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Analog Makes Me a Sad Panda

 
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n9uxu



Joined: 28 Mar 2008
Posts: 587
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:32 pm    Post subject: Analog Makes Me a Sad Panda Reply with quote

<RANT> So, I've been working for *MONTHS* to try and produce working comics in the analog world... with ink and paper. Partly so that I can do the sketching and inking in the family room and thereby avoid the guilt trip from my wife whenever I head into the computer room to do the drawing, and partly because at a convention table when someone asks for a sketch... well... it's not pretty.

And I know: Practice, practice, practice... I get that, but I'm not getting ANYWHERE! My hands jiggle, and the real world does have an Undo... in the digital world, I can undo and redo until I get the line right!... and where is the bloody zoom tool?!?

Oh Ye Gods, the sharpie/copic/brush&ink are completely unforgiving!!! While I feel my digital work has improved substantially, my analog really, really hasn't. </RANT>

Ah well... pretty sure there's not point here... just frustrated with a skill I can't seem to learn. I'm going to go grab a stylus and finish today's strip!
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ewomack
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Joined: 05 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the feel of nib on paper... though I agree it is far less forgiving than the plastic screen... you screw up and you either start over or find a way to hide it... that said, a successfully rendered tangible drawing with pen and paper always feels like more of an accomplishment to me than a digital graphic... I've done both and decided to stick with the fiber... though I've definitely improved, I still have a way to go... like everything else it just takes practice... and of course some people will love your art and some people will hate it... inevitable... trudge on anyway...
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Ed Womack
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Casual Notice
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Joined: 18 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you drawing in ink first, or are you at least pencilling in a rough?

I find that pen and ink work goes better for me if I do all of the actual drawing in pencil and just use ink for finishes (of course, I'm as likely to use a black Flair felt-tip as I am a Faber-Castel Costsasmuchasasemesteratyale).
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mcmasters



Joined: 28 Jun 2012
Posts: 436

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:32 am    Post subject: Re: Analog Makes Me a Sad Panda Reply with quote

n9uxu wrote:
Oh Ye Gods, the sharpie/copic/brush&ink are completely unforgiving!!! While I feel my digital work has improved substantially, my analog really, really hasn't. </RANT>

Ah well... pretty sure there's not point here... just frustrated with a skill I can't seem to learn. I'm going to go grab a stylus and finish today's strip!


Don't get discouraged. It's like the thing with little kids growing up, right, when you see them every day you don't notice anything, but somebody who hasn't seen them in 6 months is freaked out and suspects steroids. The same thing is happening. Trust yourself...if you keep working at it you are getting better. I'm shocked to find old sketches of only a few months ago that I need to re-do and I find my new work easily superior, and more quickly produced.

---

www.mcmasterscomics.com


Also, it's not necessarily a black mark against you if at a convention you can't produce brilliance on demand. Turn it into a positive. People appreciate reality; if you are asked to sketch something and it's not up to your standards then...okay I got nothing. Tell them you broke your hand? Give them a crappy one and say "It's not that good but it will be worth a lot of money some day when I don't suck."
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n9uxu



Joined: 28 Mar 2008
Posts: 587
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Casual Notice wrote:
Are you drawing in ink first, or are you at least pencilling in a rough?


I don't even go straight to d'ink on the computer. Roughs are a must, must, MUST have. I have some nifty non-photo blue mechanical pencils that I do my roughs in, and I'm generally okay with those, but once I try to ink a coherent line... well, I've ruined a lot of Bristol... but it's all part of the process, right?
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Casual Notice
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're practicing on Bristol? Get an Acid-Free drawing pad for about the cost of ten sheets of Bristol. Mead makes a couple of brands that don't run at all, and you don't feel like you're tossing your kid's college fund in the garbage every time you make a misstep.

Also, when you use Bristol, get a bottle of liquid paper--a friend of mine has a few original Doonesbury's and there are Liquid Paper dots all over them, because only Irish Monks have the patience to draw perfectly without making mistakes.
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n9uxu



Joined: 28 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ed,

I don't know. I consider the analog side a must-develop skill, but I am actually more pleased with the digital process... more of an understanding of the tools, I suppose. With paper, I feel like I'm trying to recreate what I can do on the screen (which is, of course, trying to recreate what you can do on paper... vicious circle...), but let's face it... computers are neat... and when I was a young lad, drawing on the computer meant peeking and poking the proper mem locations... we've always had paper, so my thinking may be a bit backward on that one...

McMasters,

I shall endeavor to keep from throwing my drawing supplies out the friggin' window... though the only reason I haven't thus far is I like toys, and all the different sort of pens fascinate me...

Dave
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nsanelilmunky



Joined: 12 Nov 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you tried tracing? I have a stack of overhead transparencies that I can set over my screen and trace out the outlines of faces and buildings that I'm trying to get the style of (just make sure you get the erasable markers and not the permanent ones). Tracing your own stuff might get you better at drawing it IRL.
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n9uxu



Joined: 28 Mar 2008
Posts: 587
Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Casual Notice wrote:
You're practicing on Bristol? Get an Acid-Free drawing pad for about the cost of ten sheets of Bristol. Mead makes a couple of brands that don't run at all, and you don't feel like you're tossing your kid's college fund in the garbage every time you make a misstep.


Once upon a time there was a big sale when the local Micheal's was redecorating....

I have Bristol coming out of me arse...
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n9uxu



Joined: 28 Mar 2008
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Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nsanelilmunky wrote:
Have you tried tracing? I have a stack of overhead transparencies that I can set over my screen and trace out the outlines of faces and buildings that I'm trying to get the style of (just make sure you get the erasable markers and not the permanent ones). Tracing your own stuff might get you better at drawing it IRL.


I've always thought of the inking process as tracing (over the rough sketch), but point well taken.

Dave
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QueenAmanda



Joined: 20 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

n9uxu wrote:

I've always thought of the inking process as tracing (over the rough sketch), but point well taken.

Dave


To quote Banky from Chasing Amy: "It's not 'tracing', alright? I add shading and depth to give the image more definition. Only then does the drawing truly take shape."

I mean, I'm not an inker, but he has a point - if it was just tracing, anyone could do it and people wouldn't hire separate inkers.

Edit: fixed the Banky quote.
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n9uxu



Joined: 28 Mar 2008
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Location: Michigan

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh I had the Banky quote firmly in mind when I said it!
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ttallan
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only rarely tried "tracing" digitally, and only once with a program (MangaStudio?) that automatically smooths out your lines for you (a feature I instantly disliked, probably because I'm stubbornly set in my ways or something).

It's important to keep in mind, n9uxu, that inking on paper isn't going to look like digital inking. It's like comparing computer lettering to hand lettering-- they are inherently different. What people (not everyone, I acknowledge) enjoy about hand-drawn or hand-painted or hand-lettered art is appreciating the minor errors. The closer they look, the more they get to see the process of the artist.
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Lo (Aquapunk)



Joined: 09 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agreed: if you're going to try and get the same result with pen and paper that you're getting in PS or MS or what have you, then prepare to be disappointed for forever.

The majority of my background is in traditional media, so I might be biased, but... I feel like if you can't make a good drawing with a stick in the dirt, then you need to step up your game. In the end these are all just tools; for better and for worse. Nobody does commercial color separation by hand anymore for a reason. But at the same time, if you can't draw a line with anything but the wacom tablet, then you are hardcore using that tool as a crutch and your development as an artist is going to suffer for it.

So... practice, practice, practice. Take the number of hours you've spent making art on the computer and spend that much time with the "analog" tools. If you haven't improved by then, then you're allowed to start whining. :P
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ttallan
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wanted to come back to this thread with another suggestion for people struggling with not having an "Undo" command for their pencil and paper drawings...

Tracing paper is your friend! A wrote a blog post about using tracing paper for shifting images around and for making mirror images, but even more simply, tracing paper is great for just fooling around with different shapes on your drawing without having to worry about erasing a hole your paper.

I'll try to do another blog post next week with photos to illustrate what I mean, but this is the idea: let's say I'm drawing a character's face. I want to get her expression just right. Rather than drawing-and-erasing the curve of her smirking smile half a dozen times until I'm happy with it, I'll grab a small square of tracing paper and put it over the whole face. Then I can try out many different line shapes, shifting the tracing paper a little to get a clean spot each time, and when I get one I like I'll copy it. I don't have to mess up my original art with the residue (there's always residue) of tons of erasing.

I don't mean to suggest my erasers don't get a good workout when I'm drawing a page, but whenever I'm into something fiddly, or when I, I don't know, want to see if a figure might look better with her arms in a different position, I go for the tracing paper. And when I take the tracing paper off-- bing! Instant "Undo" command.

Hope that helps. Smile
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