Sunday, December 12, 2010

Updates and Page 47

This month marked the return of my full-time work on Across Thin Ice, and here's a page to celebrate!

Across Thin Ice, pg 47

A few in-progress photos:

The end of October and most November saw me pretty busy with a few other projects, namely eleven interior illustrations and a cover for a novel and a little bit of art for the up-coming FurtherConfusion in January. I also took a little time to travel and wrap up a few loose artistic ends.

And on a side note--I mentioned it in a couple other places, but I'm proud to be a guest of honor at FurtherConfusion. As such, I'll be running a couple panels. One will be on my approach to graphic novels, taking a page from the script, through layout, sketching, inking and eventually painting. The second panel will be on watercolor techniques and a few things like stretching watercolor paper. I put a call out for any specific topics or questions folks wanted me to address in the panels a couple weeks ago, so I figured I'd mention it here, as well!
If you're going to be attending and want me to ramble about something, let me know! You can either comment here, or drop me an email!

The comic should keep me busy and out of trouble through the winter (and probably spring), and be done this summer, barring anything unforeseen.
So, December, onward into winter, knee deep in huskies we go!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Across Thin Ice: Page 11

Another busy week (aren't they all,) and here's a page I finished the other day.

Across Thin Ice, pg 11 (see the sketch over here)

Here's a detail of the second to last panel:

Also, here is the flag design for the Northern Territory, one of the areas which make up the United Territories. The United Territories is made up of the "real world" Canada and the Northeastern United States. The NT flag is based off the same principles of territory flags at the time--colors of the sovereign nation, with a crest signifying resources found within it's boundaries. In the Northern Territories case, that would be rivers, timber, gold and fish.

Lastly, have some Geri rage.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More Pages and Progress

Things are progressing as they do...

Unsurprisingly, most of my waking hours are spent working on Across Thin Ice. I'm just over a third done painting the 100 some pages of the first book, and when I'm not painting, my sights are turned onto layouts for the next one. It's a ton of work--probably 15-20 hours per page to layout, sketch and clean up, then another 20-25 to ink and paint. I've hit my working stride and things are progressing as they do--slow, but steady. I haven't had much time to do anything else, but it's actually been quite zen.

Looking at the time line now, the release date might get pushed back a few more months. I'm deep enough in now I think I'd be annoyed at myself if I rushed or trimmed a bunch of pages just to meet an early deadline. But such is life--somethings you can't rush and it's better to just enjoy the ride. The plus side is, if I keep on working as I am, with a summer release I can have a preview out for the second book when the first debuts, and there will be significantly less time between their releases.

Here's few more pages I finished earlier in the month!
Page 29 and 60

Some progress photos of Page 29:

Lastly, here's the original concept sketches I did ages ago for this page and page 28.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Pages in Progress 3

Steadily onward, page by page, panel by panel...bottle by bottle of wine.

Here's a couple pages in progress (which again, demonstrate the awesome power of masking fluid,) plus a few other odds and ends.

Here's a couple crops from page... urh, 50 something.
(I realized the other day my page numbering was all cattywampus due changing around a few pages. Numbers, what good are they anyway?)

Here's one of my set-ups from earlier this summer. It's nice to be fairly mobile, so I can move around the house for a little change of scenery while I work.

Lastly, I realized I never posted the reference sheet I made for the sled many, many months ago. It's been an invaluable piece of paper. Also, Freki's design is now sporting some new eye dots, since in some lighting schemes, she was difficult to tell apart from Nickel at a distance.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Behold the Power of Masking Fluid!

The last few days saw me engaged in the most frightening thing I've ever done to a comic page--dousing it with black. (Yes--It even trumps the page I sloshed with beer.)

However, I say unto thee, behold! The power of masking fluid!

(Characters are under there...somewhere.)

And the masking fluid is removed!

Behold! (And auroras in progress.)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pages 39 & 45

Here's a few more pages from Across Thin Ice! Bit by bit, the comic is coming together. I'm happy to do be done with a couple of scenes which were getting (more than) a little tedious to paint. It gets remarkably boring to mix the same colors day in and day out. :P

I'm also almost finished with the "Bar Scene," which will also be a nice weight off my shoulders.

Pages 39 & 45:

Ambient Blue

I use a piece of blue matte board below the maquette heads to emulate the ambient blue reflection coming off the ice.

Lastly, a little bit of inking...

We escaped up into the mountains for a respite from the late summer's heat, but work still follows wherever we go.
I brought a bunch of sketched pages, already soaked, stretched and stapled to boards, ready to be inked. That seemed to be the most portable of all the comics many "in between" steps.

You really couldn't ask for a better studio. :]

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pages in Progress 2

It's been another busy week, painting, painting, painting.

The Masking Process:

After I've stretched and inked a page, I apply masking fluid (sometimes called 'frisket') to the speech bubbles and lines between panels (where tape won't do.)

I use Winsor&Newton Colorless Masking Fluid. I paint it on with an old junky brush, since it's guaranteed to destroy a nice one.

It's very important that your paper be dry before you apply the masking fluid, and also, that the fluid be completely dry before you begin painting. When you're done with your painting, you just peel off the mask to reveal the clean white paper below.

Like I said, it's been a busy week. I think I'm juggling eight pages currently stretched, inked and in various stages of completion. The task for today is to finish all the little details I've been putting off, calling it the super-human feat of eight pages finished in a single day, then drinking a nice bottle of wine to celebrate (rather than drinking cheap wine to survive.)

Here's a couple I'm working on from this last week, in no particular order:

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Across Thin Ice: Page 28 & 80

ComicCon in San Diego is this weekend! Check out Sofawolf Press at booth #1236 (in the Webcomic's area) to pick up a short sneak-peek of Across Thin Ice!

And, for anyone unable to attend ComicCon, you can click here for the preview's .pdf! :]

Art-wise, here's a couple of the pages that I finished earlier this week:

Page 28:

Page 80:

Lastly, here's a couple quick color studies I did for page 80, trying a out few different color/lighting schemes.