Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hey! In case you end up here and notice zero activity - you can head over to my portfolio site which may or may not have slightly less then zero activity! PAUL TUCKER ART

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday, October 14, 2011

9 Panel Grid

How fine a line can you get away with using a 9 panel grid?

I'm in the midst of a challenging SF story in which I'm using the grid and almost every panel is packed with activity. I worked up this test panel as a style test and I kept questioning how thin I could go with the inks. I used a stiff Japanese nib (a zebra I think) and a 0.1 Micron.

Working "half up" is certainly essential for the amount of detail I'm going for, however it adds to the difficulty of knowing whether the lines will be too thin when shrunk back down. I printed this off at actual size and it felt pretty good. However, it's kind of hard judging it alone, without 8 other panels surrounding it.

I was reading here about how Moebius was facing the same issues when he dipped his toe into American Comics with Silver Surfer. His thin lines would often completely disappear - granted, printing reproduction has come a long way since the 80's. Perhaps I should be more concerned wiht how it will look on an iPad.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ligne claire

I've been toying with an open line style for a very 2000AD inspired short story and it's been a real challenge. I think what makes it so difficult is that you can't get away with suggesting information, you actually have to provide all the details. Feng Zhu talks about this here:

I've been looking at a lot of HergĂ© and Moebius for inspiration. It's kind of mind boggling to read that Moebius often works straight with pen - and that “there is no such thing as a mistake”

File this image under "not healthy for artists who arn't Moebius too look at"

Monday, August 1, 2011

Oh, the Horror - 64 color palate

Back in May when I was coloring my mock EC cover, I decided I wanted to emulate the look of 1950's color as much as possible. I read up on the limited colors that were available at the time and googled to see if someone had made a photoshop palate of these (64) colors. On that day (Saturday, May 21st) I didn't find what I was looking for, so I decided it would be faster to make one myself. I took a half hour and used this chart as a guide. It worked out fine, but I found the colors a bit too vibrant and wanted to give it an older, yellowed look so I overlay-ed some yellow and was off to the races.

Well - a couple days later (Monday, May 23), I fired up twitter and did a double-take - everywhere I looked someone was retweeting Ed Piskor's post where he presents a 64 color photoshop palate, which he made the exact same way I had! It was very surreal.

His version was much tidier then mine and it's what I've been using since! Thanks for sharing Ed!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Inking struggles

These past couple weeks I've jumped into inking the two new stories I've been working on. Here is a list of my concerns so far:

1. Graphic Design - Within each panel and for the page overall. Keeping the shapes interesting, contrasting, and clear is a real tough battle. I've been experimenting in photoshop with the pencil tool, as it allows me to test out a whole bunch of different relationships between light and dark - also it's easier to work white over black.

2. The tools - I spent a good portion of one session struggling to get my tools working right. My ink had gone watery and I couldn't get a line out of my crow quill without dipping it in water constantly. When the tools don't feel right it's very difficult to concentrate on the lines I want to put down.

3. Vision - I kept leaping into panels without a solid vision of what I wanted them too look like. It's hard to be satisfied when you don't really know what you want.

4. Time - I've already spent hours on these pages and I can't help but feel anxious to see them finished. Also, working in the morning means I always have a deadline , so the ticking clock can stress me out.

5. Inking for color - I find it hard to know what too leave for the coloring stage and what needs to be present in the black and white art. I'd like to try a purely black and white comic soon - and see how I fair without the security blanket color provides.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Working in the morning

In May 2010, I decided to try out a morning routine for my personal drawing time. This seemed like a really crazy idea at the time, as I was not a morning person at all. Nevertheless, I was tired of working all day, and most days not drawing until 10 at night - so I figured it was worth a shot. I set the alarm to 5am and gave it a shot. Well, it's July, 2011 and I haven't looked back! In fact, I now have the alarm set for 4:30am and sometimes even 4am.

Here are some pros and cons of my new lifestyle:


• I draw every day (almost without fail). No matter what happens in a day - overtime at work, family commitments, etc. - I have already logged my time at the board while everyone else was asleep.

• I solve problems better in the morning. I may be a bit groggy when I first sit down at the drafting table, but once I've got some coffee in me and cbc classical in my ears - I'm ready to tackle the page.

• It's quiet. The phone isn't ringing. The house is still. The internet is even boring at that hour. It's a great work environment.


• I'm kind of a square at parties. I get pretty tired around 9:30 and If I can I'll go to bed by 10.

• If I have some good flow going at the board - come time for the day-job - I have to stop. I do miss the ability to be able to keep working (through the night)

• Conversely, if I had bad flow at the board - living with that all day can be quite painful. (although the brain often works away at solving these problems when I'm away - so maybe this is a pro as well)

I still wish I had more time to work with, but that's a common complaint. If you are a creative who waits til late at night to do your thing - I recommend at least trying a morning routine. Give yourself a few days or weeks to get used to it - It could be worth it!