02 Methinx

Here’s some initial sketches trying to figure this guy out, I was planning on a landscape orientation to vary these a bit.

The pencils and ink close-up produced in Clip Studio Paint for Day 02:

01 Deaths Head

I last tackled Deaths Head back in 2019 for #DrawDeathsHeadDay but I never really felt like I got him, it’s a difficult design to get right.

Deaths Head (2019) drawn in Procreate

I approached it completely differently this time and spent a few hours sketching out some ideas earlier in the week, just messing with proportions and style. I was also planning to draw #MarvelUKtober traditionally and thought the sketches would be a good way to test different pens, paper and whiteout. I inked some of this with a Posca fine-liner and it’s a really rich beautiful black on the page, very satisfying!

Traditional inks are just too time intensive for me at the moment so the majority of the list will prob be produced digitally, here’s the final ‘rough to inks’ drawn in Clip Studio Paint for Day 01:

MarvelUKtober 2023

I’ll be doing some drawings alongside my good mate Chris for #MarvelUKtober:

Overkill and other Marvel UK titles got me hooked on comics as a teen, it’ll be good craic to revisit these characters, I’m looking forward to getting started!

Tiny skulls

Patron of stuff

Patreon is great, I support fantastic creators and get awesome stuff in return, what’s not to like? (shhhh don’t mention the extortionate creator fees, payment processing fees, the annoying VAT thing or the estimated annual revenue of $50-$75 million).

I really hope patreon is worthwhile for the people I follow, seems like a lot of work to maintain a page on top of what is already a very busy freelance workload.

There is so much pressure for artists to work continuously these days (newsletters, social media, livestreams, online shops, the list goes on) and I often wonder if I’m just adding to that heavy burden by subbing. I can imagine that, particularly on patreon, creators feel obligated to provide ‘value for money’ spending time on posts at the expense of some other area of their life/work.

On a more positive note, I get a lot from my memberships – inspiration, tips, recommendations, exclusive peeks and goodies like the stuff below.

I spotted Ewan’s entry for the 2000AD art comp a few months back and immediately started following his work on patreon. Ewan works primarily in acrylic and his style is violent, frenetic and visceral, I love it! I’ve started dabbling with paint again for the first time in years as a result of seeing his process vids and I’ve also started sketching along with his hang and draw podcast.

Russell Mark Olson’s patreon page is immense. I recently started following and found I’d unlocked years of process posts and incredible artwork. One of my favourite things to do before bed now is read through his archive from the beginning, Russell’s writing is full of insightful observations and critical analysis.

The Gateway City Quarterly is a gorgeous 16 page newsprint format posted to members of the Sub-Editor tier four times a year. I’ve received two now and the latest edition has a fantastic bonus backup by Gavin Mitchell (above). If you’re not already on Russell’s patreon I can’t recommend it enough.

Gavin Mitchell has also been creating some nostalgic riso prints and offered first dibs to his patreon supporters. I nabbed a wee hero quest print and cheekily added a copy of his self published Spatchcock mystery “The final curtain” to my order. Gavin posted the entirety of final curtain on his patreon as he produced pages and I couldn’t resist buying a print copy, it’s fantastic!

Nitty gritty

Been squeezing in some true grit texture supply brush tests from their free sampler. I’ve had this seriously generous collection of goodies resting in my inbox for a while, glad I finally imported ’em.

Heres some of my favs so far:

  • Rusty Nib
  • Crispy inker
  • Dry brush inker

Something just kind of clicked with the rusty nib brush especially, love the line variation and the rough paper feel. Might be my new favourite inker… just don’t tell real g pen.

Questions?

Is it good? Is it fun? I’ve been asking myself this lately when I’m drawing in my wee Royal & Langnickel sketchbook. Seems obvious but sometimes you forget y’know, drawing should be fun …otherwise, why bother? Anyway these were fun, not necessarily good but I’m enjoying sketching again… and colouring with Frenden brushes in CSP is always a blast.

Marsh man

I’ve been itchin’ to ink over some more blue line work since writing my Blue no more post back in April. I sketched up a quick marsh man in Clip Studio Paint and converted the line art to Cyan.

I printed it onto an A5 sheet of cold pressed watercolour paper (200gsm) and inked with a Pentel brush pen, Uni Pin fineliners and a Posca paint marker for highlights.

I got to work on this around 2pm and completed it in chunks throughout the day, approx. 2 hours altogether including quick colours in Procreate.

Overall, I really enjoyed inking over this blue line piece, there’s a freedom to it, knowing that you could just print off another page if you messed up the inks and start again without losing your original drawing.

I’m disappointed with the brayer texture and will probably need to look at using another ink next time or practice with the roller on different paper. The masking tape also damaged the page in places so I might use masking fluid or cut out a stencil overlay on any future attempts.

The Posca marker worked really well on solid black ink but tended to mix with the brayer texture and grey wash. It’s really difficult to get a good all-round consistent line with whiteout pens like this but it’s also entirely possible that I just didn’t allow enough time for the inks and wash to dry.

I pretty much gave up on the clip studio workflow to remove the blue lines after scanning, the results looked a little faded/grey and the background wash was lost entirely after edits. The technique seems to work best on clean line art only. It’ll probably need tweaked or approached from a different angle for washes/texture. One solution would be to scan the line art and then add washes/texture using digital brushes. Alternatively, washes and textures could be scanned from separate lightboxed pages and added as multiply layers.

Magic brush

I snapped some quick photos of my sketchbook to try out some Frenden brushes in CSP. I’ve been getting increasingly bored with digital drawing lately (just feels like a slog) but colouring on the iPad is still fun.

The search continues for my go-to textured colouring brush, y’know… the magic brush. I feel like I’ve come close to it on a few things over the years but I colour so infrequently that I can never quite remember the ones I’ve used or the combinations that have worked… I’m old.

Cha Cha Cha

Sketched the Finnish rapper and singer Käärijä in procreate after he melted the stage at the Eurovision semifinals, not a great likeness but I had fun.

I attempted #draweurovision but it’s pretty relentless, I only managed quick pencil sketches of a handful of artists, I’ve no idea how the brilliant Dan Berry manages to draw everyone and add watercolours every year.

A few more sketches of the awesome Käärijä.