Finding your style takes time and experimentation along with the ability to let yourself know that you don’t have to be perfect. Being too critical about every line that you put down on paper or an electronic tablet in this day and age will force you into frustration. I watched an old Bob Ross video and I remember him saying to embrace the happy accidents and let them help add to your painting. I think the same can be said about drawing as well. This week’s post is of my current horror comic, a time lapse of my work, and some of my discovered insights.
My WIP is from my second story which is part of my horror anthology that I’m working on. The tool I used to create this is actually in Clip Studio Paint. I clearly haven’t been paying attention to some of their recent developments but I’m happy to say it sure works well. This is relatively short BUT I don’t want to give away too much before my book is complete. I’m expecting to release it on Amazon over the next couple of months. If you notice I’m not posting as much, wellllll, it’s probably because I’m going full force into finishing this project.
One of the things I struggle with my line art is perfection. Why does it have to be perfect? I don’t think it does at all. It just has to be be able to tell the story well. Not every line may work the way it’s supposed to. Input I received from other people is that they like the roughness of the scenes and that it gives the story an edgy look. I’ll take it as a compliment and as a realization that art appreciation is definitely in the eye of the beholder. Not everyone will like everything but everybody likes something. So when you feel like you are not good enough. Shake the feeling off and keep drawing. Improvement along with style development comes with time.
If you like this excerpt, I have provided the first story for free and it’s right here. You know I’m always looking for likes and comments. Please leave yours. I’ll be sure to comment back. Have a great evening!
Pilgrim in the Woods visiting a Thanksgiving Dinner near you.
Pilgrim in the woods is visiting a Thanksgiving dinner near you. Halloween is over but are all the spooks really gone? The ghosts aren’t screeching and the werewolves aren’t yelping but the woods is not empty of danger.
How is it this pilgrim is here and what does he want? It’s been many long years since the Puritans first came to America and shared the first Thanksgiving. Was someone left behind or is this would be wanderer plagued with unfinished business? Time will tell when the truth is finally uncovered. I could write horror stories all year round. My goal this year is to come up with a horror idea that ties in with every major holiday. I don’t know if I will ever write a full story or not but ideas are where more ideas come from. Let me know if you have any special requests out there.
About this Design
I hope you are all enjoying my latest design. Please let me know what you think by commenting on this post or dropping a note through a form.
I used 13 different layers to design this scene. I didn’t start with a pencil sketch. In fact, I clicked on the oil paint tool and went right to work painting out the scene. The scene background was painted with the oil paint flat brush tool. The digital oils provided a nice blending affect to build the background just like playing with Play dough. I alternated shades and used the blending tool as well to get the lighting effect I wanted.
Tips and Tricks
Below are some screenshots of layers that I used. The first one is a 33% opacity layer that I drew the trees on in the distance along with some shrubs. I used a very light brown within the pallet that I was working with. This effect created some of the white noise that comes with designing wooded areas. A G-Pent was all I needed to design the trees. A darker bleed tool brush was used for the shrubs. I like to keep things murky and then pull the details out.
This next section is of just the trees themselves. See how they are on their own layer? I can manipulate the depth of the piece easier this way and control the highlights and shadows without creating digital mud. Using the selection tool helps to keep the overspray from going out of control. I still have a little. Through color discipline practice, it becomes easier to paint in this fashion. The airbrush highlight and shadow tools create nice textures on the tree. I selected where the light was coming from and then I just stayed consistent until I got the trees completed. Additional texture was created by using a darker pencil to enhance the bark.
As I go over each part of the tree, I can slowly pull out the natural texture of the tree along with other minor details such as the roots and growth defects in the tree that make it look more interesting.
I used the ink pen tool to design the Pilgrim and then I sketched out lightly what I wanted and then filled it in. I already knew that I was going to use a silhouette so I didn’t worry about every detail with the character. Extra grass created the mired affect. The woodlands known to be wet.
The Pilgrim Design
I used the polygon line tool to detail the parts of his outfit that I felt viewers would need to see to understand he is a pilgrim. I used Google to find a some good ideas for what I wanted the pilgrim to look like. Again, not a lot of serious detail required. Using my G-Pen with white pigment, I colored in some wrinkles and added some buttons. If I did my job well enough, you can tell that it’s a pilgrim.
Some additional details I added were the sun beams shining through. The line tool is awesome to get this detail. I changed the opacity on the beams so they look more transparent and played around with the color. True yellow just wasn’t covering it.
I designed the bridge with just blocks of grey matter that I blended together. I used references for this too because I just couldn’t picture the bridge the way I wanted in my head alone.
That is all for tonight. If I left some things out that you may want to know more of, please ask. I am always happy to help everyone out. Also check out my book. You can find it here. Amazon Prime holders can get it for free. It is available in hard copy and E-book format. The book has a lot of these types of tutorials designed to help you come up with design ideas.
Tonight I experimented with some of Clip Studio Paint’s animation capability. With a little trial and error, I was able to make the haunted look of this design even more frightening by adding some willow O’ wisps, rain effects and a soft fiery glow to the pumpkin’s eyes.
If I haven’t said it before, I’ll say it again. Fall is one of my favorite times of the year…and not just because of Halloween. I enjoy the color changes in the leaves and the smell of the air as neighbors burn them (only where it is legal of course).
Hope you enjoy this .GIF. Let me know your thoughts about this or anything else you see on my website. If you have questions, please ask. I love to help!
Ever walk into a forest and see ghostly orbs fly around you? This is what it might look like if you do. I imagine a lot of activity all at once as if an energy burst is suddenly being released until finally pulsating out of existence.
This piece was designed in black and white to create a spooky mood accentuating the darkness and shadow of the night. The orbs are a bright contrasting white so they are able to communicate their presence, movement, and let everyone know they are there.
This piece was designed using Clip Studio Paint and consists of four layers. The initial pencil layer was later converted to detail layer toward the end of completing the piece. The other layers are an ink layer, background layer, and shadows layer.
To create a more 3 dimensional appearance, elements of shadows and highlights were placed throughout all of the layers with a proper amount of blending where needed to fuse the elements together.
The trees were created with a thick inking brush with fine detailing afterward. A tree texture tool was used to give more of a bark look to the skin of the tree. This also allows for more interesting shadows as they were placed with an air brush tool.
The bushes in the foreground were created with an ink wash set to a grey tone much like taking a sponge to a piece of paper with ink. Just enough texture to provide the look of bushes without much more but it helps to frame the piece together.
In the background I placed a slow moving mist moving throughout the trees again to provide some more depth and make it seem as though the orbs were traveling through the woods.
The far background has a number of different tree and grass designs making it seem dark and very difficult to find your way through.
Hope you enjoy this piece…be sure not to get lost should you enter the woods alone and unafraid.
This was inspired by the increased size of the waves as a storm approached. It was easy to visualize someone riding the top of the waves (not me) as they pushed to the shore with ever increasing momentum. The sky was dark and the air was hot and muggy as the storm grew closer.
This image was created with only three pens. One was a brush pen filled with India ink and the other two pens used were a medium and thin black prisma pens. The two smaller pens provided just enough detail for the piece while the thicker brush pen helped create the weight of the clouds and the water.
Contour lines were used again to create the sense of movement across the waves as they moved toward the beach. Where the waves were the fullest at the top, shadows were filled in to give the appropriate weight they needed.
Some speed lines were added at the end to give the surfer the appearance of speed as he moved through the waves.
Total time spent creating this piece was about an hour and half. I used very quick broad arm strokes as I drew not worrying about each individual line. Both the water and the sky was developed at the same time so that the piece was equally balanced on top and bottom with dark shapes.
The sky was developed also using horizontal lines to give varying degrees of mass to the clouds. Some clouds were more transparent than others so by spreading my lines apart, I was able to give more of a translucence to the clouds. The closer lines help provide the shadow.
This was a picture that my daughter Rylie and I drew together while sitting outside at the beach one day. She started with a very loose pencil sketch of her idea and spent about 10 minutes on the subject and composition. I then went back over her pencils with a fine inking pen to solidify the piece and used the same amount of time.
At the end this completed drawing turned out as a nice exercise for both of us. A total of 20 minutes spent on a rather quick drawing of what could be a very nice day out on the ocean.
This is an image design I put together recently which can be easily applied for T-Shirts and or other options. This was created using Clip Studio Paint with a multilayer process. I find that Clip Studio Paint is my choice for drawing almost anything digitally. I like the flexibility that it offers.
I began the design by building the frame of the shield first using a curve tool and polyline tool in tandem. Once I got the lines where they needed to be, I then locked the layer so I didn’t accidently select and change it.
The next layer I made was the text layer which was created first in Microsoft PowerPoint and then exported into Clip Studio Paint as a .jpg file. I was then very easily able to manipulate the text where it needed to be within the shield. While I think Clip Studio Paint has a lot of capability for script text in comics, I have a hard time using the text tool for anything else.
After my text was layed in, the next layer was the skull itself. I drew it using a pen tool and specifically, the for effect line tool. This gave the skull a nice thick to thin line and added nicely to the character of the piece.
Now for the colors. The last part of the project was the colors. I did these as separate layers as well. I should have created layer folders for each but I instead gave each layer it’s own layer in one large folder.
The first color I applied were the flats of the shield. These were then saved and locked. I then selected the flats after creating a new layer to do the fine lines, detailing, and shadows. The selection tool allowed me to detail these areas without having to “go outside the lines”.
Finally, I did the same process for the Skull and added a generic flag. the glow on the Skulls eye was creating using the urchin tool. Prior to having the client approve the piece, I added a 35% fade. This is a cool effect which allows the shirt design to better blend into the color of the T-Shirt. It helps to know what color shirt you will place this on prior to colorization though. A quick background layer also provides the blending necessary so you don’t end up with a box around the design on the shirt. I save my files as high resolution 6000 x 6000 350 dpi .png files.