Ink­ing and colour­ing

Chris Vi­sions shows how to com­pose an im­age in your sketch­book us­ing value, pen­cilling and ink­ing, while colour­ing with both tra­di­tional inks and Pho­to­shop

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Issue 137 August 2016 -

Chris Vi­sions shares his process.

For years I was in­tim­i­dated by work­ing dig­i­tally. Some­thing about the plas­tic nib on a plas­tic sur­face felt too jar­ring to me. I love the sway of a brush on pa­per too much, the pop of the ink from a pen nib – there’s a ro­mance in tra­di­tional work that I can’t sep­a­rate my­self from.

Now, Cin­tiq’s and Kyle Web­ster brushes make this gap a lit­tle more bridged for me, but I still love pa­per. So here I present you with a process that en­ables you to keep your tra­di­tional con­nec­tion strong, while util­is­ing the power of dig­i­tal.

I dance back and forth in the be­gin­ning, draw­ing my sketch in my sketch­book, scan­ning and chang­ing my lines to blue, and then print­ing it out to give it more de­tail tra­di­tion­ally again. I en­cour­age you to keep a sketch­book: this is the place where you can hone your skills, play with dif­fer­ent pa­per types and draw­ing ma­te­ri­als, and see how you can lay lay­ers and washes.

Go crazy in your sketch­book and en­joy your­self. You’re mak­ing art, an act that re­wards in­no­va­tion and the new. Not only do your skills come out in your fi­nal pieces, but the fun you have in a piece nat­u­rally shines through as well. Learn to en­joy your process, and keep that level of ex­cite­ment high and the skill will come.

Go­ing back to my sketch, you may no­tice there’s no strong mid-tone. This is be­cause I was work­ing a cer­tain way with pen, had an idea in my head on how the light­ing would work, and I was itch­ing to start the piece. Be sure to use ref­er­ence, and use a mid-grey or coloured marker to act as a mid-tone in the lay­out stage. Your presto pen will also be handy in this stage to mark your light ar­eas as well. That fore­sight comes from a lot of draw­ing and a lot of ob­serv­ing.

So, af­ter I’ve printed out the sketch, it’s on to the ink­ing, which I love. This is where you re­ally mould your piece, much like a sculp­tor. I like to jump around, build­ing up the whole piece, not just fo­cus­ing one area. This keeps your piece bal­anced. Work­ing with washes and strong val­ues en­ables me to build my form, which you’ll find guides you through­out your dig­i­tal colour­ing, and works to­wards your goal of cre­at­ing a strik­ing piece.

Chris de­scribes him­self as an “art maker and ground shaker” work­ing in the fields of illustration, comics and wher­ever the cre­ative wind pushes. Find out more at www.chrisvi­sions.com.

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