Title: 1537

Tuesday, Sep 20, 2005

September 2005


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Title: 1537

September 20, 2005
12:01 AM

It’s becoming apparent to me that we’re going to have to have a little heart-to-heart this morning. I figured when I started doing something differently, I was going to get some feedback on it, but such is the way of life.

E-mails coming in and some posts in the forums have been… mixed… on the subject of my shading. That’s okay. You’re allowed to have an opinion on it. And constructive criticism is cool in my book. But as I have said time and time again… Real Life is MY comic. I really, REALLY dig that you enjoy coming here. I do. But I do this for me. If I like something, I’m going to keep doing it. And if you think it sucks, well… that’s your opinion. I can respect that you have that opinion. Hell, I might even take it into account – but I might not. Again with the whole MY comic thing. So please, feel free to share – but don’t expect me to change what I’m doing on your account. Seriously… no offense meant here. Just stating the way it is.

To speak more directly to the issue of the shadows, during the break I was working on a few advance “Forge” comics, and I experimented with a few things. First off, I made them bigger… which is just a good thing in general. Second, I used a technique Ian McConville taught me to equalize ambient colors across a panel – it kind of subdues overly bright tones and makes it feel more realistic. And last, I tried out this shading method that was fairly quick to implement, and instead of just darkening the colors I was shading, it livened them up a bit. That’s one reason I don’t USUALLY like doing shading – just dropping a black layer over something and setting it to a low transparency just doesn’t give the right color feel. It feels too dull. This is a warmer shadow. I dig that.

So anyway, on a lark, I tested it out on the comic I did for the telethon. And I dug it. It gave the characters the extra definition I felt they had been lacking. So, armed with the knowledge of how to do it on the quick, I decided to just make it standard practice for the comic in general.

That’s not to say it’s perfect. BELIEVE me. A few people said Greg in today’s comic looked like he needed a shave – I don’t know if I’d go THAT far, but I see what I did wrong, and I am going to correct it in future comics. I will be changing and adapting this look. I WILL find out what works best. I went with an overhead light, so that I wouldn’t have to shade the entire face of a character as a general practice. (if the light was coming from the upper left, for instance, both Tony and Dave’s faces would be in full shadow.) I think this works in general, but I do notice now that the shading on the chin looks a little out-of-place. (even though it’s real-world accurate) So, I’m learning. It can’t help but be a learning process. And eventually, I’ll get kick-ass at it. But I will say this – for the first time in a long time, I’m PROUD of the look of my comic. I really think it looks GOOD for once. I don’t feel like it’s thrown together – the shading gives it a “finished” feel. You have to understand – as someone who feels like the tag-along of the comics world because of the drawing method I use, it’s a big, BIG thing for me to really be proud of my comic’s art style.

Okay. ‘Nuff ranting for this morning… I’ve got COMICS to make! Shadows and all. :) And while I started off this rant saying “I don’t care what you say, I’m doing it”, I really DO want to hear your thoughts on things. I like feedback, I really do. Just remember – the best kind of criticism is CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. :)