We're getting there! As usual, things take time to fall into place, but I have reached the point where I know I am on the right track :).
Two things: I have sorted out my hero's character design, and I have sorted out the style I want for my story. The picture below demonstrates both. Okay, it also demonstrates my trademark wonky perspective, but guess what: I'm fine with it.
So here is young Gawain, sporting a very Irish costume consisting of leine (tunic), ionar (vest) with belt, and brog (shoes). He has a round Irish shield with his traditional five-pointed star emblem and a long sword with a simple design. The ionar counts as protective gear - it is made of leather and quite strong, but much lighter than chainmail.
The picture was painted on hot-pressed Arches paper. I like this paper because it's so very smooth, but at the same time it is more difficult to work with than rougher paper types. especially for washes. So although I'm happy with how this turned out, I will probably be using cold-pressed paper for the comic because it's just a little bit less tricky.
I guess I will be inking after all. This was inked with dark brown Faber-Castell PITT pens - one Small, one Brush - and I like these so much that I can just envision doing the whole comic with them. Despite the fact that they run out of ink disgustingly soon and are not cheap at all around here (as opposed to in the States! which is so unfair!). But I'm very happy with the lines they get me. This combination of clean line art and watercolour turns out to be the thing I have been looking for all this time. Even if it's time-consuming, I'm going to have to go with it. This is my pet project; I haven't got a publishing deal or deadlines, so I'm thinking I'm free to make the comic I want :)...
Heh. You know, this picture really makes me feel good!