Sunday, 12 December 2010

Inks and paints...

Cecilia is on a campaign to try and make me change my plan of not inking the comic and painting the pencils instead. She is quite insistent on the matter. What to do? An "artist" (I don't like applying this term to myself, but I haven't so far discovered an adequate English translation for "tekenaar", which I do feel I can call myself, despite not being a professional) like me, whose skills are rather limited, has to make the most of the things s/he is good at. So what am I good at? The first thing that springs to mind is "lines" and "inking". It's certainly not colour. Then why on earth would I cut out the inking? Well, for one thing, it takes ages - I ink very, very slowly. For another, I feel like my pencil originals are more lively than my inked versions. I tried to remedy that by using brush pens instead of my faithful Staedtler pens. But with brush pens, you can't draw the tiny details and microscopically smooth lines that I am so anal about. (Yes, I know, why fuss about that when there are still basics that I don't get right? Well, that's me for you.) So inking with brush pens would mean a) adapting my style and b) overcoming my fears. A third reason why I am inclined to dispense with inks is because I feel that stark black lines don't suit my story. I want something softer and more dreamy.

Now - I have recently done a picture for my sister, inked with two Faber-Castell PITT pens, one brush and one Small. It reminded me how much fun these pens are (even if they tend to lose their shape pretty quickly :/). It also reminded me that these exist in a wide variety of colours, so that I wouldn't have to use black. So this week I popped into one of the two art shops in my street and bought a handful of PITT pens in a variety of colours - Caput Mortuum, Warm Grey, Indian Red and Raw Umber. At first, I was a tad nervous about the fact that these colours only exist in brush pens, meaning that I haven't got a Small pen for details or corrections... But then I thought, what the heck, I'll just have to learn and adapt my inking to the brush like a big girl. Above is my first all-brush inked image, done with the Raw Umber pen.

The lady in the picture, as you can tell by the caption, is Florie. She is Gawain's second wife and the daughter of the Carl of Carlisle. The text of Sir Gawain and the Carl of Carlisle doesn't give her a name, so in a previous incarnation of the character I picked a random  Welsh one for her. In the meantime I have changed her name to Florie, which is a name traditionally associated with Gawain. It fits nicely, too, because the sons Gawain has with his second wife are called Florens and Lovell. Okay, Lovell is not so relevant here, but Florens can easily be the son of Florie, right? :-)

Anyway - this image is waiting to be coloured. I hope to get round to it soon.

This little portrait (postcard size) was drawn two weeks ago as an experiment. I wanted to try a combination of colour pencils (for the line art) and watercolour. So this was drawn with a purple pencil and then painted. It didn't work at all. The lines were too pale or not sufficiently defined or something - in any case, the image looked lousy. This may be partly because I used opaque paints - it's possible that the lines would have looked better if I had stuck to transparent ones. I started with a wash of Ceruleum Blue and some orange (made of Winsor Yellow and Permanent Carmine). That mixture produces a lovely, delicate tint (I think), but even though it's pale, it's not transparent. So it was probably not a good idea to use it for washing. In an attempt to save what I could of the image, I accentuated the lines with my Caput Portuum PITT pen, which turned it into something more or less acceptable. 

So what did I learn? Well, first off, I guess I shouldn't be using opaque paint in washes. And secondly, it might be a good idea to draw hair like Lot's in such a way that I can colour it in a more straightforward manner in the comic. I have to simplify it. 

...And a textured version, because the watercolour didn't live up to my hopes ;P.

1 comment:

Cecilia said...

Lot doesn't look that terrible to me ;)
Though, if you want me to look for the hair in the egg (as we say, and it's fun having that proverb translated XD) the texturized version is better, because it hides the blue background, that wasn't working very much with the values on the foreground.

Florie is quite a common name, isn't it? In the Lion de Bourges one Florie is a Muslim princess who falls in love with the mother of the protagonist, Alis, obviously dressed up as a man. When she discovers that Alis is a woman, she tries to seduce Alis' husband, Herpin. Yay for Medieval seductresses :D

Caput Mortuum is such an intersting name. I had never heard it before.