SPEJS #3 progress

Hey people, long time no bloggin’! I’ve spent most of my free time getting the next chapter of my comic SPEJS ready, and I still have a little way to go before I’m all done, but I’m trudging on, and I’m starting to believe that I’ll probably be able to get this chapter printed and ready for SIS 8D

While working on big projects like these (because believe me, making 50+ pages of colored comics in 4 months is a big project when you have a full-time dayjob), it’s easy to feel like you’re getting nowhere, doubt yourself etc. So I started to look at my older SPEJS chapters, especially the coloring since I’m trying to up my game a little when it comes to colors.

The first chapter was originally just in greyscales. When it went to web, I decided to add some colors, but I had no idea what I was doing and some results were rather garish. When I did a re-print in color, I decided to re-color the pages again, and while I’m not super excited over the colors, it looks a lot better than previously (Left is old colors, right is new colors).

As for chapter 2, I tried to have a theme color (purple), and while I liked the idea, the colors still felt a little stiff (colors a bit too saturated at times, not sure if I like the colors I paired up with the purple), but it felt like I was heading in the right direction.

As for this chapter, I have tried to stick to two colors, green and pink, and done my outmost to make the colors harmonize. I have also played a bit more with lineart colors and tried to get a more wholesome feeling. I’ll probably find a thousand errors within a year, but right now I’m happy how it looks and looking back at previous chapters I can definitely see an improvement!

For most of my artist life, I have really struggled with colors, it’s really hit or miss for me. When I started to adress this on twitter, I got a lot of helpful tips from people about tutorials etc, and why not share some links?

Videos:

Blenderguru’s Understanding Color – this is a pretty long video, but it was a pretty good eye opener for me. It talks about saturation, values and color harmonies!

Sycra’s How to choose colors that work

The free Ctrl+Paint library has some short and sweet painting tutorials with examples and exercises. Really nice if you don’t know what to study, just look at a video and try to imitate. He mostly works in Photoshop, but I can tag along just fine in Clip Studio as well :)

Books:

Color and Light by James Gurney (who also has a blog here) – I really like the examples and well written explanations in this book, well worth my money!

The art of Kung Fu Panda 3 – man I can’t get over how beautiful the colors were in this movie! I have this book as inspiration for colors!

Web utilities:

Paletton – make your own color harmonies

Adobe color CC – more color harmonies

While I still have A LOT to learn regarding colors and color harmonies, it feels like I’m starting to get it a bit better now. For me, that’s a huge relief since it has been my arch nemesis for years :D

What is your relationship with colors and do you have any good sources if one’d like to learn more about colors?

SPEJS doodles

Hey there, long time no see! I have been busy getting back in the rut, playing Witcher 3 and inking pages for the next SPEJS chapter (I’m pretty much on schedule, even though it’s a bit sweaty). I’ve also been reading a lot while commuting, hence the lack of metro doodles. But I decided to treat myself to some new markers (specifically the Winsor & Newton ProMarkers) and decided to start doodling a bit with them in my new sketchbook. This book I bought looks very fancy, but I’m not sure if the paper is good for anything really. Markers look pretty okay though, so I might continue filling it with marker doodles :)

Let’s start this year with a doodle dump of some SPEJS related stuff!

some people on Tapastic are starting to doubt that male pangee exist. Well, they do, and look fabulous! But they haven’t really been introduced properly in the comic yet. I’m musing a bit about the next chapter where this dashing lad might show up though :)

Speaking about pangee, it’s very uncommon that pangee and seri are getting along, even less common that they are romantically involved. These two fellows are getting along quite well though, and I can’t wait to tell you more about them. I’d love to make a short spin-off comic with these guys, if I have the time I’ll try to make it before the end of march :)

A fancy Swagata, just because I missed drawing her <3 Also experimenting with the looks of Seri women. I’m sort-of musing with the fact that it might be more common with them having a bit more body hair, and not feeling forced to shave it off or whatever, especially not on their home planet. We’ll see, I’ve yet to show some seri women in the comic too, so I have time to experiment for a bit ;) Also a random cat as an extra ;)

Happy Holidays 2016!

Hey, this is the Christmas Card I made for this year, but unfortunately didn’t have time to print and send to people. But I hope youwill enjoy it anyways, I made a slightly longer version of this card over at SPEJS, check it out if you want to know what happened after the snowball fight..;)

This year has been pretty stressful for me, but I have managed to draw a lot and make some new friends, so from an art perspective, I think the year has been pretty nice! I’ll come back after Christmas with an art summary post of 2016. Until then, eat a lot of good food and be cozy! :)

WIP: SPEJS #3

I have previously talked a bit about how I’ve started to work on SPEJS #3, and now it’s really on! During most of December, I’ve spent some time at the studio after work to make thumbnails for the next chapter, and now I’m more or less done!

I think it’s going to be a great chapter, some drama, some action and Ragna and gav being silly and serious :) I’ve scanned in the thumbs and trying to make sense of them in Clip Studio now, adding text and such (I feel it’s easier to add the text before starting to draw, so I know how much space I’ll have for my characters and environments. Oldest trick in the book I’m sure, but a good thing to remember!).

The chapter will be a bit over 54 pages long. My biggest concern is that I’ll have enough time to draw and color it! Hopefully I won’t have any big projects, like a Digital painting course, simoultaneously, so I’m carefully positive..? ;D

My art 2006 vs 2016

So, there was a meme going on at twitter where you were supposed to compare your 2006 art with your 2016 art. I have been in a bit of a slump lately, thinking that I probably haven’t evolved much at all during the years, but let’s take a look!

The images above were made 2006. I was (or maybe had?) finishing my final year at the University of Skövde where I studied game graphics. I didn’t get my dream job after the education and I was very bitter and sad about that. I was working a lot with this fantasy group on my free time. I really wanted to make a story with them and I remember trying to write scripts which I scrapped after 30 or so pages. I really thought this was my artistic peak, I could probably never get better. I put a lot of detail on everyone’s faces, making them look a lot older than they were supposed to. Someone had just told me that blue shadows in a multiply layer made stuff look more realistic so I went all crazy with that =P

Fast-forward to 2016. During these 10 years, I moved from Skövde in the south to Kiruna in the far north and worked as an animator for 1,5 years. Then I moved to Stockholm to study Interaction Design, ended up being a frontend developer and am now coding web for a game company. Is it my dream job? Maybe not, but I’m enjoying my situation a LOT more than I did 10 years ago :)

These images were made this year and feature, in a way, the same characters as the previous pictures, they’ve just been changed around a lot. The green guy in black hair and the redhead are definitely super early versions of Gav and Ragna, only with switched personalities and in space ;) And the short haired girl is definitely an early version of Swagata, but very re-worked. And the thin guy was a thin guy in the early versions of SPEJS too until I decided a Morwen would be more fun (The lady in the middle of the last image is Astrid from Kim W Andersson’s space adventure comic, check it out!)

During the years, I think I have settled for a more simple style (three fingers, not as detailed faces), but with a better understanding of anatomy and color. I still have a long way to go and recently it feels like I want to get better at colors, but I’m happy I can see some progress in these 10 years at least :)

Gav and Swagata

Hi there, this blog has been a bit empty lately, so I thought I could share some art I drew but haven’t posted yet. It’s a younger Gav and Swagata hanging out at school. I’m not 100% happy with it (even though I giggle a little when I see young Gav’s style with that cap), but it was a bit fun to experiment a bit with a more painty style. I still have a lot to learn though!

This was drawn during a live event at Picarto! If you want to see me draw live more, subscribe to my channel and you’ll get mail notifications whenever I go live! :) I haven’t used it much, but I feel I get more focused when I do live events, so it’d probably be good for me ;)

Gals being pals

galpals

Hey, long time no see! I have been a bit busy trying to get the storyboard done for the next SPEJS chapter (and I still have one or two weeks before it’s considered done), and I’ve tried to read a bit more during my trips to work, so not much doodled! Here’s a little idea I’ve been having in my head for a while and doodled on a drink & draw event a while ago! I kinda like the idea, and I might make it a sticker later on :)

Working on SPEJS #3

Hi, sorry I’ve been a bit absent on the blog, but I’ve been trying to get together a script for SPEJS #3, get some character turnarounds and concepts ready and such so I feel confident about starting to draw the thumbnails for the chapter. I’m trying to come a bit more prepared this time around and we’ll see if that’s a good or bad thing ;)

workspace

What I will try to do more from now on is to sit at the studio since we have no internet connection there = less distractions, and I can hang out with other comic artists and get inspired. I found a good setup where I bought a small and cheap computer that I can hook up with my Cintiq, meaning I can carry the Cintiq from my home to the studio and use it there with ease. This solution was a lot cheaper than the Surface I was looking at, and it had about the same specs :) So yeah, pretty compact, but it works really well this far!

angrynoodle_smol

So these are looks of the turnarounds I’m working on right now. I’m almost done with Gav’s and then I’ll do Ragna as well and some props, and then I’m all set :) I feel pretty pumped about starting to work on this chapter, and a little scared at the same time. I always want to do better than last time and am afraid I’ll be disappointed with my stuff, hehe.

Also, I would really like to do a rollup/banner for SPEJS to use on the upcoming cons I’ll attend! I’m hoping to squeeze that into my schedule before November comes, I’d love to bring that to Örebro!

Quest for a background style

gav_ragna_seritown

The past week I’ve been struggling with finding a good style for making the backgrounds for the coming chapter of my comic SPEJS. I haven’t been too fond of the lineart type of backgrounds I’ve been making, but I want something that fits the cartoony look of the comic. Also, I needed to get my sense of colours a bit better, and decide on a style for the part of Aeros City where this chapter will take place. Phew, a lot of things to think about!

For the architecture, I’ve been looking a bit at Sovjet architechture, and I also realized that Vällingby city, where I hang out quite a bit, actually looks pretty futuristic, so I kinda borrowed some shapes from that ;)

For the coloring style, I wanted something painty and simplistic, and stumbled upon this blog post with Power Puff Girls backgrounds, which I thought looked amazing, so I eventually did something similar to that.

And finally, I still have a hard time with colours! But I found this great tool, Paletton, that helps you create color harmonies! I love it!

Below are all the tests I did, and you can see that I’m struggling, and nothing seems to look quite right:

cities_wip

This was finally the background style I think I will continue to use:

city_7

There is still some work and fine tuning to do, but I’m glad I’m getting closer to something I like :) It looks simple and detailed at the same time and doesn’t take away too much focus from the characters.

Do you have any tips on good tools for colours and/or inspiration (either by art style or reference photos)? Tell me in the comments :)

SPEJS – Star Trek AU

startrek_spejs01_s

So, today’s the 50 year anniversary of Star Trek! I don’t call myself a die-hard fan, but I really enjoy TNG and some of the TOS (and I want to see more Voyager!), and the old films are pretty enjoyable too!

Since I’m making my own sci-fi-comic, and I sometime describe the tone of the comic being similar to TOS, I decided to let my characters from SPEJS dress up in Star Trek uniforms! Swagata, being the leader in SPEJS, is of course the captain while Ragna and Morwen are security/redshirts. At first I was a bit hesitant to use the TOS uniforms because of the mini skirts, but then I remembered that Kirk’s shirt often gets ripped to shreds, so well…

startrek_spejs02_s

…have a redshirt Gav whoose shirt fell off ;D

(I know, no blue shirt, but I think Swagata would be the SPEJS member most worthy of a blue shirt, but she’s the captain, so…¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

SPEJS #1 is done for (re)printing!

chapter01-01

So on Friday, I sent the new SPEJS #1 PDF for printing, finally! I’ve spent an awful lot of time hesitating and looking it over 1000 times before sending the PDF to the printers. Are you people like that too, a bit nervous when sending the PDF to the printer?

Another reason I’m a bit nervous is that I’m trying out a new software to put together my PDFs with. I have an old Adobe Bridge license I can only use on my old macbook that worked perfectly for putting together image files into a PDF (I’m very oldskool, I know), but since I’m mostly on my windows computer, I wanted to have a solution on that one too. So I’ve been trying out Scribus. At first I thought it would be a drag to put together a 44 page PDF, but after giving up, trying again and doing some investigation I started to find some really nice settings that made the process a LOT easier!

scribus_demo

The program has a pretty easy and straightforward export function as well, and the seems like the PDFs it creates work well – they’re turned into cmyk if that’s what you want, and you can change DPI easily. I had to adjust some stuff though to make it look like I wanted it to though. I made a version in Bridge to compare to – the first Scribus versions came out looking greyish, but eventually I got it to look better. But who knows, maybe the grey versions would’ve worked too, I’m still a bit n00bish when it comes to printing stuff. I asked the printer if my Scribus-created PDF would work and print correctly and they seemed positive, so I guess I have to trust them :)

If this turns out well and the comic comes back looking all kinds of awesome from the printer, I’ll probably ditch Adobe altogether for now (until I actually need to learn InDesign for some reason or other?).

chapter01-44

As an added bonus, here’s the backside of the new cover for SPEJS #1! This cover is a bit shinier. I really liked the super simplistic first version I had, but it wasn’t a head-turner, which I hope this version is. I tried to keep to the pink color scheme though :)

What program do you people use to put together your fanzines/books? Is it Adobe InDesign, Scribus, or something completely different? :)

My comic projects this summer

I haven’t said what I am up to lately, but here’s a small update of that :) I’m actually having two project going in parallell this summer, and today I will talk about one of them :)

As you might know, the first volume of my Sci-fi comic SPEJS (also available online!) sold out during the last SIS, and I need to make a re-print for the upcoming comic conventions (Helsinki, Comic Con Stockholm and Örebro Seriefestival). So what I’ve been doing lately is to do some touch ups on the colored version, which I did last November I think? But I’ve laerned a lot the past six months and decided to do some adjustments before sending it to the printer, and I think it’s all for the better:

colorCompare

New version is on the right side. I think it will look quite nifty!

(I’m promising myself though that this will be the last touch-up to this chapter, no infinite re-drawing loops for SPEJS!)

I have a few pages left to fix before I dare to send it to the printer, but the goal is to have it sent early July!

I will talk a bit about my other project tomorrow!

Magic faun

magicFaun

Another forest creature/faun I drew on my way to work. This brown paper is my new favourite thing when it comes to use colored pencils (And I have a LOT of colored pencils, I bought a 72 piece set from Derwent when I was 17! That’s a 100 years ago!), the colors melt so well on this paper! So I brought a green and pink pencil in my pencil case and did some esperimentation. I really liked the effect that these two colours gave the illustration – sometimes less is more :)

Cat warrior

actionCat

A little cat warrior I drew a while ago on the train. I think I wanted to try and make some more dynamic pose. As for the inking, I’ve fallen in love with the brush pen I bought earlier. It’s just a cheap Pilot Pocket Brush Pen (the hard one), but it fits me like a glove. Sure it’s not water resistant, but it works fine to use on the metro :)

Grumpy forest guy

bored_faun

Had some fun drawing this grumpy dude on my way to work. Is he a faun? Or a demon? I have no clue! Some type of forest and crystals kind of guy anyways. Mostly sketched with a pencil and then inked with a 0.3 fineliner in my brown sketchbook. I might transfer this little fella to the computer or some water colour paper and try to do a more finished piece, that’d be cool :)