Dogs & Libraries

I hope you all enjoyed the new pages of Gary from last week.  If you missed them, please take a look:  Gary, Ch4, Part 1

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DOGS…

are difficult to draw. Sometimes I wish I had taken that scientific illustration class while in school.  In any case, I’m fairly happy with how these pages turned out, but it took a bit of work to figure out how I wanted the dog to look.

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I’m a dog person, so I have some cursory knowledge of breeds and such, but I didn’t want this dog to look like a specific breed.  I basically drew from photo reference a few different breeds, then drew the final pages from my sketches.  In the end, it kinda looks like a retriever, which worked out nicely.

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COMICS IN THE LIBRARY

While in Portland at Stumptown, I had the opportunity to speak with a representative from the Multnomah County Library.  They have started an awesome program where they carry zines and independent comics in the local library branches.  I was stoked to hear about this unique program and encourage you Portland folks to take a look at their collection.  I am honored to say that they will be carrying a few of my titles:

My comics at the library! 

Thanks to Emily-Jane from the Mulnomah County Library for making this possible!  I’ll be also add links to this collection on my website in the near future.

– Tyrell

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Gary, Ch4, Part 1

Hello all,

I’m happy to announce that Chapter Four of Gary has started.  Please take a look at the first 3 pages:
More Gary pages should be up within 2 weeks.  Thanks for the support!
– Tyrell

My Favorite Things…

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there!  I was fortunate enough to have an awesome mom who encouraged me to persue all of my interests, no matter how weird they were.  Without the encouragement of my mom, this crazy life as an artist wouldn’t have taken shape.  Thanks mom!

Speaking of interests… I’m always curious what the artist’s I admire are influenced by.  I also get that question quite a bit.  So here is a peak into a couple of my bookshelves:

Click to enlarge

Show your mom’s you care today!

– Tyrell


PROCESS: Gary Clean-up

Good news all!
 Gary, Chapter 4 should be ready to start in about a week or two.  In the meantime, please take a look at the digital half of production for the last page of Gary, Chapter 3.  If you missed the other part of this process, just click the ‘process’ heading to the right and you’re sure to find it.
So… as I mentioned before, my digital process is a tad strange and very basic.  It is tailored to the way I like to work.   By no means is this method perfect for everyone’s style.  I’m curious to hear other folks process as well!
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SCANNING
First, I scan the inked 11″ x 17″ pages.  I’m using an old canon scanner I’ve had since 2003, but it’s holding up ok.  I am limited in scale, as it is legal document size.  So I scan in sections (usually a panel or two at a time).  I’m scanning into Photoshop CS  (an older version, but it does what I need).  I scan at a much higher resolution (400 dpi) than probably necessary.  I prefer to have some leeway with scale.  Also, I scan in ‘grayscale’ mode.  In talking with some of my other comic maker pals, I found that many scan as bitmap (or b/w).  I’ve tried some setting recommendations, but in the end I feel that I lose some of the finess of the linework when I scan bitmap.
Since I scan in grayscale, some adjustments are necessary to keep the lines from being too ‘fuzzy’.  I do this using ‘levels’ and ‘brightness & contrast’, trying to brighten my whites and my gray’s blacker without losing those nice whispy edges of my brush lines.  I should also mention that I’m working in layers, not channels (which is also a popular method), as Gary is only planned for b/w.
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PANEL BORDERS
After I’ve composited the page back into a whole, I add panel borders in a new layer and get rid of the little marks around the edges of the page.  Of course, I had already drawn borders on the physical page, but prefer to have the clean digital borders on this particular project.
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CLEAN-UP
Then I start clean-up!  I finally purchased a wacom tablet & pen this last year, so the amount of cleanup I do digitally has increased.  This is due mostly to ease of use with the wacom.  I’m using a 6.5″ x 11″ Intuos 3.  I create a new layer called ‘fixes’, in which  I use the brush tool to work around the image and… well… fix it!

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DOT PATTERNS
After I get the line work where I want it, I add the halftone/zip-a-tone patterns as another layer (with ‘multiply’ setting).  The patterns I have are a mix of self-made and downloaded from anime websites for free.  Sometimes I know what I want from the beginning with the patterns, but other times I just play to see if it works.
In this case, the dot patterns were not adding anything to this page so I nixed them.  After that I’m pretty much done.  I save the page in a smaller flat state as a jpg or png for posting, but keep my large ‘raw’ version intact.  When I collect Gary, as I did with book 1 (and soon in book 2!), I sometimes return to the pages to make adjustments for the purposes of cohesion.
I’d love to hear how the rest of you work!  More to come soon!
-Tyrell