Inktober is over, and NaNoMango is starting. This first day, it’s unlikely that I will have a page ready out of the gate, so while there is no new work, I wanna go back to some of the drawing challenges I’ve done in recent months. Here’s the Artists Of Nude Toon Creation Discord Daily Drawing Challenge for August, 2019, in full, as a gallery, because if I keep posting one a day I’ll never get caught up.
Day 31: Mary Shelley. 3 months after she was brought back from the dead, Mary Shelley has settled on a modern style that suits her.
If I squinted and tried really hard, I might be able to find a connection to the official prompt, but the truth is, I just didn’t care for it and didn’t want to spend too much time in the morning coming up with something that fit, so I just drew what I wanted. I look forward to bringing Mary Shelley back from the dead in comic.
The art itself looked better in its pencil state than inked, and better as an inked drawing without Copic tones than with them, in part because I switched the tones for her scarf and her jacket around. Here’s an image that I drew on my iPad earlier, which shows what it should have been like:
I did use cooler greys and more color in that one, but the ratio between jacket and scarf works better.
Day 30: As the cops closed in on Absolute Unit, he realized these were no ordinary pigs: they were members of Theodore Peel’s private squad, who had undergone the same gene therapy as him but with more success. Compared to them, he was a mere relative unit.
This one was late because I used lots of ink at a late time of day yesterday. Unfortunately, this made no difference to the scan; I guess I’ll need to figure out a way to recalibrate my 20-year-old scanner.
Day 29: Injured. It was hard for Tag to explain what hurt his feelings the most. It wasn’t that the gig had been bad, although it had. It wasn’t that he personally played badly; he knew he hadn’t. It was that despite his efforts, the gig had been terrible and the crowd still lapped it up. Like it didn’t matter how he, or anyone else, had played. The injury was to his integrity as a musician.
Sigh. His brother, who played first violin in the Agglomerate Symphony Orchestra, never had to deal with that. Any member played like a wet noodle, they were out on their ear. There was something honest about that.
Day 28: Ride. Tess and Absolute Unit raising some hell. I’m a little under the weather and my ongoing workload didn’t help either, but I wanted to get a little simple thing done anyway.
In the other drawings he’s in, I made Absolute Unit too tall. He should be short and squat, like a cube.
Day 27: Just another attempt at drawing Abby’s rain poncho, in the setting where she’ll be wearing it. Abby has taken her style cues from Misty from Pokémon and to check how her outfit’s neckline and arm lines worked under those braces, I did an image search for that character, a decision which I now regret. However, the official images did help me set the color scheme and final shape of the outfit under the poncho. I know I’ve drawn the neck too long again; the reason, I think, is because I’m worried about the crinkly bits of the poncho taking up too much space in that area. With more retries, this will improve.
I’ve been trying to increase the pace of production for a bit. Yesterday, I made one image that I could use as a bonus image when Inktober is over. Today, I started another image based on the Day 27 prompt, but I started to get sicker again with whatever virus I’ve been dealing with for the past week, so I just finished this one early and I’ll see how much energy I have. But over the weekend as a whole, I’ve been reasonably productive.
This is good, because NaNoMango is coming.
Most of the images for this Inktober were made with a view to developing Cultish Manners, the comic I started for last year’s NaNoManGo, and its sequels. This has worked! I now have a much better idea of where I want to take this comic and how to get there. One conclusion is that it deserves much better art, and that’s a problem. The quality the existing pages have is what I could do at a NaNoManGo-like pace, with my day job being what it is. I think with better scheduling, I could squeeze out a slightly larger volume of output, but I don’t think I could do that and create higher-quality art as well. So here’s what I will do: After I’ve thumbnailed out the pages, I will draw them one panel at a time. This will allow me to use small blocks of time, such as a lunch break, a little better, while keeping me focused on one thing at a time. It also means that, as long as I know what the final lay-out is going to be, I can just take small pieces of paper with me and draw in the office, during my lunch break. Originally, I was going to do the next batch all-digital, but I’ve been having so much fun drawing traditionally with brush pens that I want to keep doing that. And it looks to me like the art quality has improved over the past month. I do hope this approach results in better art without compromising the pace of production too much.
Cultish Manners won’t keep that title after NaNoManGo, because I do have sequels in mind. In my head, it’s structured like a season of post-2005 Doctor Who, with elements from the first episode coming back in the finale. I don’t yet know what I’m going to call it, but Cultish Manners really only works for the pilot episode, which is the NaNoManGo project. Of course, if I don’t manage to get more pages made, the issue will be moot.
Day 26: Dark. A year after the events with the demon that took part during Tess’s first Darkwave concert experience, the legendary Darkwave band Cult of XünÿX have regrouped and are about to return with their best album in decades. Left to right: Zig, Erzébet Zuniga, Jan Boenen, Ariana Morris.
I had a wonderful time inking this with a combination of dip pen and brush, and an even better time ruining the inked work with ink washes and comically incompetent watercoloring. I didn’t want to go back to the black and white version and try again in the digital realm, so instead I took the color work and made it into a monochrome in Affinity Photo. Erzébet’s pose and glove were inspired by a photo shared by a friend on Facebook.
Day 25: Foot Powers, from A.I.nktober: A neural net creates drawing prompts, temperature 1.4.
The demon had no corporeal form and existed in no physical dimension that humanity could penetrate. Its means of lashing out at matter existing on earth were ineffable and seemingly undefeatable. However, it was no match for the stopping power of Absolute Unit’s foot.
Pigma Sakura brush pens, Spectum Noir and TwinMarker markers for multiple layers of black, Affinity Photo. Some of the color choices could have been tweaked – I don’t like how dark Absolute Unit’s pants are. But this does manage to have decent blacks while also preparing the paper texture.
Inktober 2019, Day 24: And suddenly, Abby understood. She knew what the closet full of gears was for, what the big machine with the levers and dials was for, why they had to be here, in the tomb of that day. Dizzy with excitement, she grinned and gasped for breath.
I’m getting further away from a literal interpretation of the prompts. This is not a bad thing, for me, right now. Brush pens, Photoshop and Autodesk Sketchbook on iMac.
Day 23: Abby stared at the ancient machine for what looked like forever. Outside, the thunder roared, but inside the tomb, all was quiet. Finally, she made up her mind. Her hand moved towards one of the dials.
All-digital because I had a late start and the dining room table was occupied. In other scenes from this sequence, Abby has no jacket on, but the sequence needs thunder and lightning outside, so she now gets a rain poncho.