Monday, October 10, 2016


This weekend's MTGinktobers yielded Nissa for "Lost". The initial concept of the piece was Nissa frustratedly studying a map, since she seems like she would be the responsible navigator who can't stand getting lost despite her prep and affinity for nature, meanwhile Chandra would be haphazardly/futilely looking around from a tree, possibly Jace scouting out, too.

This is how it looks in its "prep"/"principal photography" mode, right after initial G-Pen inks. I am floored with how versatile it is, even on super fine lines like with the eyes, just need to get comfortable using a ruler with it. I do use my .03 Copic liner to strengthen/hatch the super fine areas, though, but the G-Pen can generally handle just about everything.

I was listening to a Jake Parker interview where he said he used to pencil tightly before ultimately letting his pen handle more of the detail work, and I though, maybe I'm stuck in this detail-obsessed stage...I pencil quite tightly not out of love of detail (though I love detail), I just don't like "guessing" at the inking stage. Inks feel like the performance, pencils are the rehearsal.

No time for this initial background concept, I just went with what I could safely pencil within my deadline, which was a landscape fusing elements from Ghibli and stuff. I knew I would be ok with live-inking finer details here because it's just natural textures and stuff, so less necessity to be exact. Plus, at a certain point, you've done enough of this stuff that you don't have to rely on pencils to texture-coach so strictly.

Next was "Rock," and I knew I wanted to do a planeswalker/rock-band piece. We ultimately ended up just trimming down to good ol' Domri Brown. This one's a good example of a purely live-inked background, though I did rough (then scrap) a similar stagelight concept (just circles and cones of light).

Here's our principal photography. At this point, I knew we were in a pinch: No time to pencil a proper background as initially concepted, and even the abstract stagelight idea would be too time-intensive. So that meant our only option was to live-ink something even more abstract. And of course that entailed using our seldom-used size 1 micron, which all too easily chews paper up into potentially dangerous ink-wads.

Fortunately when I went into town the other day to buy another eraser pencil (for the first time in my life, I finished--didn't lose!--an eraser), I also picked up a white pen in my continuing search for a strong enough white overink. This Zerba Kestick tends to stutter and flat-out-stop a little too much, but it was quite excellent when it did work. I'm happy to continue working with it, though it does have a super strong scent... As for the pencils, as you can see, we were going to have a little band scene, but not enough time for all that jazz.


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