Value Composition

Part of the process of producing a comic page is laying it out. Almost all professional comic book artists use some method of figuring out where all of their dark and light areas go on the page before applying any ink or drawing it up.

After realizing that I had not planned my inking out very well a friend suggested this method of blocking in the dark and light values before going to ink. I have chosen the traditional inking method entailing brush and dip pens, because the blacks are much more potent, permanent, and versatile than using technical pens, ball point pens, and Adobe programs.

My method of blocking in value is to scan in the page in its penciled state, scale it down to the actual page size, print it on gray paper, then use black and white pastel to find the best possible scenario for the values of the page. I have to seriously consider the light source when I do this. Typically when you are working with just lines it is more difficult to consider some of these things ahead of time. Back tracking with this method has helped me think ahead on future pages.


Room For Improvement

It is my goal to now add art and a narrative surrounding my creative process at least once a week. As you can see these are the first two pages of The Course. Teleki must learn to run his race with the bitter disappointment of losing his mate to another.

As I learn the comic book process I am learning how to use the tools of the trade. At the time of the completion of these 2 pages in early 2010 I was rushing to complete this to have something to give out at SPACE (Small Press and Comics Expo). I was humbled, because I did a rush job on both penciling and inking it. I am happy with the core concept, but the execution does need improvement.

I learned very early on how volatile the comic medium is. It takes patience to learn even the basics.  Lighting with ink can be tricky, because you want to convince the viewer of depth and ink is a solid black medium. There are definitely shortcuts commonly used by even the masters of the field, but this time around I wanted to be aggressive in learning all the media and processes I could. There is nothing better than the feeling of accomplishing something that you were completely ignorant of just a little while prior.

Yes, in fact there is room for improvement on this year old piece, but if you stick with me, you will see a great deal of it.