One of the weakest parts of my art has been color. Initially, I started out with a very basic coloring system with straight-forward colors (no extreme lighting) and cell-shading. That served me for awhile as I became re-acquainted with using Photoshop to color and my Wacom tablet to add effects. Later, I replaced the cell-shading with gradients and even later after that, I started using more textures in my work.
Now, I'm bringing back some of my original cell-shading and incorporating it back into my work and I'm starting to experiment with more extreme lighting in my scenes. I think it's working better but I still have a long ways to go before I consider my coloring "good enough". But, as always, it's good to see improvement in almost every page and I think these last few pages have been a pretty big step forward in using light and color to create a mood in a scene. I feel that I'm getting a better grip on when, where, and how to use textures as well. There's definitely some things wrong with this page but overall, I'm happy with it.
I'm pretty happy with this page. The rendering is pretty good, though the buildings in the background could use some work. Also ,the bottom left panel is a little "meh" but my *&^%ing hand was cramping so badly by that point (I inked this piece in one marathon session) that I guess it shouldn't be a surprise.
Overall, color pretty good but I need to back off using quite so many halos around objects. Also, a more muted palette would probably have worked better in the background. Still, I'm definitely digging this new inking style and coloring style. I think it looks a lot more polished.
I was going through a burnout phase with my comic and had to take a month or so off to regain my head and figure out what was causing me to dread sitting in front of a drafting table. So I read all five of the Songs of Ice & Fire series and cleared my head... It turned out that I was tired of the story I was working on.
So, new story! I'm putting the old arc on hold for a bit (will update occasionally) in favor of doing a much darker and grim story about the Variables universe in 2002. Changing this up has allowed me to alter my style drastically, going for a more mainstream comic book appearance with a heavy use of blacks. I'm excited to start work on the interior pages and I just finished the cover tonight. Just seeing it has me revved up about the comic again.
The cover (and first page) won't be posted to the site until next week but I thought I'd post it here and see what you guys think. I felt it was necessary to switch up my coloring style to the more commonly used gradient style in mainstream books (a departure from my previous cell-shaded work) to step it up for the second issue of the book. By the end of the first issue, I felt as if I was hitting a wall with the cell-shading and it wasn't giving me the look I really wanted to see from the comic.
Looking at the the cover, I'd say this move was a step in the right direction. While this process takes a little longer than cell-shading, I'm hoping that I speed up and get better at it as I get more pages under my belt. Also, I've rededicated myself to my line quality because, looking back, I felt as if my inks were the most personally disappointing aspect of the first issue.
Overall, I'm just trying to step it up in every aspect of the book, really. We'll see if it pans out or if I drive myself nuts trying to pull it off.
And I'm already off working on issue two so the entire thing just starts over again. In case you're not familiar with the project (I've been posting here pretty regularly with updates), it's a sprawling story that spans 30+ years and examines how society might really deal with superpowered humans being introduced to the world. Initially, it's more of a mystery book and then it evolves into a character examination piece that deals with the world on an individual level.
Anyway, I love feedback, both good and bad. Now that there is an entire issue, I feel that readers will have a better idea of what I'm doing and where I'm going with the book. So, if you have something to say about it, just do it here, PM me, or email me from the site. Thanks!
I really think this is the strongest page of the issue so far and it will probably remain that way because the issue starts winding down at this point, with little action to come in the following pages. I started playing around more with coloring and lettering on this page and some of the stuff you see here will be more of the look and feel I'll go for with the second issue. Once I locked into a certain style for the first issue, I had to stick with it for the entire thing because I didn't want to change speeds on the reader in the middle of an issue. After all this time, I'm REALLY looking forward to being done with this issue. It's been four months in the making already...
I’m happy with this page and think it might be the best so far. The last panel fell a little flat compared to what I envisioned but other than that, I’m really happy with it. I'm starting to experiment with lettering a bit more now that I'm getting faster with coloring and drawing, which allows me more time to add ink detail and spend more time focusing on the lettering of the book.
A villain is finally introduced to Variables! These guys are going to be a pain in the ass for awhile, at least in the Blake story arc. In the Atlanta arc, there's still a fair amount to be explained before Candice & Isabel find out exactly what it is they're up against.
Well, this marks me being over halfway completed with issue one (not including the cover). It's been, what, three months? This is a really long and slow process and the story is finally starting to pick up and starting with page 13, the big arc begins in earnest so from here on out (through issue four), things start getting more intense as the story picks up.
I knew it was dangerous to start a story slowly but given the 30+ year sprawling nature of Variables, I felt that I shouldn't be in a hurry to throw readers into the universe. I had several stories from which to choose as a starting point and after hours of consideration, I decided it would be best to start at the beginning, story momentum and crazy later events be damned. Anyway, here's the latest page.
As most of you know, I do a weekly webcomic that I started late last year and I picked a template that I thought would get me through some growing pains... Well, it didn't. By the time I was done adding, removing, and changing around the layout features, it barely resembled what I started with and I didn't like it. I figured that I would get around to completely re-working the site some time over the summer but it was bothering me too much so I set to work on a new site. In typical fashion, I couldn't do anything other than work on the site after awhile... Once I get sucked into a project, I work day and night on the thing.