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!

Blue no more

Inspired by Russell Mark Olson’s Patreon I’ve been wanting to get back to drawing with ink again, specifically inking traditionally over blue line or non-photo blue on bristol board.

Alongside other work, Russell produces a page each week for Gateway City starting with pencil layouts before progressing to digital pencils that he prints as non-photo blue for inking.

Despite owning a large A3 printer I’ve never tried printing blue line comic pages. I’ve inked over non-photo blue pencil in the past but I haven’t looked seriously at a specific workflow for removing blue lines digitally from traditional inks.

I’m pretty sure Russell uses Photoshop to remove the blue line in his pages prior to colouring and I figured I’d be able to do something similar in Affinity Photo. There’s probably a macro or an obvious technique but I immediately hit a wall trying to achieve this.

I mostly use Clip Studio Paint these days and looked at it instead. Similarly, it’s not obvious how to remove blue line in CSP but I did find some basic tutorials on Pinterest/tumblr and also this helpful quick tips video from Celsys and Scott Drummond.

It’s prob not as efficient as the workflow in Photoshop but once I record it as an auto action I should hopefully save time on future pages.

I’ve been studying a page from Jeremiah by Hermann and thought it’d be useful to try the scanning prep quick tip on it and outline the steps here on the blog.

Remove blue line from comic pages using Clip Studio Paint

I scanned the inks at 300 dpi and saved as .tiff file to the desktop

1. Import scan/image to CSP

  • File>Open
  • Layer>Duplicate Layer

2. Tone Curve

  • Edit>Tonal Correction>Tone Curve
  • Change RGB to Red
  • Adjust the left handle to 255
  • Click OK
  • Edit>Tonal Correction>Tone Curve
  • Change RGB to Green
  • Adjust the left handle to 255
  • Click OK

3. Hue/Saturation/Luminosity

  • Edit>Tonal Correction>Hue/Saturation/Luminosity
  • Adjust Saturation to -100% (the black looks extremely faded at this stage)

4. Level Correction

  • Edit>Tonal Correction>Level Correction
  • Adjust the sliders

5. Remove Dust

Although it’s not mentioned in the video, another great feature in Clip Studio Paint is the remove dust filter. There were a few small artifacts left over from the non photo blue and this removed them outright. Just adjust the dust size to eliminate any dirt, pencils, etc.

  • Edit>Convert brightness to opacity
  • Filter>Correction>Remove dust

Pretty happy with the final result on this but it’ll be interesting to see how these steps affect dry brush, ink washes, etc.

If you’ve any other suggestions for removing blue line or some CSP tips I’d love to hear ’em.