Kav's Tips for Comic Artists - Revisions
by A. "Kav" Kaviraj
Comic book artist, A. Kaviraj, continues his op/ed series of providing useful tutorials for comic book artists.
Here are some more revisions to share with you hopefully to inspire the ceaseless striving for perfection in your pages. It is two panels of the character 'Maxwell Murder' from Rapid City, inspired by the song from RANCID. Panel 1 I drew Max after he had been hit in the forehead with a bullet, which, since his body has been tattoo inked with the fluid which flows between our world and Hell, merely bounced off and created another tattoo. I drew the thing with underlighting for dark mood effects but it was a FAIL. I kept thinking to myself-this looks like something an amateur would be proud of. It sickened me. You can see the struggle in the lines. It doesn't look like the artist rapidly and easily drew it-the sign of greatness, but as if he struggled, kept adding stuff hoping it would work. If you ever find yourself in this situation stop immediately-it will never work. Start over.
So I did. Instead of trying to create facial shadows I took ref pics and used real shadows-a big plus. The lines were more sure and pro looking as you can see. He looks evil.
The next panel was another Max Fail-well, it wasn't a complete fail but he just looked too friendly and normal. Not good. I realized he needed more facial shadowing, and it's always sinister when one eye is completely shadowed-Sean Phillips does this almost exclusively. So I used ref shadows and added them in-much better. With the rain element added the whole thing just looks much more dark and sinister as the scene requires.
Technical note-to make the revision on the first panel I used sticker paper-lightboxing the image onto Avery sticker project paper, which I then ink then stick down OVER Avery Trublock internet shipping labels. The reason for this is if you just use the project paper stickers, it's too thin and when you go to scan it, hazy blurs come through and ruin the image. If you just use the Trublock stickers, the surface is too slick and the ink smears and takes forever to dry. So, you have to ink one type of sticker paper, stick down onto the other before you can lay it down on the panel. I had to learn all this from bitter experience-you get the info for free-courtesy of Comic Related!
I have added another panel-from Michael Lark 'Gotham Central' to compare rain. I got this page recently ($75) from Splash Page art.
His white rain lines are perfect-I'm always trying to achieve that-I've used every white pen imaginable with negative results. The lines I drew are white guache applied with a dip pen. I don 't know what Michael uses-but I'd like to.
For more of Kav's Tips at Comic Related: http://www.comicrelated.com/forums/index.php?showforum=602
A. KAVIRAJ: Kav is an artist, teacher, and biologist who lives in Sacramento, California. He is the artist forThe End of Paradise, Rapid City, and Dr Death vs The Zombie. He is the writer and artist for Dr. Death vs. The Vampire. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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