I started on character designs for Entwined: A Recurrent Romance as an Inktober project in 2017. It’s about Superheroes and Aztec Gods, and in parallel with this theme of duality and opposites, I’ve split my art processes into pieces.
- I’ve developed a new art style for myself
- I’ve gotten somewhat proficient at digital painting
- I’ve redesigned each page more than was probably necessary
The concept of ‘finished not perfect’ took a holiday for most of this comic. But it was worth it for the skills I developed and for the final thing which is now printed. Below- Fresh Prints delivered to Entwined writer Dr Mike 2000
What did I learn in this Comic Adventure?
1- All digital workflow. Initially I worked from digital first draft, printed that out as blue line layer, applied ink wash, and then scanned and realigned to the digital linework. I go into this process a little here.
This was all well and good, although time consuming and finicky. But when I needed to make changes, the re-printing, re-scanning, and re-compositing was a hassle. At some point I started using digital brushwork over the traditional inks and never looked back. I’ll use page 8 as an example.
Traditional Art Superhero
From left to right, I take the provided layouts (1) and add extra detail (2), using that as a template to create ink washes. That’s all fine, and I can then overlay the ink wash onto the digital line layer. In theory at that point its a matter of another clean line layer and I’m good to colour.
But what happens when I want to make changes?
In this case I was still redesigning White Mamba’s look, his helmet, the ship and interior. Perhaps leaving the ink washes till later would also be an idea!
It was somewhere in this process that I was playing with digital painting, first for touch ups and then as a substitute for ink wash. Keeping it all digital proved itself far too versatile to go back to my previous method.
Digital Art Aztec God Power Ignite
Staying digital allows give me the freedom to create colour tests as I go, and refine/edit/change without additional headaches. Perfect for someone who keeps changing their mind!
I’ll be writing a paper on the process and my research into Aztec Gods, tropes of romance, subverting the superhero genre, and more later this year. In the meantime Entwined will be available for purchase from the store, or contact me directly for a copy at Darren@storybordello.com