Sherbet Art by some of the best creators in comics: PART THREE
Some of you who have been following me for some time probably know by now that I write a comic called Sherbet, about a female pastiche of Sherlock Holmes who lives in the future, takes lots of drugs and solves paranormal mysteries. Some of you may also know that I am plotting a Kickstarter to…
Here’s the finished piece I genuinely couldn’t be happier with the results! She…
Sherbet Lock Process 4
Here’s me finishing up the illustration of Michael Bramley’s character Sherbet Lock! I finished inking the foreground elements, then penciled/inked the background. The non-ghost, gray-looking areas are just narrow black stripes—I like using this effect if I’m doing something black and white.
Then I went in on that ghost, and darkened it up juuuust slightly, and added some dimension, and a little transparency. I used Copic Sketch Markers N1 and N2. So yeah, really light.
My final step before scanning is corrections, which I do with a white Gelly Roll gel pen. People always swear by certain correction fluid pens and whatnot, but I’ve never found anything that beats a gel pen, especially for small corrections. They get less opaque when they get old, though.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the final scanned product!
Amy applying the finishing touches to her stunning illustration…
Sherbet Lock Process 3
So I decided to render the ghost first…first I penciled it out, and lightly erased it all with a rubber eraser so I what I drew was light but still visible. The reason? I’ve found that using markers over pencil sort of locks the pencil lines in—you can’t erase that stuff. I use Copic Sketch Markers—Copic Ciao’s basically the same but cheaper and not refillable—here I used N1, which is very light gray. I planned on rendering it more later, but I knew I wouldn’t know the right amount of rendering until the rest of the art was done.
Next in my foreground-to-background process, I tackled Sherbet herself, face and torso. This was definitely the most fun! I was happy with how her expression turned out. I made her vest black with pinstripes—since this is mostly just pen and ink, I tried to fill some areas with black, for contrast.
Tools: I mostly ink with the Faber-Castell Pitt Pens, size XS. I keep two around—one new, and one old that I’ve marked up as old. This is because the line gets thinner, the more you use one. So I get two sizes out of one size marker. I also keep a size S, mostly for filling small areas, and I use a Pentel Pocket Brushpen for larger areas of black.
I don’t use real brushes or nib pens and I am totally terrified of them!
I erase with a Faber-Castell Dust-Free white eraser, the reason being that it’s less abrasive and doesn’t pick up as much ink…it just rolls the pencil off the page. Also, I should mention I use a french curve sometimes…for instance on the frame around the image. I do NOT have a steady hand! Most of my lines are made up of quick , small strokes but I’m trying to change that.
Check in Monday for more!
I like how she captured the way my eyes pierce womens’ souls…
Sherbet Lock Process 2
I took my sketch, scanned it, and dropped it in one of my comics template files, because that’s the dimension Bramley asked for. Then I resized the sketch, zooming in until I felt like the composition looked nice, leaving their faces large enough that I could easily render them. That’s when I placed a perspective grid on it (much like these), and printed the image out on 8.5x11 paper. I decided to work at print size…meaning, I didn’t blow it up or anything.
I taped the paper to my “board”—which is actually just Hammermill Color Copy Cover paper…it’s cardstock. It’s what I prefer to ink on because I have insanely ghetto tastes. And as you can see above, I tape these together so I can lightbox the sketch underneath!
But first I wanted to give it better composition. I added a steampunkish frame (since Sherbet Lock is a bit steampunk). I also added a table in the foreground, to make it look less empty.
I never just pencil and then ink…I do it in stages, from foreground objects to background. So I penciled the frame, then inked it and erased…then penciled the table and inked/erased.
I do this for two reasons—first, I have a little bit of OCD and I get really bothered with pencil smearing, to the point that I can injure my hand by how I hold a pencil to avoid smearing. It’s something I haven’t been able to control and it really hurt my hand/slowed me down when I had to pencil an entire page for an inker.
Second, it’s easier for me to wrap my head around an image if I can do it in steps like this! I can think about one part at a time. And, say I have a complex image where the foreground/background images intersect a lot…if I have the foreground part already inked, it’s WAY easier to map out what’s going on in the background, because I can pencil over the foreground stuff.
But I wouldn’t be able to get away with this technique if I didn’t have a fleshed-out underdrawing with a set plan. Like I can’t just draw the foreground, having no idea what’s in the background. And I wouldn’t recommend anyone trying that, either.
The final image was a rendering test I did on a separate sheet of paper. I wanted to see if I could render the ghost in Copic Marker with everything else in ink. And I had to find out if I should just ink objects straight through the ghost. I decided marker was good, but that I would have to go lighter on the see-through effect or it’d look ugly. Which meant I would have to draw the ghost first.
Stay tuned for more tomorrow! I’ll also talk about tools next time.
More from Amy Reeder. Who else is as excited as I am?
Sherbet Lock Process 1
I’m gonna do a creative process thing! You get to see this illustration unfold the way I would.
I don’t normally do commissions for friends, but my pal Michael Vincent Bramley asked me to draw a piece on his character Sherbet Lock. And I happen to like Sherbet Lock! So I thought I’d go for it. Sherbet is a futuristic Sherlock Holmes-type character who investigates the paranormal. She’s a bit smug, and she’s also a lesbian. Bramley’s got a collection of short story webcomics on her, so definitely check them out.
I like the challenge of capturing other people’s characters, so I tried to include as much about her in one image as possible. Here’s the sketch I came up with—I just kept drawing outward and figured I could crop it to comic page dimensions later. The size is around a quarter page. I think you can tell, but that’s a ghost licking her cheek!
I like taking these sorts of opportunities to experiment on rendering. So I was pretty excited but also unsure about rendering that ghost. Stay tuned and I’ll post more tomorrow!
I like where this is going…
The multi-talented D. Yee provided us with this unique and unsettling, yet beautiful take on the detective of Baker City.
Like it? Good, now read the comic and ask yourself why bad things always happen to good people.