OK, I'll let you in on a secret: at the same time that i'm pleased with The Human Hourglass coming along I've reaching a point where I've decided that I truly hate my lines. As in hating the marks that I'm making on the page.
Now, especially as this is coming from someone whose professional background was as an inker, that might sound a little strange. After all, as I define as inker, it is not as an artist per se, but more of a craftsman, someone with the tools and skill to finish off what the penciller has started and make nice for print. This is not to desparage the work that the inker does, and god knows I worked plenty hard to make my inked pages print well, but more to provide a working definition as how I see the position.
Oh yeah, back to hating my marks.
I found, as I walked around San Diego yet again, alternately marveling at the artistic ability and creative expression and total ineptitude that I saw as I walked the aisles, that i'm starting to dislike the "typical inked look" from mainstream comic books. It looks, to coin a phrase, too "comic book-y" Yes, you heard it here first on the blog-o-sphere: "comic book-y"
And I've decided to blame my tools. why, you might ask? Good question. Simply, I don't think that my favorite #1 Rafael sable is capable of producing a really different set of marks than those that I usually get from it, and so I decided to stage my own experiment with using unfamiliar tools, and see how much I'm able to change that collection of marks that I put down on paper. Any art school student will tell you that there are those days where the instructor says, "You have a broken cork, a bottle of green tempura and a crayon. In front of you is a duck that will be holding 60 second poses. Go. "
Here is a cover that I pencilled for a Carnival story that I may never actually do, yet the cover is fully pencilled and ready for ink. So I've done a few experiments with finishing the cover.
The first has been transferred to 2 ply bristol and uses india ink as a wash, along with undiluted ink as well. Koh-i-noor 3605 ink here.
I'm not sure how well it shows up, but i was getting some really weird textures from the paper in unexpected places, so that the evenness of the grey tones is terrible and I abandoned this one halfway through.
The second has me using a rather large crow quill [brand and name unidentifiable due to years of inky build up on the nib] and, as the drawing indicates, a rather large [#6 scepter gold II] synthetic sable brush in concert. And doing so very quickly.
and this one, as the drawing says, is done with two different size Sharpies and a thin Uniball pen.
So, the question is, which ones do you like? i'm going to take a few days and then come back to this for the hell of it and see what I can make out of this.