Sunday, November 30, 2008

· The Garden, redrawn before its time

One of the tricky things about my comics "career" is that I am still trying to figure out how I want to draw... Case in point: I have had the basic outlines of my first longish (90-100 pages) comic, "the Garden," in mind for years now, but I had been putting off getting started until I had more of the narrative particulars down... but about a year ago I was like "Fuck it" and dove right into the thing, figuring that i would be able to piece together those story details as i went forward (I'm still working on those, no surprise).

I liked my pacing, and the sort of more cartoony character design I had come up with for the story. But, when I started drawing the Prologue, I was illustrating it in this somewhat scritchy-scratchy cross-hatchy style which I was playing with then... I guess the main reason was that I wanted it to look a bit old-timey, and to contrast with my other project which I was also drawing at the time, "Territorial Pissings" (which has also landed in comics purgatory in the last year... sigh). However, after completing about eight pages in that cross-hatched style, I began to look at the pages with utter dread... I didn't want to finish out the remaining pages of the Prologue in this style, much less the entire book.

And so, with great trepedation, I began experimenting with redrawing the first couple of pages in a modified style... drawing the blacks with a brush (which I feel much more comfortable and expressive with), and filling in the mid-tones with a grey Pitt brush pen, which I had also done with "Schooled," a recent comic I did for John Issacson's transit anthology... For most of the marks, I found the brush pen was a neat and simple way to insert that second tone, easier than doing an ink wash. However, it was nearly impossible to achieve a nice solid block for the word balloons, etc.

Here is the page after I have played around in Photoshop for awhile... I was able to separate the tones (thank God for the threshold tool), and to clarify the grey layer into a solid block of color, eliminating the various grades in the original drawing (I also cleaned up the first four panels with the Hoepoe bird alighting on the branch, where an inadvertent "figure/ground" problem had arisen when i introduced the grey). Tho' I wouldn't want to do this for everything I draw (I like my little mistakes and sloppiness, truth be told), I like the effect here... it feels modern and old, but still hand-crafted. It feel professional to me.

I'm feeling a bit silly for revisiting these pages, which will certainly delay the publication of the first few chapters of "The Garden" in the next issue of Friends, number four. But, I really do think that I like these newer drawings. This being my longest work to date, and with over two years since my last issue, I'm feeling a need to bring my most professional A-game to the process. Hopefully I'll be able to resist any temptation to further revise the newer pages before the story is all finished!

Monday, November 24, 2008

· Mini Comp

Mini Comp
Originally uploaded by François Vigneault
I made these little journal/sketchbooks a while back... the covers are reused envelope box tops! I just loved the retro, composition book, marbled pattern... I am finally selling them on my Etsy shop! So go get one! Or not!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

· Ilyana in the Afterworld

Originally uploaded by François Vigneault

Ilyana - color
Originally uploaded by François Vigneault
I have a bit of a problem, in that I basically never draw on a regular basis. The only time I sit down at the table is when I am trying to get an actual comic done... I have almost totally lost touch with sketching, or doing a drawing for its own sake. I'm a little worried about this trend, I am sure that my "skills" are suffering a bit for it. Plus, my illustration portfolio over on is looking a bit spare, populated with a lot of older pieces... and that's not gonna help me get any of that filthy freelance illustration lucre. Anyways, I am trying to get into drawing for drawing's sake again... so hopefully there will be more little drawing postings soon.

This is a character and scene from my submission for Elfworld Vol. 2, but more tightly drawn than I would for the comic... I'm quite happy with it; I am working on some colors for it, too... just to get more practice doing that. I've been trying to get "good hair" in my drawings for awhile, and think I've got something good here. It just takes a lot of patience, more than I can usually muster! I love drawing this swords and sorcery stuff.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

· I Sewed a Pillow!

Very rarely I do a sewing project... I made this pillow tonight from fabric I got at Whiz Bang Fabrics, an amazing and adorable micro-sized fabric shop in the Mission... everyone should go there, it is a very cool place with the best cute and graphical fabrics. Hannah, of course, helped me out with this! But i made it myself... and now I know how to set a basic zipper! Next up: A birding bag.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

· Paper Cut

Paper Cut
Originally uploaded by François Vigneault
A quick little sample for someone's Bat Mitzvah... the actual finished product will be created by another artist, and laser cut; this was just an example I was asked to make for the client. It was fun, it is supposed to look vaguely like Jeruselem. The paper is this very fancy cork paper! Maybe I will do some more of these, even tho' it is ver "fashionable" right now...