Friday, July 10, 2009

Riding high on the loose leaf!

Red Monica from Battle Chasers © Joe Madureira
By Corey Breen

I'm really happy with this piece! I had a ton of fun drawing it. It started out as just a simple pin-up on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of laser copy paper, but started getting bigger and bigger. God how I miss Joe Madureira and Battle Chasers! Maybe someday, he will return to it!

My favorite thing to draw on is regular loose leaf laser color copy paper. A lot of people give me slack for that, but I do not care. Artist Skottie Young was talking about this on Twitter not too long ago, for he likes to use it too. He gave many good reasons as to why, and I feel the same way. With loose leaf paper, I don't feel as constrained as if I drew in a sketchbook or directly on nice bristol board or comic board. I love to just sketch freely and erase and make mistakes. I like to fix my art as I go, and with regular copy paper, I find it easier to do. Drawing in a sketchbook makes me feel I can't make mistakes, as funny as that sounds. If I don't like a drawing I am doing on loose leaf, then I just throw it out in the trash. If I don't like a drawing in my sketchbook it lingers there, and haunts me, and I wind up ruing my sketchbook by ripping it out, or something. Sketchbooks are things to show and have a series of great drawings in. But I can't always be perfect, so I don't like to have something that has drawings in it that I love AND hate. My OCD-like qualities just wont let me do that.

I also like to press down pretty hard with my pencil when I draw, and if I drew on "better" paper right away, or in a sketchbook, it leaves an impression in the paper that doesn't go away, and therefore it's a bigger pain to make a coorection. It just feels more finite to me. It sometimes takes me a while to get what I want, and sometimes I redraw whole arms or legs til I get it right. Much easier to do on the smooth loose paper. So I tend to save the higher quality paper for light boxing or inking a piece, after it's fully drawn on the loose leaf. BUT, I try not to ink on color copy paper, because it's too smooth, and the ink tends to bleed. Just pencils.

Some artists find drawing on this type of paper very, very hard to do, because it is very slick, almost like it has a gloss over the paper. I don't mind. I actually find it easier. I love the way my pencil just glides over the smooth paper, and I think I get a really nice tone from shading on it. You can't really do a full on rendering with pencil shading on this kind of paper, but for comic book pencils, I think it's perfect. Comic art really turns out to be "color by numbers" once you get to that stage of pencils where you have to "fill in the blacks".

As you can see from the Red Monica piece above, I think it works really well. But to each artist, their own, and just because I like to draw on laser color copy paper with a mechanical pencil, doesn't mean I'm telling you that you should too. It just works for me, and I wind up doing my BEST pieces on it. If I want, I could always transfer it over to that "better" paper or board!

The only other thing I want to mention with this piece, is what happened when I ran out of blank page on the 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper I started with. I was going to just leave it cropped, as I sometimes do, and call it a day, but I really wanted to draw the shark! At least his head. So, very ghetto-like, I just taped more paper to the end of the sheet, and presto, I had more room. LOL Kept drawing. Just like putting together a two page spread from comic book boards. Just add more paper. It does leave a little gap when you finally scan the image in, but you just clean that up in Photoshop, and you're good to go!

Oh, I was going to also explain what I started talking about last post, about being influenced, and style, and the fine line between being influence and flat out "aping" someone's style. But this post is already too long, and I'll save that for another time!

Have a great weekend, everyone, and hope you like the Red Monica pin-up! I have a MILLION things to do before I get married on Friday, and go on my honeymoon til early August, but I will definitely be posting more before I take a little hiatus for all of that!


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