So I am in the early stages of production of my next book HWID (short for HOW WILL I DIE). I am about five pages into pencils and inks and I am finding that I have so much to learn! I see where my strengths and weaknesses are. One of the things that I have found that needs to change as I am working is my inking style. I am finding that the things that I like in other people's work are not things that I like in my own. I am moving away from digital painting for HWID to really push my drawing skills to the next level. I cant smudge out a bad line like I used to. Every line I put on the paper ends up in the final page.
I have been playing with a new inking style that is more angular and fractal. Elements of the fractalization can be seen in the last issue of The Carriers. As I am doing the inks on HWID I am noticing that using a brush for my lines and then also using the hard edge shapes can really clash. I started using just chisel tip nibs for the hard calligraphic lines that will do a better job of merging the two types of lines that I am using. The result has been eye opening. I haven't mastered it but by the end of HWID I should have it down pat. I find myself inking more playfully but also retaining the quality of the line that I am looking for.
The hard part of this change over has been the voice in the back of my head going- "That's not how Paul Pope would ink that line."
That voice is a pain in the ass to deal with. Hey voice... I am not Paul Pope! Paul Pope has enough people trying to draw like him!
Really hunkering down and keeping at this new technique has really quieted that voice down. I am starting to see that its an original voice that I am using now. The line doesn't seem like I am trying to be someone else. I would post some of the work I have been doing in this style but it's all been in my sketchbook and none of it is really all that impressive unless you know what you're looking for. I am going to wrap up the opening scene in HWID and really delve deep into the new approach for the rest of the book. I don't think that the change will be all that jarring from one page to the next.
Also a love letter to zip tone. I love zip tone. I love it a lot. A LOT. Your itty bitty dots make things seem way more detailed than they are and they cover up some of my screw ups. P. S. I love zip tones.
So if you suffered through that bit of literature then #1- You must be awesome. #2. You're probably wondering when I will post some new stuff up.
I will post two pages of HWID up in two weeks. These two pages will feature the new approach to inking. They will be in full color and lettered. Promise.