« on: May 5, 2005, 03:33 AM »
I completed this a while ago. I think I spent over 90 hours on it. Much of that time was spent applying correction fluid and re-inking. I think the hands and the ball were re-inked 25+ times. The corrction fluid is quite thick down there. I was using Pro White to correct for a while, but I had to do 3 applications to get the ink covered. I tried Liquitex acrylic white and still had to do more than 1 coat. I finally played around with correction fluid pens and I now swear by the PaperMate Wite Out pens. The feathering on the face also was re-inked 10 or more times. I wanted it to look as good as possible and despite all the corrections, I learned a lot doing this page. It basically took me from a novice to a fairly confident and fluent inker. Everything (except the Zip-A-Tone) is brush and ink. No quill or pens. I used a ton of different inks trying to find the best opaque black and fiinally just started mixing my own. I pour about 2 bottles of Black Magic into a larger jar and let that sit out for about 24-32 hours and coagulate a bit. Then I added a cheaper bulk ink (Dick Blick) to extend it and got some really decent opaque black. I experimented with brushes and I totally swear by the Windsor and Newton Series 7 #2 Kolinski Sable brushes. I really tried to give the Raphael Kolinski Sable #2 brushes a chance and just wasn't able to acchieve the same fine point and control. I also experimented a lot with Zip-A-Tone. I found this huge cache of it while cleaning out my grandparents basement. A buddy of my uncle's was a graphic artist in the 70's and left it behind (lucky me). Tried to layer it in areas and just played around with different textures and effects. I have some of the newer Letraset tone sheets, but I had problems with the tack being too strong and it was pulling up my paper when I peeled the excess off. It is not as easy as it would seem to use an x-Acto blade to get that stuff to fill the space perfectly. It was all done on a Strathmore 500 cold press sheet. This is such good stuff. I have tried the hot press and the drying time is slow and it hard to manage. This paper soaks it in without bleeding and held up really well to all the crap I put it through.
I am pleased with it considering it was a major chore and huge learning process. I could never make it in the mainstream industry as an inker. I am too concerned with perfection and it being as close to what I imagine it should be as possible. Getting those fingers to stand out from the glow of the ball and the castle within it was a definite acchievement. There were times I wanted to destroy it and other times I was so into it and everything flowed and felt right. Whether it's good or not in the eyes of others isn't as important to me as just seeing it through and finishing it. I think I started 15 pages and just destroyed them with my ineptness. Finally I sat bythis guy in a comic class that was an aspiring inker and he asked me why I had done so many and gave up. He just looked at me and help up a jar of Pro-Wite and said, "That's what this stuff is for..." I just had this idea that it had to be perfect from start to finish. Right after that I went to a comic art exhibition and every inked page they in the show had correction fluid on it somewhere. So those words rang true and seeing that Frank Frazetta, Jack Kirby, Will Eisner and R. Crumb all used it profusely broke me through the mental barrier of needing to be perfect from beginning to end. I took it to an extreme, but realized that perfection comes from making mistakes and correcting them...
The scan is a bit rough. I'll work on perfecting it and post a better one when I can.