Mickey Mouse Birthday Card

Wow, it’s been a while since I posted. I’ve been prepping and shipping my book out to my Kickstarter backers, so I haven’t had time for much else. But I just inked up a quick Mickey Mouse Birthday Card for a friend and thought I’d snap some photos during the process just to have something to post.

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This was the initial rough sketch. I tweaked it a little in Photoshop and printed it to size so I could trace it on the lightbox.

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The pencils, up close. I darkened them a little for the blog so they’d be easier to see, but I generally try to work pretty light (4H pencils) so the rough lines aren’t so visible in the finished piece.

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I’m inking with the Sakura Pigma Brush Pens again. Working on larger areas (like Mickey’s ear) I get to use that massive Bold Brush.

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Most of the figure outline is done with the Fine Brush. It really does have a pretty dynamic range of widths. In some cases I might use the Medium Brush too, but mine’s getting a little chewed up so I didn’t want to risk using it until I picked up a new one.

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This is the finished piece. 8×10 on Bristol. Just a fun birthday illustration. I scan this in and resize it to fit the card template I created in Photoshop. And then…

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Here’s the finished product! All ready to stamp and send. Hope everybody has a Happy New Year! -v

I’m drawing Haunted Mansion Ghosts for Inktober 2016

Every October people all over the world people celebrate “Inktober” by getting out their ink pens, brushes, and markers and attempting to do a new, ink drawing every day of the month.

Sometimes it’s random subject matter, sometimes people try to follow a theme. This year, I picked “The Haunted Mansion” as my theme and I’m trying to draw a different Disney ghost every day. Not sure if I’ll get one done every single day, but if you want to follow along (and see other Inktober drawings that other illustrators and cartoonists are doing) check out the #Inktober2016 hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.

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As I make my way through Inktober, I’ll try to keep updating this post. Each happy haunt is done the same way: pencil sketch light-boxed onto Bristol board, then inked with Sakura brush pens and Pitt artist pens. Oh! And I’m trying to draw the ghosts in the order you encounter them in the Haunted Mansion. I’ll also try to caption them with the names they’ve been given, if any (though, there seem to be conflicting views on what certain ghosts are named, depending on what source you go to). Click to embiggen. Happy Halloween! -v

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Alexander Nitrokoff

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Daisy De La Cruz / Sally Slater

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Quicksand Trio / The Hobbs’

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Abigale Pateclever / Constance Hatchaway

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The Sea Captain / Capt. Culpepper Clyne

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Medusa

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The Hanging Man

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Vampire

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Jack the Ripper

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Madame Leota

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Birthday Ghost

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Birthday Guest

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Ballroom Dancers

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Passenger in Hearse

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The Organist

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The Duelists

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The Bride

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The Caretaker

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Pop-Up Ghosts

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Skeleton Hound

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Mummy

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Hard-of=Hearing Ghost

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Lady Opera Singer

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Opera Singer Guy

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The Executioner

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The Headless Knight

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Gus (Hitchhiking Ghohst)

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Ezra (Hitchhiking Ghost)

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Phineas (Hitchhiking Ghost)

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The Hatbox Ghost

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Little Leota

Untold Tales of Bigfoot/Star Wars Mash-Up Commision

Just finished up a commission for a client who wanted me to mix Star Wars with some characters from my Untold Tales of Bigfoot comic – and I had a blast! Here’s the basic brief: B/W illustration, Princess Leia’s escaping from Jabba’s palace with Chewbacca and Han Solo. But in this case, Chewbacca’s being played by my Bigfoot character, and Han is Scout… and he’s frozen in carbonite. A brilliant idea and I was happy to work on it.

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Aside from the idea being crazy fun, another reason I was excited to work on this was because I wanted to try out some new brushes I recently picked up. Of course I used my Faber Castell Pitt Artist Pens. They’re an old stand-by that are part of my regular workflow. But I also tried these Sakura Pigma Professional Brush Pens. I saw them in an art store recently and thought I’d give ’em a try.

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But before we get to the inking, I had to come up with a composition. I sketched this pretty quickly (the scene kind of writes itself) and got approval.

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Luckily, the client trusted me even though all I’d sent him was this chicken scratch. And when I had a chance to take a second look at it, I thought it might be a stronger piece if I centered the whole composition. So I lightboxed the doodle and penciled something a little more polished.

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The sketch line’s a little light right now and hard to see, but it’ll all be much clearer when I slap some ink down on it. Time to get out those new pens!

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You can see these Pigma’s come in 3 sizes, Fine, Medium, and Bold. The tips are flexible and have a great feel to them. The ink is supposed to be archival and waterproof. And – as you’ll see later in the post – they held up very well to toning with Copic Markers and I didn’t even have to wait overnight to make sure the ink was dry.

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In this image where I’m inking Leia’s leg, I’m using the Fine tip Pigma. I wasn’t sure what kind of line it would lay down (this being my first time using the brushes), and I was nervous about making it too thick. As it turns out, I went back over the fine line with the Medium Pigma and got a good weight with a nice variation.

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One of the things you can tell up close is that I never learned to hold a pencil correctly. Busted. But you can also see that I’m using the Medium Pigma for some medium detail work. I think I switched to the Bold Pigma soon after this when I felt more confident with the way the ink was laying down. All three brush tips have great control and a nice, bouncy feel.

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The inks aren’t finished yet in this image above (still have to add Bigfoot’s hatching) but you get a pretty good idea of the line weights achievable with these three Pigma brushes. Because Leia’s face was pretty tiny (about the size of a nickel on the paper) I wasn’t sure I could ink her features with the fine brush without screwing it up, so I opted for one of the Pitt tech pens. It gives you a slightly less organic line, but it’s better than a giant black smudge where her nose should be.

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The original commission was for linework only. Just black inks. But as I was working on it, I saw some opportunity to drop in some accents with grey Copic Markers. Nothing crazy, just a little toning here and there. I checked with the client and got the okay. Scans really show the difference between the cool greys of the stone wall and the warm greys in the skin.

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And like I said, I went in with the Copics no more than an hour after I’d finished the last ink line and I didn’t get a single smudge or smear. So Sakura Pigma, as far as I can tell, delivers on their promise to be waterproof. Are they archival? Only time will tell. But if you’re looking to experiment with a new brush pen, I’d definitely give the Pigmas a try. -v

RunRedRun’s Hatbox Ghost Process

Hey! Since this blog is all about process – and since I just got back from Disneyworld and I still have “Small World” running through my brain – I thought I’d share this fun process post my needle-felting friend RunRedRun put up. It’s a step-by-step process on how she put together her Haunted Mansion/Hatbox Ghost felted sculpture and diorama. If you like Disney, ghosts, or needle-felting, you’ll enjoy looking at her process.

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Haunted Mansion’s Hatbox Ghost, natural media process

What with all the digital inking and coloring I do, I wanted to get back in the groove with my tech pens and markers. The Hatbox Ghost seemed like a fun thing to practice with.

HatboxGhost_standingDown below you see the rough pencils that I sketched. Going old school, I light boxed those onto a piece of Bristol with a 4H pencil. The lines ended up too light to scan, actually, otherwise you’d see an image of the refined pencils here.

The inks were done with Pitt Artist Pens, and a Pitt Brush Pen. I’m working my way back to my old trusty traditional ink brush, but it’s been a long time, so the brush pen will be my transitional tool.
Hatbox Ghost by Vince Dorse, pencils and inksAt the top of the post you can see the finished art. After the inks were done I put down some tones with Copic Markers. I liked the way it came out, so I dug around my old mat blanks and found a couple pieces of board to mat it with. Also, for fun, I played around with drawing the ghost’s head in the hatbox (inspired by the original animatronic effect). I’ll have to figure out a clever way of framing it so that I can blast light through it and reveal the boxed head.-v

Hatbox Ghost by Vince Dorse, matted with light

 

Haunted Mansion comic process

This is a one-pager I did for my mom’s birthday card. If you want to see it full-size where it’s easier to read and see details, I’ve posted it at my Comic Art Tumblr. But if you want the skinny on my process, my first step was sifting through a bunch of my old vacation photos to get some reference for the landmarks. I wanted the backgrounds as authentic as possible, but I penciled the figures very loose, deciding to refine those during the inking process.

Haunted Man/Son pencilsInks were done in Manga Studio. I thought this project would be the perfect opportunity to finally experiment with the Perspective Rulers. They’re great for keeping things in perspective. A very promising start so far for a tool I was unfamiliar with,  but I want to keep experimenting with them.

Haunted Man/Son inksMost of the colors were done in Manga Studio. These are the flats, no “mood lighting” or modeling on the figures.

Haunted Man/Son flatsAnd here’s the final piece. Like I said up top, if you want to see it at a larger size, check it out on my Comic Art Tumblr. -v

Haunted Man/Son final colors

Hatbox Ghost Sketch Card

Hatbox Ghost Sketch Card by Vince DorseExperimenting with sketch cards for a few reasons. 1) I draw big, so drawing on a 2.5″ x 3.5″ card is a challenge for me and I’d like to get better at it 2) I wanted to try out Copic Markers since I’d never given them a tumble 3) I really wanted to draw The Hatbox Ghost, originally part of Disney’s Haunted Mansion attraction. I mean, come on…just look at that ghoul!