I have finished inking Spam and the Sasquatch! The motorcycle that had me singing the blues yesterday has been drawn properly, more or less, and inked. I present that panel tonight as proof that I can sort of fake a mechanical device. I gave the rider, Maddog, who is a vampire, a bat helmet, because they really do make them and if I were a vampire who rode a motorcycle, I would soooo have a helmet like that!
Inking has its own rhythms, as does every project. This is the longest story I have yet undertaken (64 pages), and I found that I got into a groove that helped me continue even when I was bored, or dead tired, or just wanted to go do something else for a change. First get the panels in place: that always kind of grounded me. Sometimes I’d do the panel borders before bed, knowing that I’d have a page started when I got up. I purposely didn’t use a ruler for those, because I wanted a sort of organic looking line. Foregrounds first, usually, with a bigger pen; then switch to the fine for the background details. As I was inking this on the lightbox, I would occasionally lift up the inking paper and check my pencil sketches underneath. At the end of each double page spread, I’d mark the page numbers at the bottom, write in the title and sign it. Finishing each double spread this way gave me a feeling of completion, something I needed while there were so many pages yet to go!
Next I’ll be starting on the painting; I’m going to do it in watercolour, mostly, probably with bits of acrylic, gouache and marker when needed for special effects. I’d like the originals to be as close as possible to the way they look in the book, because the finished pages will be for sale. The only thing I plan to do in the computer is clean up borders and insert the dialogue.
Without further ado, here is the motorcycle panel. Notice how I cleverly hid most of the fiddly bits of the engine with Maddog’s leg!