Drawing Table Tuesday

I've been experimenting over the last few days trying to come up with a different way to tone pages. I've noticed there was... an inconsistent look I've seen in older comics (old reprints of things, like Akira). The tones were uneven... sort of scratchy. I've been thinking about how to incorporate that, as opposed to the even, uniform tones I've had till now.

And using software just takes too long. At least for a single person, and trying to keep everything analog. I just needed to switch what I was doing. I've been thinking about it forever and I finally got to it.

And there was a lot of trial and error. There was a lot I considered, and a lot of ideas, but I didn't know what would actually work well. The most important thing to me as that it was a real life process; I wanted to use software as little as possible.  I'm not anti-digital, I just prefer working in real life; I like the feel of the pen and pencil dragging across the paper.

I used a drawing I had sitting around because I didn't want to have to draw something new just for this.
The first thing I tried  was an ink wash on tracing paper. I was pretty sure that the paper would wrinkle pretty badly, but I wanted to give it a shot anyway on the off chance it worked. It's hard to make out in the photo above, but it actually warped enough to try to pull up the transparency below it that was taped to the desk. Even if the warping wasn't bad enough, toning the wash just didn't work- the ripples in the paper transferred to the tones (the tones were streaky).

There were 3 or 4 other tries after that with different materials, that were bad enough that I didn't even save the files, but eventually it came down to my backup plan.
I bought these copics, I don't know, maybe 7 years ago. I've always had them around, but never really used them much since I bought them. They were still good, none had dried out.

I had to test a bunch of different papers, but turns out the marker paper they make for alcohol markers really is the best paper to use alcohol markers on. This was sort of a quick proof of concept-


I had this printed on a photo printer (because inkjet printers can't print tones). That's at print size; that's exactly the size they print at in real life, not blown up or anything.

I plan to get better toning this way, but even not being used to it it's going to save so much time. I'm cutting 95% of the time-consuming computer work out by toning this way. And computer work was the least enjoyable part of this. And I got that uneven, scratchy look.

I think it adds a richness to the tones that they were lacking.