By Shaun Pinello ©Little Dog Comics 2016
This is the week I feel like I got the hang of working on toned paper. The key seems to be to let the paper be your medium value even if your working in color. That means choosing colors that work well with the color of the paper. I’ve been using Copic markers and found a few I like. E11 and E13 are good for values just darker than the paper. E15 however has too much pigment and comes across as orange. I also like R20, R22 and R24. The first two are subtle pinks but use R24 sparingly as it’s more red and really stands out. (See Man with Clown Nose and Pipe) For shades lighter than the paper you have to use and opaque medium to mask the paper. I’ve been using a white Prismacolor brand colored pencil but I assume gauche or acrylic paint will work as well.
A few people have expressed interest in seeing these sketches printed in a book and I’m seriously considering it once I get around thirty finished. But first I want to see if there is a demand for a book like that. In order to do that I’ll be taking pre-orders. If you would like to get on our email list and be the first to know when orders open send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve been reworking some Kid Universal pages so that the artwork is more in line with the aesthetic I want for Little Dog Comics. The final pages will be done in ink wash with digital colors. Before moving on to the wash stage of the drawing I needed to get a handle on the tonal values. I made a copy of the pages (this is a double page spread) and did a value study in pencil. This process adds a lot of extra work but it helps me be more confident on the final page. Hopefully after a few more pages I won’t need to do this anymore.
© Little Dog Comics 2014
Agent Pickle is a project that I’m incredibly passionate about (it stars my dog as a high-flying secret agent!) so I felt that I should make it the most visually exciting comic of which I’m capable. To do so I’ve spent a lot of time going back over the fundamentals of art and have taken a more painterly approach to drawing. In the past my work relied on heavy line work and dense areas of blacks. I still like that style of cartooning but for this project I’ve shifted to using blocks of tone to create depth and various values of tone in my line work to bring emphasis to certain parts of a drawing. When I color these digitally they take on the quality of a watercolor painting, which I like.
My favorite book this year was Blacksad: Amarillo by Juan Diaz Canales with art by Juanjo Guarnido. The entire book is hand-painted in watercolor. Someday I would like to do a fully painted comic but I need more practice with watercolor first.
Be sure to stop by next Friday to see the color version!
“What good is the warmth of summer without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?”
I think that quote sums up this drawing pretty well. The original was drawn with ink on bristol. I colored it digitally using a limited pallet to tie the rabbit in with the back ground. I used a cool light source to mimic morning light and give the whole piece a feeling of coldness.
I wish I could start posting pages from Kid Universal and A Cupcake to Die For but I can’t until I finish a good back log of pages. However, I think it’s safe to share some of the concept art I’ve done without giving away any spoilers. Please excuse the poor image quality. These were shot from my phone out of my sketch book and hastily assembled in Photoshop. My main tools were brush, ink, 0.5 micron pen, and Copic markers.
The guy in the top left is actually a real person who lived from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. If you can tell me his real name e-mail your answer to email@example.com. The first person with the correct answer will win a sketch card featuring this character.
Back in January I had a humbling experience as an artist. I had a table at a local comic convention and, as I walked around the con floor, I noticed that there are two types of artists, those who take their time and produce quality work and those so excited to create that they rush and their work suffers for it. I knew which artist I wanted to be and, unfortunately, I knew which one I was. In my excitement to publish a weekly web comic I rushed and created something that didn’t match my vision. After the con I decided to take a break and re-evaluate what I was doing. I took that time to rewrite Agent Pickle which will soon be released on the site as a short story titled A Cupcake To Die For. As I’m finishing that I’ll be posting art and short webcomics every Friday.
Today’s drawing is of my dog, Bucky, as a lumber jack. This drawing started as a ball point pen sketch back in 2011 that became two failed paintings before I came back to it with brush and ink. Sometimes you have to stick with an idea for a few years before you find the best way to get it out.