Thursday, 13 October 2011

Detail of the day.

I have several decent looking scans of my Camelot 3000 pencils (1982-84) before they were inked by Bruce Patterson or Terry Austin. There wasn't room for them in the De Luxe edition. I'll put a few more on here.


  1. At the risk of commenting too much - These are striking images, thanks for posting these pencils. I see a lot of comics in which the characters are 'over-acting' but one of the strong points throughout your career is the acting choices you make. Your characters seem to strike convincing postures and never (unless called for) over do it. The image with the child is incredibly powerful - this is the 'bastard son' he is intent on drowning (?) or otherwise doing away with.

    Pencils. I'm reminded of an article that mentioned your work on Camelot 3000 several years ago. It stated the pencils were arriving at DC HQ in such a finished state that they almost could have gone without inking. Sadly, due to the move to digital, we'll see less and less of this work now.

    Which reminds me. It's thanks to your tutorials that I bought a Wacom. So let me return the favour with a suggestion. I bought the following device to better record my theatre sketches (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead / Prague Sketchblog). But it occurred to me that if I were a comics artist - it would be helpful too. With a Wacom 'Inkling' you could make and sell drawings on paper (at conventions) while recording them for your records.

    The Inkling is new from Wacom, mine has not arrived yet. Here's a link /video demo on my Wine Ink blog if you don't know of this handy new tool.

  2. What an intriguing idea. I do a lot of false starts when I draw, a lot of erasing and now thanks to Photoshop a lot of moving things about, resizing and drawing different figures and sometimes different parts of the same figure on different layers, stretching, squashing or rotating, in order to get it right. I wonder how that could be achieved with Inkling.

  3. I'm not sure Brian, the delivery has been seriously delayed. I'd hoped to have posted a review of the Inkling by now. It seems though that it converts the pen line to vector and then, amazingly, that the line can be manipulated (rotated/stretched) once in the computer. I don't know that, in this way, it would be much use to you. But I think it would be a handy way to keep a copy of a sketch you might make, at a convention say, without having to go to the trouble of scanning it first.

    Photoshop is raster/bitmap of course, so it seems to be an easy way to get organic pen lines into Illustrator. In the past I had trouble getting a good 'real look' to the vector line in Illustrator. Photoshop does lead to an organic line - but isn't good for scaling, this may solve both problems.
    When, if, it arrives I'll let you know!

  4. Brian, read your tutorial on using Photoshop to draw comics (done in 2005, I think). I'm retired now and want to do some comics. Worked as a technical and graphic artist in the Silicon Valley. Did a lot of ruling pen, triangle-tsquare hand stuff as well as some illustrative/cartooning work. Tried drawing some stuff using the Blob Brush in Illustrator and now have used Photoshop for more stuff. My reason for wanting to do this in Illustrator was the ability to scale up the vectors and keep a good line. It created a file that was extremely expensive memory wise. And the Blob Brush was too forgiving in that it "smoothed" the work. Too much so, no matter how I fussed with the preferences. Now working with Photoshop my concern is that when doing fine details with a small brush the brush gets too gray. I know in your tutorial you said you inked with a 5- or 7-pixel pencil. My problem with that it the drawings are too bit-maped. Maybe they look okay when printed but I have a hard time getting past the look on the screen. Am I over thinking this whole thing? Have you done any subsequent tutorials since this one? Have always enjoyed your work. Thanks for any feedback.