Wednesday, April 29, 2009

X-men Origins:Wolverine Sketchcards

I did these for Rittenhouse Archives a few months ago. They hit the shelves today! Collector trading cards for X-men Origins: Wolverine to coincide with the upcoming movie! Anywho here are scans of the 51 i did. They are randomly inserted into the boxes. A whole bunch of talented artists worked on this and was glad to be a part of it! =). Happy Hunting!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Chinese characters and tatoos

This is a slightly off topic post. Although I guess chinese characters and caligraphy is considered inking in some respects so it's somewhat related. I was watching some UFC tonite and one of the fighters, i forget the name had a chinese character on his back. The character was the word for bravery. Going into the tatoo shop, I can see how this would have been a nice character to get for his tatoo. However, I talked to someone with more experience in the chinese culture and experience than me about it. It turns out that that word was printed on the front and back of solders during the Ching dynasty. Still pretty good on the meaning there; Bravery into battle and all. However, in today's culture and slang, that word and how it was printed on the back of the chinese soldiers, is used more in a derogatory way. It pretty much means that's all you have, no brains, no strength, no smarts, no win, just dumb bravery. Words change over time, and as such, it should not be a surprise that a word that used to mean something heroic now means something totally opposite. In the english language, we see this as well. Would you like the word AWEFUL tatooed on your chest? It doesn't have the same meaning it did when the word was invented to mean something great and eye opening. Kinda like sic or bad has changed meaning as well these days. Point is, usage of chinese calligraphy has been hot in tatooing for a while now. Make sure you research the word you put on yourself carefully before going through with it. My two cents to help the non chinese not get burnt when tatooing chinese calligraphy on his chest or back. Incidentally, the UFC fighter got knocked out. So in the end, the tatoo was pretty befitting of him. Who knew?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


So I got finally got a Cintiq. I was monitoring the pricing on Futureshop for the last 6 months. It was 2100 in December, then went up to 2500 in January and just this month was 2800. (Futureshop is Canada's version of Best Buy) . I attribute it to the depreciation of the Canadian dollar in recent months. On the one hand products are increasing in price and on the other, most of my paychecks are from the US so more money for me when i exchange. Well, instead of waiting for it to rise even further I found a place that was still selling it for just under 24oo CAD and got one. It's really pretty awesome if you've done painting or whatnot in the past. Takes a bit of adjustment but it's so much more awesome than using a mouse or regular tablet. I hope to do a lot more digital paintings, although I think most of my finished pencil stuff will still be on paper. I think it works better for more finished pencil stuff to be done on paper first and then brought into the computer for color. Although I may change my mind on this when I get more comfortable with the Cintiq.

Anywho, here is an early color painting test for documentation heh.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Inking 101

So you want to be an inker. The first thing like everything. Practice Practice Practice! Every inker has their different tools. Pen, brush, technical pens, wacom tablet. I would classify that there are two types of pencilers in today's comics. The first is the penciler that draws fairly loosely or tight, but expects the inker to embellish. The second is the penciler that draws super tight and expects the inker to follow close to the lines, a method which master inker Joe Rubenstien terms as lamenating. Sometimes a penciler inker relationship can start with the lamenating process, but as a penciler becomes more comfortable with the inker, then they allow the inker to express more freedom and embellishment. This comes down to communication.

I will not discuss the techniques in this post. There are better resources that can explain it better than my blogging at this time. Instead I offer some resources on the web...

Ok first thing. Practice!

There are several ways to practice.
  • Inking on the actual artwork
  • Inking over vellum
  • Inking on blueline
  • digital inking
Here are some pros and cons:

Inking on the actual work: This is usually the best case scenerio, but starting out, these can be hard to obtain. Who will trust you to ink on the actual pages? This is the tried and true way of inking. As well, it adds collectibility value to the finished pages. The cons are that sometimes the penciler may have a heavy hand and dig into the page. When this happens, the paper is brittle and ink will bleed on it. A downside on the production side is that it takes time for transit between penciler and inker. This can also become costly for the independent creator if fedex is required.

Inking on blue line: This is a more preferable method of inking these days with the advance of technology. It is easy to get high res images, especially if you ask nicely! In this case, it is best to invest in a oversized printer that can print on 11x17 boards. This will save you time and money in the long run. No more late nite runs to kinkos! This method also reduces cost and time because you don't need to rely on fedex either. The downside is that the collectibility of the pages are not as desired by fans as much.

Inking on Vellum: This is probably the best way when starting out. It is cheap and cost effective, especially if you cannot afford the more expensive printer, comic boards, or even the runs to kinkos. You can get individual sheets of vellum for like 50 cents. It is not necessary, but you may need to invest in some type of lightbox as vellum is opaque and can be hard to see through sometimes. Downsides to vellum is that they are usually thin and buckle. The ink also does not get absorbed as well as paper does, leading to a lot of pooling

Digital Inking: all the benefits of higher turnaround time, probably even faster than blueline printout because you skip the printout and scanning. There are different types here, but I am talking about the type of digital inking that involves actually inking with a wacom tablet or similar form. I have not had much experience in this so some professional digital inkers can give better advice on technique. For me, the only real con is that there is no physical product at the end.

I'll end the post here to let things digest.

For some more practical advice, here is a link to a previous post Inking tips

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wonder Woman Sketch

This is a sketch I did last year of Wonder Woman.