Monthly Archives: November 2011

The influence of materials on creation

Here is page 15 of my ongoing project, sketched on a comic format art board.

Adalou page 15 blue-green pencilling

For years, I have been watching the stores, lost in a sea of cheap ​​A4 size scanners…  I am now testing my new Brother MFC-J6510 inkjet. What a pleasure to be able to scan my work, currently draft in A3 (11 × 17 inches) format! With our old Scanjet doing only legal size, I had to scan separately sections of my work, then rebuild the page, a hassle.

The colors are slightly accentuated, because in real life, these very faint pencil traces will disappear under the ink stroke. I do like using the little blue and green crayons .*

I scanned this pencilled page at 200 dpi because it takes a lot of memory! However, I can keep a memory of my drafts. All artists know that sometimes, an unfortunate stroke can mar the picture. Or, in my case, an accidental penstroke during a public event … Fortunately, the computer correction comes in handy!

Below is the first draft, drawn with GIMP 2.6 with my Intuos 4 tablet. With dialogues added in a separate layer. It may be noted that I have made ​​changes in the two boxes in the center, which became two elongated cells, suggesting the passage of time.

Adalou page 15 first sketch

Some dialogues have been modified. I am a perfectionnist, but I do follow my instinct, and I felt that my backgrounds were not enough visible. And the inside floor plans of this house had not even been planned before I drew the exterior!

The house of page 5:

Adalou's house

Which was done between the first and second draft.

It would be an interesting issue to discuss, as how we are influenced in our creation by the material available . As the autobiographical strip at the end of this post illustrates…

I remember the bad ball pens and cheap white sheets I used for my first comics in 1975. Looking at this  disaster of coagulated ink blotches, Jacques Hurtubise suggested to me to use India ink on larger sheets.**

A advice that I have carefully followed thereafter, leading to a series of unfortunate events with a variety of technical pens, and jars of ink. I have experimented doing comics on a variety of medias, and I’m now addicted to mechanical pencils… and my graphic tablet!

The Mechanical Pencil Conundrum

* I use 0.7 mm leads, because I was always breaking the non photo blue 0.5 mm leads. Those color are fragile! However, the pencils sold with the colored mines were poorly designed and the mines broke in several parts inside. So I used an run-of-the-mill 0.7mm Steadler, that preserves the leads inside.

** I met Jacque Hurtubise at a Comic festival at the University of Montréal in 1975.