It’s a Wash
by Pierce Desrochers-O’Sullivan
When I first got Dino Caruso’s script for “THE OLDMAN AND THE SEA MONSTER” I decided that because it was full of monsters punching eachother on a lake that ink washes would be interesting way to portray the water. In the post that follows is my process for laying washes onto a penciled page. It is a promotional piece for the current project I am working on called “Cartoon Violence” – a story about a cartoonist sucked into the world of his creation. For this project the human figures are drawn and inked by my co-creator Nadia Lucie Pacey and the animals and design are drawn and inked by me. So without further ado…
First I Start off by taking my quill and pens to the sharp edged lines in the drawing and making sure they are a black and mechanical looking by using ruled devices and what not.
I then ink the black in my figures with a NO#1 Windsor and Newton Brush and fill in any large black areas with a marker. I hold the brush with the tip perpendicular to the page and try to pull the brush with my forearm to get smooth lines.
Next I begin to lay in my washes by painting in light grays where I intend to build up shadow. I then fill in my midtone areas with even lighter grey and begin to darken up the shadow areas that I previously laid down. At this point I begin to choose textures for the individual parts of the page: The Bear, Walrus, Background, etc…
I then get my co inker to ink her parts in a similar manner. This is followed by me doing very light grey washes over the page to add unity to our two inking jobs.
Afterwards I scan my page and adjust the ‘Levels’ (ctrl – L) in Photoshop to bring up the blacks and whites. I then dodge and burn the various sections of the page to tighten the grays up.
Next I put my scanned wash layer at the top and set the layer to ‘multiply’ so that I can lay in all my flat colors on layers below it. Once this is done I select the flat color layers which are laid under the figures and use ‘color balance’ (ctrl – B) to bring up their red and yellow values – which gives them a hint of uniformity. I then desaturate (ctrl – U) them by 10% or so.
After adding all my textures in color to the areas around the letters and the red circle I add another multiply layer on top with a flat brown and save it as a PNG! And she is done!
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