange year.
Now that I have a little time it's time to tell you all about it in some news.
Today I will talk about illustration and in particular Drink'N'Draw.
In November 2020 we had a theme on Queen Mera, a comic character from DC Comics. I've been wanting to try digital painting for a while and I also wanted to redraw some Knights of the Zodiac. Mera being the queen of the seas in the DC Comics universe, I thought it might be nice to associate her with the Saint Seiya's Poseidon.
So this time I didn't use Aggie.io, I did a high definition illustration apart. And here is the result!
It took a lot of hours of work, but I'm happy with the result. The colors related to sea inspire me a lot. :D
I still have to study solutions to be faster.
Speaking of Aggie.io, it's been months since I've shown you anything, yet every Wednesday we continued to draw as a group on this online application. It's really interesting these online drawing sessions because I've been able to test a lot of methods and styles for color. :D
Here is a small compilation. Just click on each image to see a larger version.
Collective contribution with
That's all for today !
To avoid you big compilations like this it would be nice if I post each of my participation to the Drink'N'Draw immediately after finishing it and then like this I could give news in a more regular way. x)
I still have a bunch of news overdue, so I'll see you soon!
2020 Italian Grand Prix
Published by Suisei at 21/09/2020 à 15h45
Hi every one!
Do you remember the Formula 1 illustrations in progress that I published at the beginning of the summer?
Well I just finished one of them, the one that paid tribute to the first podium of Pierre Gasly at the Brazilian Grand Prix in 2019. :D
There has been a change since then and I had to redo a good part of the illustration: the cars and the colors.
Do you know why?
Pierre Gasly won his very first victory in Grand Prix 2 weeks ago! \o/
It's really great to see all his efforts rewarded after struggling at RedBull and fighting to prove his worth on the track.
What's more, it's been 24 years since any Frenchman has won a F1 Grand Prix. Imagine what a party it was like among the Canal+ commentators. x)
Especially since every time Gasly manages to slip onto the podium with his midfield car, it is at the end of battles at the pace of David against Goliath.
The sportsmanship of the other drivers was also beautiful to see, all congratulated him and seemed happy that he could count on a first victory in his career. Carlos Sainz seemed less enthusiastic at the end of the race, but it is understandable that he feels a little frustrated to have just missed out on his first win. One more lap and he would be the winner. In any case, he had a great race too. =)
Well! Contrary to what the announced domination of Mercedes let think, we are not bored in F1 this year. x)
I also went back to the code of the web comics platform project that I had briefly mentioned a while ago. I'll tell you all about it again one of these days.
That's all for today.
Have a nice week and see you soon! :D
Categories : Illustrations,
Formula 1 illustrations on Twitch
Published by Suisei at 09/07/2020 à 15h45
Today I come to propose you a live drawing session on Twitch. It will take place on Sunday 12 July from 2 pm.
During this session I will finish colors of these illustrations.
I had fun imagining a Capsule Corp. (Dragon Ball) Formula 1 team. Note that Akira Toriyama himself a F1 fan had made several illustrations with his characters at the wheel of a McLaren of the Prost/Senna era. =D
This second illustration is a tribute to the first podium won by Pierre Gasly at the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix at the end of a crazy race.
There, I had warned that I would come back with this subject. x)
Note that the date and time of the stream is not random. Indeed, it will take place during the next Formula 1 Grand Prix, the second Austrian Grand Prix renamed Styrian Grand Prix! =D
I'm going to put the Grand Prix as a thumbnail in a corner of the stream to accompany the drawing session and I propose you to join me on the vocal of Discord to comment the race, chat and laugh.
I will surely trigger some wild lives before to do some tests during free practice or qualifying. x)
Otherwise, for those waiting for the comic book Tarkhan Skullkiller impatiently, I will send it to print at the end of this weekend, after receiving the last fanarts for the gallery at the end of the comic book. =D
That's all for today.
Have a nice day and see you on Sunday! :D
Drink'N'Draw on Twitch !
Published by Suisei at 19/05/2020 à 15h45
A few weeks have passed since my last post, so some new sessions of Drink'N'Draw online too!
So I post here our collective participations, always made on Aggie.io. :)
Let's start with the theme of April 22th: cars.
And here's the zoom on my performance.
So for those who didn't know, I take this opportunity to reveal an old passion that resurfaced during the year 2019 thanks to a buddy: Formula 1.
I'll talk about that again in the future. :p
Here, I illustrated the reigning world champion: Lewis Hamilton who races for Mercedes.
I've planned two more illustrations on the same theme. They are in progress, but as they are a bit ambitious and as I don't want to delay Tarkhan Skullkiller more, it is taking time.
Then, the theme of April 29th was dedicated to a crossover comics between Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
As our dear friend JD has bathe us a little (let's call a spade a spade :p ) with his theme, we kind of sabotaged it. =D
A little zoom on my... performance...
I wanted to do something completely ridiculous, so I drew Rita, the very first vilain in Power Rangers series with a turtle shell. If someone had told me that one day I would draw that character...
Then comes the theme of May 6th: Tales of Zestiria. If I understood everything correctly, it's an anime from the video game series Tales of.
Here is a little zoom in on my illustration.
Not much to say this time. We don't know enough about this theme and we've stayed nice.
I'm pretty happy with the colors I made.
And finally, last week's theme: Ellen Ripley from Alien.
As there were more of us this time, we had to work on 2 different files.
This time I tried a new range of colours for a completely different atmosphere.
That's all for this time.
Next Wednesday (May 20) we will address a theme that is dear to my heart.
Knights of the Zodiac !!!
More precisely, we will linger on the 5 five bronze knights who lost the galactic tournament at the beginning of the manga, namely Jabu the Unicorn, Geki the Bear, Ichi the Hydra, Ban the Little Lion and finally Nachi the Wolf!
As usual, we will meet from 8pm in audio conference on Discord and we will draw on Aggie.io.
This time we'll try something new. For those who don't plan to draw but still want to watch, we will broadcast the drawing session on Twitch. As this is a test, to start with we'll do it on my own channel.
That's all for today.
If you feel like coming to draw with us, the doors are open to everyone! :)
Have a nice week and see you soon!
Confined Drink'N'Draw Paris
Published by Suisei at 19/04/2020 à 15h45
Lately I was thinking it might be nice to post my illustrations in the news feed like I used to do on my old blog before the social networks period.
Then let's go! :)
With the friends from the Drink'N'Draw Paris we found a solution to continue to meet on Wednesday evening and draw together.
This is a web application named Aggie.io. It is free and surprisingly powerful. It supports pressure sensitivity of some graphic tablets with some web browsers (updated web browsers of course).
The main interest of this application is that you can draw online with several people on the same file. To do this, just click on Start drawing and share the url on which you are redirected.
We have already done 2 drawing sessions with this application by meeting on Discord to chat in voice at the same time.
Here is the first one of which initial theme was the game Wakfu, but we were a bit undisciplined. x)
It was really a test session.
And this week's session we lined up a little more and we drew each in his/her dedicated area. x)
The theme was Angela, a comic book character created, among others, by Todd McFarlane and later bought by Marvel.
Everyone has interpreted the old cliché of bikini armour in their own way. For my part I went into something looking like Saint Seiya. No, I will not be changed. x)
That's all for today.
Next week, the theme will be cars (not the movie, real cars). I have a few ideas that should be fun to draw. :)
Have a nice week and see you soon!
Tarkhan's progress and coloring of a DBM illustration on Twitch
Published by Suisei at 09/10/2019 à 15h45
Progress of the Tarkhan Skullkiller comic book
The inking of the comic strip Tarkhan Skullkiller progress slowly, but surely.
I'm finishing a series of pages full of backgrounds and enemy armies and then I begin to ink the final battle of the adventure.
After the one I'm showing you here, I still have 14 more to ink.
As usual, I took care to update the progress bars on the Ulule page.
WIP of the page number 53.
Having been a little hasty, I realize that I will be able to organize an architectural errors hunt when the book is published. x)
So, as I am a little late, if there are any among you, dear friends/readers/contributors, who want to propose fanarts to make a collection at the end of the comic book, our messenger services are always open! :D
To inspire you, the presentation of the characters is always available on Ulule and the beginning of the comic is freely readable here.
Our friend Kapalsky offered us a great illustration that captures the personality of our two heroes! =D
Colouring a Dragon Ball Multiverse illustration on Twitch
Last Sunday I participated in the animation of the Dragon Ball Multiverse stand in Paris Manga by making drawings for readers and fans.
Between the visitors' requests, I have inked the following illustration.
The confrontation between Vegeta and Cell is announced in the tournament table that you can consult on the DBM website and I can tell you that the fangirl that I am of these two characters is looking forward to read this duel. :D
I have planned to make a color version and I propose you to do it tomorrow (Thursday, October 10) live on Twitch from 6:30 PM ! :D
Now I get back to my inking work and wish you a nice day.
See you soon!