I'm somewhat tired at the moment - I haven't really given myself a post-comic vacation with editing things for print. I want to draw but my brain feels exhausted. There is still much to do for convention season, wedding planning, potential December trip to Ireland, new job whenever that starts, and trying to feed a tired brain some mental nourishment.
I know art is a momentum game but it feels like I only have enough energy to jump a little before stalling.
It was not a good start, even first half of the week, if I'm going to be brutally honest.
I had a sore throat Sunday evening that turned into a throat infection (and I'm glad it didn't spread because it certainly felt like it would have been a chest infection). It wasn't COVID-19 thank goodness.
I'd also, somehow, properly damaged a muscle on my upper right back near the shoulder (I'm left-handed) and it hurt to take a deep breath or laugh.
Then after coming to terms with the fact I'm going to have to return to part-time employment, a few rejected applications rolled in, and one which was really interested in me (and vice-versa) had a clerical error that meant I'd have a 2hr round trip travelling to the other side of my City instead of just walking for 20 mins. That's fun.
Normally all these alone wouldn't shake me, but with the pandemic hitting my resilience super hard and it all just coming in at once, I just couldn't really cope. It's taken me a bit longer this week to get my pages finished while I just let myself deal with the emotions and get back into the right mindset.
That said - I read Blue in Green and did a few little colour and style experiments using some panel palettes - or some slightly tweaked palettes inspired by a page. They're a little rough but it's all I could manage this week outside of slowly picking away at comic pages.
Blue in Green is a gorgeous comic with a highly emotive story - its very well deserving of any award it is nominated for or wins. There are more eloquent reviewers who have more to say about it - I was just happy that I figured out most of the workflow required for its style and look by the end of the comic - I was fascinated (and sometimes distracted from the story but that's more on me than on the comic, which is worth a read).
I've been wanting to start bringing more colour into The Final Lullaby from Volume 3 onwards. As much as I loved working in mostly B+W that harkened to my teenage years in manga - I'm just finding the current method of rendering a little tedious and a little limiting these days. So I spent Thursday night just playing with a sketch with different tools as a beginning of where to take the style from now (and then - how to make active magic items stand out again)
I like the middle one but I'll probably have that same issue with limited colour - so I'm thinking to trying to combo the middle and right hand - using a quirky little two-tone pen I found on CLIP ASSETS (one of them modified to be a bit more g-nib like) - but I still have a few lines to go down - I love brush pens, but I guess I'm after something a little more firm for line art - so if I get a chance I wanna try using a g-pen like nib for lines. I would like to keep it somewhat simple and speedy since I'm a sole creator so I guess more play will be the name of the game!
It has been an interesting week for emotes
And what a relief it is.
It was really interesting coming back to the first chapter to add a few pages here and there to improve page layouts, the pacing, and made some minor improvements to the dialogue!
It was very difficult not to do it, but I managed to leave most of the anatomy mistakes I noticed in - if I made an effort to start fixing things up I'd never stop - and also I wouldn't be able to look back and reflect on what strides I've made since.
What was fun was noticing that at some point I had switched from the 'Cross' toning layer mode to 'Line' for Horos' hair - I've added it to the editing list to make sure that it's all brought back to cross - as I think it looks better than the line mode. My guess is that it happened during one of the burnout phases in late 2019 or summer 2020.
When I first started making the pages for The Final Lullaby, I had a 'it'll take as long as it takes' mentality - which you will be able to see in the outdoor scenes in Walpurgis Night, as compared to say, 'Vampire Hunt' and 'Loveshack'. Though, it's quite fun to see a little bit of a change in care with facial anatomy in the 2nd half of Walpurgis Night - I believe that I sped things up a bit to publish the 'Walpurgis Night Pilot' for Thought Bubble 2019. Then, following the kickstarter, I really needed to ramp up the rate (made easier by going fully self-employed) - but it been helpful for getting a good routine into place!
Not long to go on Volume 2's pages either - just two chapters - somewhere around 40-44 pages depending on how the pacing goes from script to page!
I love it when you find a really fun pen in CLIP Studio (this one is a two-tone pen set to multiply/lower opacity). I wanted to push myself so challenged myself to use just one layer for non-pencils - I wasn't allowed to use the eraser or blending tools either!
As some of you might know - a few years ago I picked up Rebelle3 (and upgraded recently to Rebelle4) and I think it's the best thing on the market for digital watercolours as it does a great job of simulating watercolour pigment mixing (although Rebelle3 uses the RGB method rather than a more 'natural' colour mixing). If you've seen my old Kickstarter - that first image of Horos/Penelope was made entirely in Rebelle3! In fact, let me post it, and some other things I've done in Rebelle!
I'm honestly surprised (but glad) to see it in a Humble Bundle so I encourage you, if even curious about it, to maybe check it out? I'm not getting any kickbacks for this, I just really love to play around in Rebelle!
And there is more than just watercolours but honestly I bought it entirely for the watercolour-like features!
Huh, thought I had more digital SFW stuff done but I guess I did not!