Monday, February 20, 2012

The Science of Bigfoot


This week we thought we’d give you a little insight into Andy’s artistic process, his tools of choice and more specifically, his breakdown of Page 2.

So why Page 2?  Take it away, Andy...

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“Page two was the very first page I did for this issue. It seemed like the best opportunity for me to get comfortable with the character. On my second or third time reading the script, I write little notes to myself for each page and panel describing what I feel are the key aspects. So this page read something like: Splash. Bigfoot-sitting-armor-old/tired (I do this because if a script is super detailed, I could get intimidated and possibly confused. In the end, I'm not leaving any of the writer's direction out, I'm just creating a shorthand for it). 

At this stage, I'm also looking for any sequence that jumps out at me for any reason at all. And the first three pages seemed like a fun way to get started. 

LAYOUT:



Bigfoot: SOTE was the last assignment where I did all the work without digital assistance. Now I do everything but the inks digitally. The layout phase was usually done in a sketchbook or on a scrap of paper and with whatever pen or pencil I had on hand. 

At this stage I'm having fun and trying to work as quickly as possible. Just so I don't find myself picking away at something that doesn't matter yet.  

Since this page is of Bigfoot sitting on a rock, stargazing, I was able to knock it out pretty fast.

PENCILS: 



Once the layout is approved, I use the fancy printer I stole from my mother and print the image out on 11x17 inch, 3-ply, smooth bristol board. I like the smooth board simply because of the way the pencil feels on it and the style I use to ink my own pencil work.  I use non-repro blue pencil solely due to the fact that I won't have to erase anything when I'm done. 

My main focus is to have fun or at least give the illusion that I had fun. That's what I've noticed about the artists I admire most. There is no way for me to know whether or not they had fun, but their work always feels like they had fun. With this page, I had a lot of fun and finished it pretty quickly.

INKS:



Undoubtedly my favorite part of the process is inking. I have no reasoning why, it's just the most fun for me. Everything is laying there on the page and all I have to do is figure out how I want to finish it. 

I loved using a No. 3 Raphael brush and various nibs, but unfortunately I'm so clumsy that I always found a way knock over my ink bottle and ruin pages, clothes and carpets. So now I almost exclusively use a Kuretake No. 55 Double Sided Brush Pen (Hard and Soft). I like it because the brush end is rubber-like and never loses its point. It's also super flexible, so you can get a significant line variation from it. And the hard side can fit all of your crow quill needs. One hundred per cent of this page was inked with that pen.

COLORS: 



Tom [our colorist] is good at everything. We went to The Kubert School together and I became a big fan of his immediately. So when I got this job, his was one of the names I mentioned right away. He's someone that I knew would make me look better than I am and I'd probably learn a lot from. I never had many notes for him and was impressed with everything he did for this book."



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Excellent!  Thanks for the insight, Andy!  Down the road, we'll talk to Tom and get a feel for what it takes to make a page snap!

Until next time... 

Have a good one,

Josh "Stuck with his Stick Figures" Henaman

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