Pencils

I posted this image on the Moon Racket! twitter account (you should follow the account, I talk all things comics there, not just Moon Racket!) yesterday, but I thought it was important to elaborate a little further here.

Basically what you have there is two panels. The first is actually the last panel found in Season One, while the second panel is the first panel for Season Two which I am currently in the process of drawing.

To me the difference couldn’t be more stark - it honestly feels like two different people drew these. The difference of course is confidence in the characters, but I’ve also changed my tools and the way I’m approaching the art in general.

Tools

While tools are not the reason for art to be rubbish, the wrong tools can’t help the process either. The first thing that’s changed is the paper. I’ve gone from a reasonable rough yellowy paper in a perfect bound art book to individual cut “bristol board”-thick A3 sheets. The difference is liberating in that the final panel is hanging off a thick stack of paper underneath it (as it’s not part of a book).

The second thing that I’ve done is move away from my trusted Copic markers and have moved on to the much cheaper and much better Uni Pin black pigment pens for the thicker pen sizes. I still use my trusted Muji Gel ink pens for all the inking of the standard lines.

Size Matters

The last part, that as far as I’m concerned has transformed the artwork for me and allowed me to move up a level, is increasing the size of the individual panels. Suddenly I have soo much room to breathe and stretch my artistic muscle.

Time

Although Season One was never rushed, I didn’t give the pencils enough time to mature. Like a fine wine, pencil work should sit there for a little while to develop in your eyes and allow you to see and correct all the little mistakes. Don’t be afraid to redraw entire panels if they’re not right. While moving to ink is exciting, leave it for a day, come back to it. Do some more penciling instead.


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