I have accumulated quite the assortment of paper at this stage and amongst my possessions is a craft paper sketchbook which I got after watching some tuition videos of things which looked really cool on non-white paper. The craft paper is quite light – it’s basically what I could get locally – which means it and I had a bad start with some alcohol based markers. It’s a Hahnemuhler A5 craft book, left spiral bound. The cover is left blank for you to illustrate yourself.
I’ve typically been a bit struck dumb by this – in that I like the idea but am terrified that on the cover, I’d get something wrong. So I hadn’t decorated it. I got over that yesterday.
Mostly, I got the craft cover to do stuff using coloured pencils, stuff like this:
which was done with my Pablo pencils. I’ve done a dragon which turned out nice as well, like this:
although you can see that the dragon was done before the feather and that I did actually get better at the whole colouring things somehow in between times. I find it can be a bit hit or miss.
I came across the work of Brian Kesinger recently – and you should truly check him out on instagram if you haven’t yet happened across him – he’s a Disney artist and he has some fantastic stuff. He’s doing a dragon program for inktober and there are some truly fantastic pieces there, with lots of interesting little details. Inspired by some of that stuff, I did something which looked really good on paper, in fineliner and white gel, and then decided a variation of it might look good on the cover of my sketchbook, the one I could decorate.
I added a few details to it in the second run, like the rope and the bird. The photograph doesn’t really do justice to how great it looks on the hard cover of the book. It does, however, lead me to think I’d rather like to favour sketchbooks whose covers I can decorate or illustrate myself.
One of the things about Kesinger’s work is that it is very strong on the narrative front. I suppose this is really to be expected of a comic strip artist – he does work for Marvel as well, and while I clearly don’t have his technical skills, this is something I’d like to think more about, and how I might do it more effectively. If you look at some of the vw campervan project, there clearly was some narrative work going into that, and I have a couple of other plans for a comic strip which are “in development” which is codespeak for “I might, or might not do something about it in the future”. One of the biggest issues I have is finding the time.