Tuesday, January 2, 2024

New Year's Process Post

Watercolored pages scattered all over my work table and floor.

Starting 2024 with Process! I'm painting a library of watercolor textures to use in my comics. They're abstract blobs in a riot of colors that I can digitally insert into my art to (I think) give it some uniqueness and pop. I did a bit of this on Last Mechanical Monster and A Fire Story, and plan to do a lot more.

Why not just watercolor on the actual art? I've tried. I wish it worked. But I draw my comics on smooth Bristol board, which doesn't take watercolor very well. And I've tried drawing my comics on watercolor paper, which doesn't take ink very well (or more precisely, takes ink TOO well). Plus, for printing purposes, it's much better to keep black line art and colors separate.

"Smoke and Clouds." Keep in mind that I can make these shapes transparent so that any color under them shows through, so a red cloud on a yellow sky turns orange. If I wanted to, I could even change them to different colors, although I'd probably rather paint new blobs in the color I wanted.

Why not just do it ALL digitally? Photoshop has a lot of "watercolor" "brushes" that can fake it pretty well. Well . . . I don't want to. So there. I find myself increasingly drawn to *authenticity* in comics and art. I want to see the imperfect hand of a creator, not the perfect pixels of a machine. Nobody else could duplicate my abstract blobs. Even if I cheat by marrying them with the art digitally, they're still all from my hand. 

I hope you get to see them in print in a year or two.

An example of how I digitally merged actual watercolors with line art in Last Mechanical Monster. Both the green wall and the blue sky are real watercolor. I like the look.

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