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  • Pair of Dinos

    I did this two pieces last week, inking them traditionally to compare with my digital finishes. It all began with some Captain America: The Winter Soldier pages I posted on "sequential", that were reviewed and commented very kindly by Smitty and other cool guys that pointed the flaws of my job: basically a too studied inking work that made my art static and somehow lifeless, I guess. So they suggested to try traditional.





    I used PIGMA Micron pens in both (and the Pigma Brush Pen). My inspiration is obviously Frank Cho (subject and tools used).

    Maybe dinosaur illustrations are not the best subject to compare with superhero comic pages, but it's what I did last week, and I don't know when I'll post new comic pages, due to my lack of time to draw these days.

    I more or less like this finishes, they gain some life, but:

    1- Look even more classic than my Captain America pages!
    2- I can't help it, I put too much detail, and don't know how to balance simplicity and realism in a good proportion to make it look a bit modern and, at the same time, make it easier (and fast to finish). Maybe a cartoon approach... that's something I never considered as I don't like cartoony styles too much.

    I'm finishing two pages of a Batman 7 pages story (but don't know when), just as a practice, and the first 5 were inked digitally, but I'll try to experiment with these last two and post them asap. I really wonder what the final result will be. I think the difference could be like two different guys working in the same project! Anyway, it looks interesting!
    http://almayer.deviantart.com
    https://www.facebook.com/artedavidcabeza/

  • #2
    Much livelier.

    Detail draws attention. By placing excessive detail on the chest and underside of Rex it draws attention away from the face and stance. Don't be afraid to let things fall into shadow. Beware getting halo happy. Cast shadows, such as those from Rex's neck are hard edged. Soft edged shadows are rounded forms where the shape falls away from the light.

    Watch shadows cast by the body. Characters can stand in pits or against cliffs but, those cliffs and pits must be shown. All indications are the ground is flat and shadows should reflect that.

    PaulMartinSmith

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    • #3
      Thank you! Telling me I've earned vitality with these two I am satisfied more than enough.


      Like when you reviewed my Captain America pages, you've nailed it at first shot: I'm afraid to put shadows. This happens because I put too much detail on pencils and then I do not want to lose those details within a mass of black. Again I limit myself.


      My English is not very good, so I think I don't understand the phrase about the halo, but I guess you mean the plants in black under the jaw of the T-Rex (next to his thigh) that you erase on your image, isn't it? If so I think I see why you did it.


      These drawings are made from dinosaur figures I have at home. I put them on my desk and drew what I saw. I always do that, and is another mistake: It's okay to use references, but if anything I see makes my drawing not to work then I can, and I must, change it, as in this case the shadows, both own or dropped. I don't have to be chained to reality like that. I see that as you make arrangements you create separation between masses of black with white areas in between, which clarifies what is dino and what is ground. Both figures had supported the tails at my table, and have gained movement as soon as you separate them, or rather, actually what you've done is turn the ground plane a few degrees with respect to the observer, instead of a semi frontal plane you put it lying a bit more and that has worked the magic of separation.


      I also need to be more attentive to the difference between cast shadows (sharp) and projected (soft edges). I had read about it in Gary Martin's book "The Art of Comic-Book Inking", but it looks that had not assimilated the idea as good as I thought. Actually the ground beneath my dinosaurs was too flat, it needed the hint of grass to reflect what was underneath.


      Well, thanks again! Hopefully I'll end soon more comic pages, that are what I really need to improve in the first place.
      http://almayer.deviantart.com
      https://www.facebook.com/artedavidcabeza/

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      • #4
        As a dinosaur enthusiast, I'm just ecstatic to see someone render some dinos realistically. Nice job!

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        • #5
          Halo is the white contour you used to separate the shadows from the dynos. The halo should be inside the body, a reflection of light, not outside. Nice work.
          Middlweight | W:6 L:0 KOs:4 | Streetfights: W:2 L:0 kOs:1
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Josem View Post
            Halo is the white contour you used to separate the shadows from the dynos. The halo should be inside the body, a reflection of light, not outside. Nice work.
            Josem FTW (for the win) Check both dino's left leg (their left).

            While Rex's right leg shows reflected light; One, he's not standing on a shiny table top here; Two, detail draws attention away from Rex's face.

            I removed the fern for interfering with clear silhouette (plus it looked like he was "watering" the plants)
            PaulMartinSmith

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            • #7
              He, he, in fact my desktop is glass, so I saw this reflected light all over the shadows of the plastic dino. But, isn't dinosaurs skin a little damp? It could be a little reflective, I guess... But the second reason (distracting attention from the face) is enough for me. I know those white lines around both left legs are not reflection, it wasn't my intention make them seen like halo, just trying to separate legs from the background (in T-Rex, from the tail). I see that kind of white lines around figures in comics quite often, like here, left in Batman cape over his shadow, and right-down on Tut's thigh:



              ... Why is it misused in my images? I clearly see why it is well used in the cape, but in Tut's thigh... was it necessary separate something that's white (the "skirt") from the black shadow on the wall? In fact, Tut's right forearm has no halo being white like the skirt and far the same from the wall... And on Batman's right hand? I just ask to understand and learn, I really don't like to question anyone ink work, Nowlan's much less!

              Oh, man! I love García-López work! (I needed to say it!)

              Watering the plants, ha, ha... I should have put a watering can in his hand!

              Thanks guys!
              http://almayer.deviantart.com
              https://www.facebook.com/artedavidcabeza/

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              • #8
                I forgot... Thanks JeffChris50! I'm glad you like them!
                http://almayer.deviantart.com
                https://www.facebook.com/artedavidcabeza/

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Almayer View Post

                  ... Why is it misused in my images? I clearly see why it is well used in the cape, but in Tut's thigh... was it necessary separate something that's white (the "skirt") from the black shadow on the wall? In fact, Tut's right forearm has no halo being white like the skirt and far the same from the wall... And on Batman's right hand? I just ask to understand and learn, I really don't like to question anyone ink work, Nowlan's much less!
                  The "rules" of comics are quite fluid. Those that apply to Al Williamson are not going to apply to Jack Kirby or Carl Barks. If you like halos, use them; The Art police will not drag you away, Santa Claus will still fill your stocking.

                  Let me start by saying I feel Garcia Lopez is the finest pure drafstman in comics today and that Kevin Knowlan is the last of the great old-time inkers (no tracing for him, if he feels the need to redraw your whole book, he will) I'd kill for Kevin to ink my stuff. The things you point out here are not identified as Garcia Lopez or Nowlan's decision, so we don't know who did it and deadlines make much of this stuff a momentary decision on the fly. Who knows how much time either spent thinking of it and how much was just getting to the next page...?

                  That said, I find the halos around Batman's hand and Tut's skirt to be unnecessary and distracting and the halo around the scallops of his cape to be monumentally stupid. To pull the eye away from the story, to the far side of the page, and point out the single most worthless, least important element in the panel is bad juju. One edge... maybe... Both...? Off with their heads. If anyone fades into the shadows, it's the Batman. But, it's not my work-not my decision.

                  I made similar halo comments to our very own Dogboy here and I ask a simple question...?

                  Do you prefer the halo version (image 4 at very bottom) or the non halo version (image 3 just above it)





                  If you prefer halos then, smurf me and the horse that rode in on me, you've got Garcia Lopez and Kevin Nowlan to back you up!!!

                  I simply find them to be a declarative statement that what you're looking at isn't real and that we have enough trouble drawing readers in and need no help in tossing them out.

                  But, that's just me.
                  Last edited by Smitty; 10-12-2016, 09:02 PM. Reason: flipped images for easier comparison
                  PaulMartinSmith

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                  • #10
                    Thank you Smitty, just because you're taking some of your time to answer much of my questions (if not all).

                    Master García-López is my all time favourite penciler and Nowlan my favourite inker, so I've used their work to solve my doubts just because I know their work enough to fast locate some halos and be able to ask about them. That Batman Confidential run of 3 issues is my life saver very often, something like "in case of doubt use that issues and you'll find answers", but it obviously was done as any other comic book: with a deadline, so it could not be perfect in everything (but it was near ). I think García-López is drawing the last 10-12 years better than ever, and I feel sad to hear that he is experiencing health issues with his eyes lately (I have read on facebook that in the last con he was only did two commissions for this reason. Well, I hope that's only a rumor).

                    About the question of the halos itself, you're right, if they're not visually necessary is stupid to put them. I, as a complete amateur comic artist, am always in doubt with everything, and halos are no exception. My instinc tells me "don't put them!" but I finally draw them thinking that the reader is not going to see that part of the drawing properly. Your point of view about them distracting from what's important is more than convincing, so I think I'm going to use them less and less, and try to reflect better where to put them. I only have to find the courage, just like with putting black masses of shadow I think I've been influenced by the fact that halos are very common nowdays in comics, but that doesn't mean they're properly used, or that I'm able to use them correctly at my current level.

                    Yes, I prefer the image with no halo, I think the same that you: too much halos, and misused, and the figure seems like a cut stuck over the image and loses credibility.
                    Last edited by Almayer; 10-12-2016, 08:49 PM.
                    http://almayer.deviantart.com
                    https://www.facebook.com/artedavidcabeza/

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                    • #11
                      Just for fun, let's compare the original (left) to a non-haloed retouch (right)

                      Batman's right hand. Which version is less distracting, more readable?

                      The cape and glove scallops at our left (there are 4 retouches:large cape scallop, small cape scallop against leg, immediately above that the cast shadow, where cape meets right hand) Which version takes attention away from the story?



                      Batman's crotch. Does the story really hinge on the Bulge of the Bat™?

                      Tut and Riddler. The hazy edge in their shadow adds speed... to their non-moving bodies? Wait, what? Riddler's arm. Or is it Tut's leg? If it's Tut's leg it doesn't line up, if it's Riddler's arm where's Tut's leg?

                      How each individual club-member answers these questions (and, because it's largely a matter of style there are no wrong answers) will determine if, and how, haloes will exist in their work.

                      On the unrelated topic of tangents, beware conflating the scallops of the cape with those of the glove
                      PaulMartinSmith

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                      • #12
                        I really need to observe more my comics! It looks like a good exercise to do while reading comics to see if there's something that oneself would personally change. But at the end there are no wrong answers, just styles, as you point. The retouch on the cape over batman's left arm to avoid tangents... I really did not see it as something to retouch until now, and it help clarify!

                        But, anyway, these are visual problems at this level (inks), but I guess the colorist has something to add to the work and colors would help separate things. Well, but we as artist have to do our best and not to relay on the next one in the chain of production, right? If we trust the team we could have surprises and find our work ruined (I have heard David Finch and several others say this; Jesús Saiz was coloring himself in Captain America Steve Rogers because of this, I guess). Find good team mates to work with seems to be difficult (I've never teamed with anyone...).

                        Thanks again Smitty, helpful and clarifying like always!
                        http://almayer.deviantart.com
                        https://www.facebook.com/artedavidcabeza/

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