Digital Colours

I spent yesterday trying different ways of colouring and different styles but didn’t get to a result that I liked. Today, however I got things going for me!

Colouring digitally has always been one of the things I wanted to be able to do. A while back (and still) I would look at other artist’s works and be left in utter awe because it was just magnificent. So when I started i thought that it couldn’t be too hard. If you look at a finished illustration you see all those colours and they make perfectly sense. Yes, the shadow is blue because it just has to be. the highlight are yellowish instead of white because what other colour would possibly come to someone’s mind who’s got eyes?!

So I took one of my inked sketches, scanned it and opened it in Photoshop.

Three hours later I was done with the sketch, done with the painting and definitely done with the day, too. While I was laying in bed it bothered me so much how hard I failed that I couldn’t sleep for hours. The next day I went back to my computer and tried again. Same result, early bedtime. This went on for weeks and I started blaming my computer and my version of Photoshop – which was a pretty old one. It just felt easier that way.

I went back to colour my sketches and illustrations in the traditional way (markers, pencil, ballpoint pen) but now I suddenly sucked doing that too!

After hours and hours and hours and even more hours I finally started to get the hang of it (Thanks God!).

Art is probably the most disappointing thing I’ve done in my life. But also the most rewarding.

And by now I dare to say that my colouring has turned out to be quite okay.

One of the first fully coloured pages of my comic “Warden of Time”:

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Comics Looking Weird

I’ve spent the last days laying down the basic colours and getting more pages done.

It really looks like I’ll be able to finish this step tonight and start the proper colouring tomorrow.

Before I started working on “Warden of Time” I knew that making comics takes an incredible amount of time but dear Lord – I still underestimated it! But that’s why I loved making it even more. I’m a great friend of challenges. Especially working with tight deadlines gets me!

I split up the process in different steps and work my way from step to step instead of page to page. Some artists do that but I don’t really like it that much. It works with smaller projects like 4- 6 pages but definitely not with 30 +.

Here’s my list of completed (and coming) steps:

  1. Rough layout of the pages
  2. Pencil sketch
  3. Inking
  4. Flat layers
  5. Highlights & Shadows
  6. Lettering

I didn’t included the step of creating the characters. This took me a couple of years. But it doesn’t necessarily have to take that long. I was just playing with that story while I was still in school and developed the characters and the plot over the years.

But as you can see – it won’t take me much longer! I’m so excited! The exhibition will be in 5 weeks and by then I will have it finished!

I remember one teacher who was really … supporting when it came to being nice to his students. He promised me that I would never get anywhere in life. He got an invitation to the exhibition.

While I was checking for mistakes in my flat layer I temporarily hid the lineart (inks) layer and it turned out to be pretty weird-looking.A bit of another sneak peek here!

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COLOURS!

I finally got around to start colouring! I was really looking forward to this part because now the whole comic project starts to look “real”. As in: it’s really happening!

I decided to go with a technique used by many comic artists. Using Photoshop I have one layer for the line art so that I don’t mess it up accidentally. I use another layer for the “flats”. The flat layer contains just the basic colours that I want to use but they don’t have to match a 100% . With another layer on top I can adjust the colours and make them match, change colours to my liking or change the overall tone to create atmosphere. That’s also when the magic with shadows and light happens.

I really love the way flat layers and the finished layers look so different and how the flat layer is just an idea of the final look.

Here’s an example for you to see! More coming soon (:

 

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Artist off duty

This weekend I actually had some time off! Which is quite rare because I currently have so much going on that even if I had the time I couldn’t relax properly.

However, this weekend one of my closest friends came to visit her family. After we finished school she moved to a big city to take up her university studies which is why I don’t see her as much as I used to. We already spent some time on Thursday but met up again on Friday to just have a good time. Upon reflecting on how different “adult-life” after graduating and starting uni/ a job is and how easy life used to be as a kid we remembered that we still had some toys lying around, collecting dust.

Of which use it to be a 20-year old who reads more comics than the kid next door, who considers Batman socks and a Batman belt as “dressed up nicely” and who still takes her pencils to the restaurant to wait for the meal to arrive if you can’t play with the toys you had as a kid? The toys you loved dearly.

So, we decided to call it a girls night and we started cleaning the dust of long-forgotten treasures.

We set up the slot car racing track and embraced the inner child. I loved it as a kid but it never grows old!

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I hope you had a great weekend!

“Warden of Time”

As I have mentioned before (and again a little bit later than intended) I am currently working on my own comic project and I want now I want to introduce you to the story properly.

It’s going to be release 30th October in German and will be part of an exhibiton close to where I live. I will translate as soon as I can so it should be available in English sometime in November.

But hold on – I got lost again. Let me start over again and let me tell you what it is about:

Warden of Time

An ordinary girl in her mid-twenties, who has an ordinary life, ordinary friends and ordinary hobbies is being pushed in front of a train and murdered by a sinister-looking, hooded stranger.

Like every dead person she is taken to a morgue. Another stranger shows up and leaves an hour glass next to her. Attached to it is a small piece of paper which reads the name Ophelia Loxley. He flips it and disappears. As the sand starts to fall, she opens her eyes.

10 months after this encounter the girl, now called Ophelia, lives in a big city with no memories of what happened, where she came from and who her family is. Working in a filthy pub, getting by on low wage, she’s not a too happy person to chat up. One night a scruffy customer demands her time promising answers to her questions about her unknown past. When she rejects him he leaves a broken hour glass, similar to Ophelia’s and an address on the table and leaves.

Another hooded man stays unnoticed in the shadows of the pub until she finishes her shift and makes her way to the address.

Of course that isn’t the entire plot, but I can’t tell the entire story now, can I?

This comic will be the first of a series that I want to continue over the next couple of years. Also this part will be an introduction into Ophelia’s World with 30 pages of story and about 10 pages of additional sketches, information and texts. The next issue will have more pages. As I am going to start Uni in October I probably won’t be able to publish new parts of the story as fast as full-time comic artists but I like the idea of having a project that grows with me.

I hope you liked the story so far!

Stay tuned!

I’m still alive!

Hello my friends!

I’m back to Germany and managed to take a couple of minutes off. I’m currently working non stop on my comic which will be out in little less than eight weeks!!! It’s so exciting!

I’m almost completely done with the lineart and now I want to share a few sneak peeks. The picture’s page 11 so some thrilling stuff already happend … Tomorrow I’ll write a proper post introducing the plot and maybe even revealing a few more details regarding that lovely lady!

Cheers!

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