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Inktober Day 7-9

Day 7- Flower

The Dragonslayer is not someone a coward would approach… Without a way to see under the deep shadow of his helm, most of the village people have avoided him as much as he has avoided them. He had planned to leave days ago, but with the minimal resources of the town, he had no sufficient funds to move on. He had been forced to stay, communicating with no one as he took whatever food was offered to him by strangers. Thus, it was quite natural of him to be very surprised at the approach of the two children, arms filled with flowers, shyly holding them out to him. He understood what they wanted him to do, and soon he found himself kneeling in the field they’ve been planting, old ash and dirt soon clinging to his armor. He seemed to care little for the heat of the sun, as his dragon-scale armor kept the heat out. The town’s people thought him a funny sight, an imposing figure, kneeling in the dirt, planting flowers! Had they misjudged him? Or had he simply given in to the whims of the children after constant nagging?

Word Credit: Anike (A nice and colorful word and a great way to show that the Dragonslayer is not as antisocial and solitary as you might think.)

Conveying Behavior: A useful art skill

Conveying behavior is extremely important in any form of art. Whether you are painting or drawing an animal in its natural habitat, comic characters interacting or even a small element like a flower blowing in the wind I believe being able to convey the behavior of your subject can be very important. Pretending that your art exists in its own universe, with laws, physics, habitat and atmosphere can help you understand how to portray certain things in your art. Most artists realize this early on, and beginners often start doing it subconsciously. Focusing on it can further help ground your art. 

Day 8- Fame

Unfortunately, when someone is wearing fiery armor made from dragon scales, it tends to have the affect of wearing a physical manifestation of a wide range of victories on their person at all times. Not only does it tend to come with recognition, but also a sense of fame that follows like a cloud. Most people can accept this fame, recognizing legitimate achievements and be done with the matter. Others remain distrusting, seeing fame as a sort of danger to their own reputations and ideas. The latter is the opinion of the blacksmith, who nearly had a fit when the mayor sent him to retrieve the Dragonslayer from his work in the fields. Not only did his thunderous expression completely crush the Dragonslayer’s satisfaction at his hard work, but the blacksmith’s barbed statements aimed at his fame seemed to only confuse him, rather than upset him. This miscommunication left the blacksmith fuming, glaring at the Dragonslayer with all the fury he could muster. As for the Dragonslayer, he remained expressionless and voiceless beneath the helmet, seeming only confused and surprised at the blacksmith’s outburst.

Word Credit: Ouma Nellie (Another word I was definitely not expecting! This word most certainly helped in creating more depth in how the characters react to the Dragonslayer. Especially in a small town that doesn’t attract many famous people).

Day 9- Discombobulate

If the blacksmith’s outburst served to do anything, it was to confuse the Dragonslayer. After blankly staring at each other for a moment, the Dragonslayer shrugged dramatically. Finally, it was clear to the blacksmith that none of his words were understood by the helmeted man and had only discombobulated him. Defeated, he simply pointed in the direction of the remaining market stalls, put up by the merchant to sell some things to passing travelers and those in the village who could still afford it. These funds were used to slowly help get the town back on its feet. Outside the main stall, the mayor stood, watching out into the field. The Dragonslayer trudged towards the mayor sheepishly, wiping his muddied gloves on the smooth scales of his chest plate.

Word Credit: Zanet (Thank you for the unique word! The Dragonslayer generally finds people discombobulating. Is it because he cannot understand their language? Or perhaps he finds dragons less intimidating than being social…)

What mediums I used where: Answering a question concerning Inktober this year

A fellow artist wanted to know what art supplies I used where during this Inktober. I remained very consistent in my use of the art supplies, even if I did use a lot more than last year. For the characters and most of the foreground elements, such as the characters and the houses in the background I used my Copic Markers. I was focusing on greyscale colors, especially since I very light grey Copics that served to not overwhelm the artwork. I only used my colored Copics for the Dragonslayer’s armor and two other elements added later in the comic. I used white GellyRolls very often this Inktober, mostly for the reflective parts of the illustration, such as the Dragonslayer’s armor and the eyes of the characters. I also used a set of grey GellyRolls, although these were limited to small elements of the characters’ outfits. For the sky, flowers and other small colored elements in the comic, I used my Derwent Inktense pencils. Although each illustration is unique, this is mostly the order in which I used the mediums. I did variate on some panels where it was needed, however, I hope this description will suffice.

Thank you to everyone who was a part of Inktober this year! Thank you to everyone who supported me and joined me on the adventure! I will continue posting on this blog as I finish writing the behind-the-scenes content!

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Inktober Day 4-6

Day 4- Sesquipedalian

The mayor of the town had been among those to lose his house and belongings. Fueled by his anger at the seemingly unjust behavior of the dragon, he gathered everyone together and made a speech. This included the Dragonslayer, who hung near the back of the crowd, silent beneath his helmet, ash and sparks still circling him from the fight. The mayor could certainly be characterized as long-winded, overusing big words and professional jargon. This prompted the blacksmith, a man of much opinion and little intelligence, to cause an argument. The Dragonslayer seemed blissfully oblivious to the bickering men, instead staring out at the mountains where the dragon had come from, his helmet still hiding every hint at an expression.

Word Credit: Melissa (Thank you for teaching me an interesting new word! I had to Google the definition more than once, just to make sure…)

Grey scale on Toned Paper:

 In choosing my limited color pallet for Inktober, I decided to work in grey scale and use only the autumnal colors of red, yellow and orange. Working in grey scale is a great method of learning to separate the tones of a drawing, as well as focusing on shading. Toned paper allows you to be able to use lighter colors, including white, and helps darker tones stand out. I would recommend using toned paper for studies and such, especially if you’d like to improve with shading and separating tones. One thing that is important to keep in mind, is that the toned paper will affect the colors of your art supplies. Always test the colors on an extra sheet of the same toned paper you are planning to use for the illustration, and write down the color names if possible to prevent confusion.

Day 5- Uncomfortable

As the day was coming to a close, the merchant stopped the bickering blacksmith and mayor, drawing attention to the Dragonslayer. With the whole town suddenly directed at him, the Dragonslayer seemed to squirm in his armor, backing away slightly. The mayor called to him, but he made no response. His lack of reaction, largely due to the uncomfortable situation, caused an eruption of a response from the town people. Soon they were shouting and bickering ten-fold, and not just the mayor and the blacksmith, but rather seemingly everyone had an opinion to raise.

The Dragonslayer took this as an opportunity to slip away and make a small camp near the body of the Destroyer. There he stayed, tired and worn out from the battle. His supplies had waned completely, and thus he would be forced to stay in the town for a few days, perhaps a week. He silently resolved to avoid crowds, and people in general…

Word Credit: Bart (There isn’t a better word to explain how people make the Dragonslayer feel. I don’t think there is a social situation in the world that makes the Dragonslayer feel comfortable…)

Line-Art: Background vs. Foreground

This technique definitely won’t apply to all styles, as many forms of art such as realism do not require any outlining. However, I found it to be quite effective for separating elements of the foreground from the background. Keeping in mind that you want to draw the viewer’s eye to the foreground, and that the darkest art supply you are going to use is the pure black pen for outlining, outlining the foreground characters, items or elements immediately pushes everything else into the background. The darker and bolder the outline, the more likely it will draw the eye of the viewer. This is especially effective when the foreground elements are more brightly colored than the background. 

Day 6- Giggle

As the village people slowly worked on rebuilding what they could, everyone seemed at a rather terrible low. The children, soon finding themselves uneasy at the gloom, tried their best to find ways to keep themselves busy. They did not understand what the dragon’s fire had cost the adults yet, and all they knew was the confusion and stress of everyone attempting to rebuild their lives. The gardens, mostly ruined, was no longer a place to play. Two girls then had the bright idea of replanting each and every flower the Destroyer had burnt away. Going into the woods and meadows, they collected every wildflower they could get their hands on. But, for two children, the project seemed too great. They needed someone greater than the magnitude of their project to kneel beside them in the dirt. And who better, they thought, but the expressionless Dragonslayer, perching on the wall of a partially reconstructed house. Giggling, they set their plan into motion, approaching who they considered a silent, helmeted but possible friend.

Word Credit: Karen (What better but the giggling laughter of children to bring the town back to life. Thank you for the very creative word, Mom!)

The Silent Story

Most comics rely on words as well as character expression to tell a story. However, when there is no room for words, the silent story is born. This form of writing takes the form of an illustrated storybook, without the words and the illustrations being on the same page. The words, by themselves, can effectively convey the story. The illustrations, by themselves, still effectively convey the story. This is a fun way of combining the illustration and writing in a story that both the visual learners and the readers can enjoy. This, however, makes it extremely important to capture behaviors of the characters, keeping them unique. The biggest challenge during this comic, was the Dragonslayer. Despite being a brilliant warrior with almost about twelve years of experience, he is shy, awkward and does have a sense of humor hiding under his helmet. His appearance and nature confuse the other characters. An example of this is his friendliness around children, but refusion to speak to anyone. Capturing this was a challenge, both in drawing and in words. Alongside him, there are about six other unique characters, who need to not only interact with the Dragonslayer and each other, but need a unique set of characteristics and behavior their own. Perhaps the extra words and the story told around the illustrations serves as a crutch, relieving me from capturing every moment in art form. However, it is a good step in the right direction.

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Inktober 2021: Day 1-3

Day 1- Burn

Dragons and humans were once able to co-exist. But when man tamed the earth, taking down forests and carving away mountains to make space for their ever-growing cities, dragons felt they had to protect the grounds upon which they hunt and nest, the land they have inhabited for years.  They became warlike, tearing down cities and towns, taking back the wilderness that were once their territories. Yet man, in his desire to protect, would not be bullied by the dragons.

Humans hunted the dragons, until the few that are left disappeared underground or deep within the waters where they cannot be followed. But those rare few who remained, or returned, were behemoths. One such dragon was titled ‘the Destroyer’. Her tough scales were marred by battles, and she was declared missing for the last forty years. In those years, she had grown and at her awaking she began destroying the small village close to the great mountains where she had been roosting. Her fire blackened earth, crop and house alike. What could one man do against the one determined to burn the world that angered her?

Word Credit: Melindi (The story has begun, from here on it is no longer in my hands…)

First Impressions:

Turns out the Hahnemühle Cappuccino book does not appreciate Copic Marker as much as I thought… It put up a bit of a fight and I was left with some streaks on the page. I managed to easily subdue them with an extra layer of marker. I would definitely recommend that you put a thick sheet or two of scrap paper between the pages! The mediums I used also warped the page, but luckily that sorts itself out if I press the book under something heavy for a bit. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of blending I could do, especially with the Inktense pencils in the background. The other pleasant surprise was the Gelly Roll pens. They stood out from the page amazingly! Overall, Inktober Day 1 went very well and I am extremely impressed with the results I managed to get!

Day 2- Evil

There are those who rise up to defend the human world from dragons. These men and women, titled the Dragonslayers, have been dying out alongside the dragons. For someone to become a Dragonslayer, he or she must be the one to land the last blow upon a dragon. From the moment this title is receive, he or she is bound to a life of hunting dragons until injury forces them to retire, or until death takes them at last. These Dragonslayers were risen up to defeat the evil wrought by the dragons, and usually disappear as soon as they had finished their job, laden in gold, silver and whatever spoils they keep from the dragon itself.

This one man who stands against the Destroyer had been a Dragonslayer for over half his life, and his experience showed it. Armed with axe and shield, he was the sole being that stood between the Destroyer and the village. In hight, he stands no taller than one of the dragon’s claws, which is how large the behemoth had grown. The fight between the two raged for hours… The village people rushed to pour water over their remaining crops, as well as put out as many fires close to the houses as they could. But the Dragonslayer took no notice of them. His only focus, was the Destroyer.

Word Credit: Oupa Ad (I was surprised that my grandfather would choose such an intense word… But this is the best word to describe how humans came to view dragons)

Medium Recommendations:

The Hahnemühle Cappuccino book is unfortunately not made for the mediums I am using in it. The paper is too thin for Copic Markers, although it is still possible to use them if you have enough patience. The Inktense pencils warped the paper, so I had to be very careful with how much water I used. However, I had no trouble with my linework pens and Gelly Rolls, as well as the pencils when I didn’t add water to them. I love the results I am able to achieve with the Gelly Rolls, and would definitely recommend colour pencils and Gelly Rolls to use with this sketchbook. I will continue to use my Copic Markers and Inktense pencils with water in this sketchbook, however I do think I should warn anyone interested that it isn’t the ideal medium combination for the paper in this sketchbook.

Day 3- Aurora

When the battle eventually ended, it was night. The dragons’ fire still effected the world around the village, leaving a fiery aurora across the sky. The aftermath was worse than most dragon fights. Usually, Dragonslayers could lead the dragon out of the populated area before too many of the houses and crops are affected. Dragon blood has the consistency of thick oil, and taints the earth so that it may never grow crops again. Unfortunately, the Destroyer had been so set on the elimination of the town, the Dragonslayer had no opportunity to lead her away.  Those who had lost their houses and belongings gathered together around the behemoth, staring at the creature who had cost them over four seasons of work in the field, as well as over a third of the houses in the town.

Word Credit: Natanjah (Thank you for the beautiful word! It brought a nice peaceful setting to end the battle of the dragon)

Fun Technique to Try:

The Inktense pencils brighten the more you layer them, especially after blending the previous layers with water and adding a layer on top while the paper is still damp. This makes the pencils look vibrant and is very reminiscent of using actual ink, in which the layering works the same. The pencils tend to not blend out completely, but the texture worked well enough for what I was trying to achieve. This layering technique is very fun and I’d recommend it to anyone who uses  Inktense pencils.

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Inktober Project of 2021- Introduction

Inktober Project of 2021

Welcome to the Introduction of my comic project for this October. In this post I will be discussing what this project is, what art mediums I will be using and show some of the planning that I have done for the comic. This will be my first official attempt at drawing a cohesive story in the form of a comic book, and I will be documenting the experience for anyone curios about the journey.

Inktober 2020 was a great experience, once again reinforcing my habit of drawing every day as well as practicing to work with ink as a medium. This year, instead of the traditional Inktober challenge, I have decided to create my own prompt list and to rearrange the prompts to form a story. Each word in my prompt list was given to me by a different person, meaning that most of the story was out of my hands and was inspired by the those I asked to participate. This story became my art project for October 2021, a comic in which I only have control of the first word. The rest was in the hands of the people I asked for words.

Instead of the traditional ink that is used by most artists, I decided to use different ink-based mediums. This includes Copic Markers, Copic MultiLiners, Gelly Roll pens and lastly, Inktense pencils. They may not be traditional ink, but all include a variety of different inks and methods of use. They added a unique aspect to my October project for this year. I hope you enjoy the story and the journey as much as I will!

The complete word list for my project, as well as some of the mediums and colors I am planning on using.

Here are some behind the scenes sketches I made while planning the characters. These are made with regular 3H Graphite Pencils, Schneider Edge Pens, Copic Markers, Copic MultiLiners and Gelly Roll Pens. These materials worked wonderfully in my Hahnemühle Nostalgie Sketchbook, and was a great platform from which to plan and storyboard the comic.