Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Page 90 complete — 2 more to go!

This was another complicated page: 6 panels, multiple people and angles, new backgrounds. It took some extra time, but it was worth it.

I look at these last few pages, and at the first few pages of the entire series (issue #1), and I am amazed at the improvement. Not to say so to pat myself on the back, but I am glad that the advancement in quality has happened — I have really gotten into "my stride." The nice thing is that while each page may take me 30-40% longer, the quality is 200%+ better — a nice trade off. You can see the difference here — page 3 on the left, and page 90 on the right. I do lament the inconsistency, but I try, rather, to look at it as "improvement".

I have to say, that choosing a clip to use as a preview was difficult. Being one of the last 3 pages, I don't want to give anything away. In fact, this preview for page 90 is different from the one I first chose. Upon review, I had thought my first choice gave away too much, even though it was somewhat vague. I chose something even more ambiguous. Expect the new few previews to be just as cryptic. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Updated Progress map

I decided to update the "progress map" to give everyone a visual feel on how close I am to finishing "H2grOw", and how far we've come in working on issue#5, "Losing Control".

Page 89 completed! 3 pages to go!

Page 89 was a complicated one... lots of new effects had to be done, and it was a multi-paneled page with numerous characters. I wanted to post it last night, but I was only able to finish about 85%. I completed it this morning. The next page update may be delayed an extra day, as I have to create a new background for the upcoming panels. We'll see... In the meantime, enjoy the preview!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Pages 87 AND 88 completed!

Thank my wife. She said, "I'm off this weekend. Let me take care of the laundry, and you go work on a few more pages of grOw." "OK!" I said. Between yesterday and today, I was able to finish 2 good pages. A lot of work went into them, as the story is wrapping up -- page 87 had some interest water effects go into it, as it was a new camera angle, which you can see a little of in the preview. Only 4 more pages to go!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Page 86 done! Only 6 more to go!

A nice, not-too-busy Friday allowed me to post a new page earlier than usual this week. Sometimes, it's not until late in the evening, or even on early Monday, that I post Friday's work. Getting closer — 73% there! This was definitely a good page, lots of action and intensity! Whew... give me a cold shower! Enjoy!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Page 85 done! 7 more to go.

I know the preview to this is pretty vague. Getting close to the end of the story, I don't want to give too much away in the previews. So, like this one, some previews may just show that the page is complete. Only 7 more to go! We are 68% finished!

Progress map

A few have been wondering how close I am to the completion of the entire issue. To recap, the issue will have 22 pages — pages 71 through 92 of the series. Currently, I am 64% done with the issue. See the attached mini-map of issue #5, which will give you a visual representation of current progress. Now, on to page 85...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Page 84 complete! Hand doing much better.

I completed page 84 this afternoon, but was only able to upload it tonight. The page took a little longer,as it was, again, a complicated one. Some fades, overlapping panels, water effects, and movement blurs. A high impact page indeed!

The hand is doing better. It was actually focused on the topside of my wrist. Part of the cause, I believe, was the new drawing surface I just replaced on my Wacom -- a removable piece of plastic that you draw on. It is removable because it will eventually wear -- along with the plastic tip of the pen. The new surface was much more rubbery than the last. It was very slight, but like a well-known car, as soon as something is "off", you notice it. My tendons seemed to have noticed it, too. The extra "drag" caused by the rubbery surface became a repetitive strain. I have since given my wrist a good 5 days rest (with some work in there, yes). Plus, I have acclimated my drawing style to it, along with breaking in the surface.

On to page 85 tomorrow!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Page 83 complete. Resting my hand.

I wanted to get this page done before the weekend, but couldn't for a number of reasons — busy, hectic "RL" work day, which in turn, caused me to "overwork" my art hand. I had a very sore tendon over my wrist. I gave it the weekend off, resting it and keeping in a brace. It really helped, and it feels much better now. I finished off page 83 this morning, and will begin page 84! Enjoy!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Page 82, complete!

We are now at 55%. Page 82 was another complicated one, with the return of laborious water tricks (drips, reflections, refractions, and splashes). Luckily, I have really gotten used to these, and my creation of these effects has really streamlined.

There was a slight delays in this page as I had trouble replacing the drawing surface of my Wacom tablet. The Intuos3 tablet has a removable surface that can be replaced when it wears out. In 9 month so use, I put gouges and scratches in mine, and ordered a replacement. I pulled the old one off (stickes with adhesive) and started to apply the new one. Well, the adhesive was bad on the new one — the backing that protects it, was coming off in pieces, leaving pieces of paper all over the adhesive, basically rendering it useless. A "firm" call to Customer service rectified it, as they are sending one overnight. Luckily, I was able to re-adhere the old surface until the new one arrives (Friday or even Monday).

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

p.81 complete! Better late than never!

Late? Just one day after page 80 and I am saying late? Yes. I actually thought I would have this page done before midnight last night. But alas, I was too tired. It would have been 2 pages in one day! Then, I thought, "OK, by early morning Tuesday." Nope. Work handed me hell in a handbasket. So, nearing midnight locally, I am able to post this page a day later. Still, all in all, I am making good progress! This page represents the HALF WAY mark!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Page 80 complete!

I had a slower than usual weekend (much less house/yard work than usual... must be winter). So, I worked on another page! Yay! I was going to post this last night, but I was too tired. A hard-working man needs his rest!

Just a small note on the "41% done" comment in the last post. This percentage is for the last ink-and-paint stage only. The first three stages are already complete: writing, thumbnails, and pencil drawing. Each page is fully ready to go for the ink-and-paint stage. So, in essence, I am much further along as a wholew than that percentage. I mention this just in case you were doing a proportion timeline to figure out release date. My target is end of January, maybe 1st week of Feb. Hopefully, no "RL" surprises will slow me down.

Enjoy the preview! On to page 81...

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Page 79 complete! Issue #5 is 41% done!

Page 79 is now finished and placed in the issue. It's amazing, at this point, what practice does to your speed. Water effects, shiny wet skin, shadows, and motion blurs -- they all come so much quicker than they did back in issue 1.

And my "new" Wacom pen tablet is a god-send! I say "new", as I have had it for only 9 months. I've used a mouse for all my digital work for the last 16 years! Without it, there is no way I would be doing the work I am now doing -- at least not with the same quality and speed. If you are interested in doing artwork on a computer, I highly recommend looking into one. The model I use is the wide-aspect (11"x6") Wacom Intuos3 tablet. I bought the wide aspect since my computer screens are wide (17" Mac PowerBook, and a 24" inch iMac). They also make more inexpensive versions, but I have not tried those. After 16 years of mousing, it took about a week to get used to the pen. Now, I only use the mouse for precision* and simple menu commands.

(*When you release a mouse, the pointer stays. You can't do that with a pen as easily.)

Oh, yeah... enjoy the preview for page 79!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Page 78, complete!

I wanted to post this earlier, but it was a busy day today. This page was a complicated one -- many intersecting bodies and overlapping limbs. Shading gets tricky when one person's arm crosses another's leg, which is over another person's breast. You know how it is.

Speaking of shading, I've been honing my skills and have simplified my approach to some of the shading. No, you won't see less shading. It's just the method that I have been doing shading that's changed. I am applying more simply areas in Photoshop rather than Illustrator, and with my Wacom Pen Tablet, it makes it even easier. In the end, this means faster page production time. Whoo hoo! Enjoy the preview!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Page 77 Complete !

Well, I couldn't quite finish this page last night. I was a little too busy on one of my first days back to work after the holiday. But, I was able to complete it this afternoon. It was a really cool page to work on -- a page definitely made for all the titmen (and titwomen) out there. Well, then again, the page IS number 7 of the issue -- good ol' "lucky 7". Enjoy the preview!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year, New Page! P.76 Complete!

I'm back from a much needed vacation. A nice week of REST with family and friends (and lots of gooood food). To start off the new year, here is a NEW page -- number 76. Enjoy!