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Topic: Q for JB: Getting Larger (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Joe Smith
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Posted: 24 February 2011 at 10:44pm | IP Logged | 1  

Really? You thought I would go there?

This is about art man!

I enjoy drawing very much, and apart from one 10x15" piece a few years ago during a JBF Art Challenge, (>sniff, sniff<, oh, how I miss them!), I've yet to attack a LARGER drawing.

You worked at one size for most of your career.

Is there a tidbit of a trick that you might share about going up to, say, 18x24", or dare I say, 20X30"?

Thank you for your thoughts.
They truly help at every turn!

Joesmith(realname)

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John Byrne
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Posted: 25 February 2011 at 5:43am | IP Logged | 2  

Is there a tidbit of a trick that you might share about going up to, say, 18x24", or dare I say, 20X30"?

One of the most distinctive things about comic book art is the line weights. Traditionally, most inkers have used some combination of brush and pen, and this has given much of the work a lush, "organic" look.

When the pages were scaled down in the early Seventies (to save on paper costs*), some inkers had difficulty adapting their work from the 12x18 format to the new 10x15. Their inking became thick and heavy, because they were still using the same weight of line on the smaller paper. (Something similar happened during the mid Seventies, when Marvel started the "economical" move of having double-page spreads done on a single sheet of the 10x15 paper turned sideways. This meant that in a standard 6x9 comic, the art was being reproduced at close to actual size -- a spread would be 9x12 -- and it showed! And not in a good way.**)

All this is a long way of saying the way to approach larger pieces has much to do with what their "final form" is going to be. If they are intended for reproduction, and therefore reduction, thicken up your line accordingly. If not, let the image dictate the line weights. On a 20x30 commission (or larger), for instance, I don't bump up the line very much, except on foreground elements. After all, I expect these pieces to be viewed at pretty close range, and I don't want the lines to become too cumbersome.

--

* Oddly, when I first started at Charlton, they were still using up their stock of the older, larger sheets -- but were having the smaller "live art" area guides printed on them. So Charlton original art from this period has enormous amounts of wasted space around the actual panels.

** For some reason, the tabloids that became popular at this time, such as SUPERMAN vs THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, were also printed without reduction. There, however, inkers seemed better able to adjust.

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Pascal LISE
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Posted: 25 February 2011 at 6:17am | IP Logged | 3  

Interesting insider insight!
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Roger A Ott II
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Posted: 25 February 2011 at 6:30am | IP Logged | 4  

That's some interesting information!
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Mark McKay
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Posted: 25 February 2011 at 8:34am | IP Logged | 5  

With today's scanning technology, is it necessary to still create the art at
a larger size?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 25 February 2011 at 9:01am | IP Logged | 6  

With today's scanning technology, is it necessary to still create the art at a larger size?

Most line art looks better when reduced. The lines become cleaner and sharper.

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Mark McKay
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Posted: 25 February 2011 at 9:04am | IP Logged | 7  

I was thinking that might be the case, but wondered. Thanks.
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Joe Smith
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Posted: 25 February 2011 at 10:54am | IP Logged | 8  

Thank you sir!

Those huge commissions of yours must be a MASSIVE undertaking, and I am eagerly awaiting an idea to strike me! It's the masochist in me...

I was looking for one of those massive PITT brushes and found a COPIC Multiliner Brush Medium....
WOW! Can this thing put down a swab of REALLY dark ink!
Big brush feel, too, like I've never felt before.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 25 February 2011 at 11:41am | IP Logged | 9  

A while back it seemed the ink in the PITT pens was changed, so I find that for brush work these days, in order to get solid blacks, I use a real brush and a bottle of india ink.
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 25 February 2011 at 2:31pm | IP Logged | 10  

Interesting tidbits here. I always admire your ability to modify your line weight and scale up or down as needs be. I'm looking from across the room at the lush, shiny lines you've used on Iron Man in one of my 20" by 30" commissions, and the effect is awesome.
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Joe Smith
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Posted: 25 February 2011 at 3:00pm | IP Logged | 11  

Peter, is that the one above the Ancient Ruins?

That is the one that comes to mind when I think of line weights and amazing technique.

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Joe Smith
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Posted: 26 February 2011 at 2:45pm | IP Logged | 12  

Waitaminnit!

JB: does that mean that the double page spread of the X-Men on the Shi'ar Starship that sold for a Gazillion dollars is on a single 10x15"?

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Stephen Churay
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Posted: 26 February 2011 at 5:55pm | IP Logged | 13  

My biggest problem is going from larger to smaller. After drawing
character sketches on the backs of old comic boards, in a 10x15 area,
I'll switch to my 8.5x11 sketchbook and wind up cutting my characters
off at the ankles. Talk about embarrassing.
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Nathan Greno
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Posted: 26 February 2011 at 7:12pm | IP Logged | 14  

Stephen,

Are you a comic book artist? Forgive my ignorance... I don't read many comics these days!

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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 February 2011 at 8:44pm | IP Logged | 15  

JB: does that mean that the double page spread of the X-Men on the Shi'ar Starship that sold for a Gazillion dollars is on a single 10x15"?

No. Happily, Marvel's ruinous flirtation with sideways "spreads" died just about the time I got into the business. None of my double-page spreads were done that way.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 26 February 2011 at 8:44pm | IP Logged | 16  

After drawing character sketches on the backs of old comic boards, in a 10x15 area, I'll switch to my 8.5x11 sketchbook and wind up cutting my characters off at the ankles.

That's why they put erasers on the ends of pencils.

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Stephen Churay
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Posted: 27 February 2011 at 1:10am | IP Logged | 17  

Stephen,

Are you a comic book artist? Forgive my ignorance... I don't read many comics these days!

----

Not yet Nathan. But I'm working on it. I use comic boards for my portfolio and local commissions.

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Nathan Greno
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Posted: 27 February 2011 at 1:43am | IP Logged | 18  

Cool! Have you posted work on this site? Interested in seeing your work... :)
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 27 February 2011 at 5:01am | IP Logged | 19  

Peter, is that the one above the Ancient Ruins?
------------------------------------------------------
Yes! 
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Stephen Churay
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Posted: 27 February 2011 at 5:27pm | IP Logged | 20  

Cool! Have you posted work on this site? Interested in seeing your
work... :)

-----

Not yet Nathan, but thank you. I'll try and post some this evening. I
have issues figuring out how to load images on the forum, but I'll try
and put some in the sketchbook thread.

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Flavio Sapha
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Posted: 27 February 2011 at 7:19pm | IP Logged | 21  

My favorite Avengers commision! And the best Iron Man ever
commited to paper!
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Joe Smith
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Posted: 28 February 2011 at 1:25am | IP Logged | 22  

I have NIGHTMARES about that Commission!

Since it was revealed, I have simply drooled over it, having saved the JPG for a while just to call on it to starefor a few moments.

Then, one day, I had a daydream/nightmare (don't ask) in which a small child came across it, and brandishing Crayolas, well.....

I can't go on!

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John Byrne
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Posted: 28 February 2011 at 5:42am | IP Logged | 23  

I had a dream a few decades ago -- but still very vivid in my memory -- in which I was sitting at my drawing board, finishing up a page, when someone walked up behind me, picked up my ink bottle, and poured it on the page!

According to the young woman with whom I was sharing my bed at the time, I literally "woke up screaming"!

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Joe Smith
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Posted: 28 February 2011 at 12:45pm | IP Logged | 24  

Ha!

It's because you knew it would go for $65,000.00 someday!

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