Friday, July 1, 2016


Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'll pay, when tomorrow, tomorrow comes today.

I love Jamie Hewlett's work so I thought I'd leaf through my Gorillaz CDs' booklets for inspiration and this ended up being a live-ink study of a bunch of Noodle's outfits from the three Gorillaz CDs I have (the first two LPs plus G-Sides). The longer I looked at the G-Sides cover, the more I was intrigued by the color scheme they used, and thought I'd try to match it in Copics, and then all this happened, as they say.

So this is the scanned version of the piece, but as I suspected yet again, perhaps my scanner isn't up to snuff, especially compared to my camera...I had to adjust the colors extensively to get closer to what they look like in real life, but it still just has quite a heavy red bias. Colors aside, the capture itself is comes out noticeably blurrier, especially compared to my trusty camera.

But speaking of my camera, this is Cammy's capture and it really does look a bit better, if I had to choose one (and I did). Once again, the camera gets closer to the actual colors I used, particularly on the skin, which here are closer to brown than red. Given how much the camera trumped my scanner here, I am a bit in shock--I thought my scanner was a tank--but it looks like my camera really is the stronger fighter.

I haven't scanned lines in a while, but I believe that and other BW work will have to be my scanner's destiny from now on, though these lines are via my camera. The only issue would be crispness, but that hasn't been a problem in the past. I wonder if the scanner is faulty and I never realized it...but I've had it since I came to Japan and don't recall it being poor before. Maybe the second move damaged it--I noticed the bright light doesn't pop up on the initial scan pass anymore for the preview capture (at least I think I remember it emitting a bright light during initial sweeps). Maybe I'm just not scanning correctly or something.

In any case, here is the process breakdown. A couple notable steps, this is my first time drawing on Copics. For the background, I knew I was going to live-ink it, so I thought I'd draw over the base color to prevent any rando ink swiping, though in retrospect, the G-Sides cover has even the blacks tinted red, so for that effect, I probably should have let the Copic tint the lines, too. But there was no smearing on the finely detailed areas so it wasn't all downside. Similarly, I realized dabbing rather than brushing color over finer inked areas like the jacket inlining helps prevent smearing.

The second notable thing is that this is the first time I've used colored pencils on a Copic piece. Not sure I'm doing it right, though, again, trying to mimic Eisaku, but I don't feel I'm getting as much punch out of them, especially on white. This is also the first time I've Copic'd over Copics, and using the pale red wash as a base was a little scary since some Copics seem to "spoil," or make this acid-ish texture emerge, and this indeed happened a bit on the grays of the railing, but after it all dried, it ended up looking fine, so crisis averted!

And lastly, I wasn't sure about putting in the white ink rim, but the G-Sides cover had that effect, so I went with it, though I do wish I had a thinner white pen. Mine's pretty good, but I am finding it can get a touch runny and after drying, it can end up washed out a bit. Owing to its thickness, it can also be hard to get to go precisely where you want. It also has a pernicious habit of clumping shut or getting streaks right in the line, so your carefully planned lines can get randomly thrown in danger (see the bottom right of today's piece). Still gotta crack open my Deleter white ink, maybe that's the answer...

To close, I thought I'd document the ever-important skin tones this time. I like trying out different mixes, and this was today's gamut, applied in left-to-right order. I try not to lean too much on "white" skin, and I've been collecting darker skin tones, to be sure, but there's definitely no shortage of expressive "white" skin available (heck, pretty much all the flat-out "skin"-named tones are "white"). The other photo is of a few of the colors I used for the rest of the piece.

And that is how we slow jam the news.


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