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.

ballroomdancers_HauntedMansion_Inktober_Dorse

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

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Alexander Nitrokoff

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Daisy De La Cruz / Sally Slater

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Quicksand Trio / The Hobbs’

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Abigale Pateclever / Constance Hatchaway

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

The Sea Captain / Capt. Culpepper Clyne

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Medusa

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

The Hanging Man

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Vampire

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Jack the Ripper

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Madame Leota

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Birthday Ghost

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Birthday Guest

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Ballroom Dancers

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Passenger in Hearse

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

The Organist

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

The Duelists

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

The Bride

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

The Caretaker

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Pop-Up Ghosts

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Skeleton Hound

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Mummy

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Hard-of=Hearing Ghost

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Lady Opera Singer

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Opera Singer Guy

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

The Executioner

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

The Headless Knight

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Gus (Hitchhiking Ghohst)

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Ezra (Hitchhiking Ghost)

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

Phineas (Hitchhiking Ghost)

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

The Hatbox Ghost

HauntedMansion_Inktober_VinceDorse

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.

UntoldTalesofBigfoot_StarWars_Dorse

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.

SakuraPigma_FaberCastellPitt

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.

UntoldTalesofBigfoot_StarWars_Dorse

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.

UntoldTalesofBigfoot_StarWars_Dorse

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!

UntoldTalesofBigfoot_StarWars_Dorse

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.

UntoldTalesofBigfoot_StarWars_Dorse_04

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.

UntoldTalesofBigfoot_StarWars_Dorse_brushstroke

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.

UntoldTalesofBigfoot_StarWars_Dorse

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.

UntoldTalesofBigfoot_StarWars_Dorse

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.

UntoldTalesofBigfoot_StarWars_Dorse

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

Giving MediBang Paint a try

I recently watched a review of a drawing app called MediBang Paint by Brad Colbrow and thought it looked pretty good. An app that’s set up for the iPad Pro/Pencil setup but also a desktop application. And best of all, it’s freeeeeee! So I figured I’d give it a try.  Since I’m new at this program, I thought I’d start off slow and just doodle canine superhero, Underdog.

Underdog

I’m really just getting started with this program but, as you can see, MediBang a very simple, clean interface. Most of the elements you’d expect in a drawing app are there.

Underdog_Dorse01a

Looks like the color slider works in an RGB colorspace, as I’d expect for a simple, free app. The brush/tools palette has a decent number/selection of brushes and tools. I haven’t sampled many of them yet, but I plan to. The preview palette gives you just what you need, as well as easy to access size/opacity controls. And since a layers palette is a necessity for me, it’s nice to see MediBang provides one.

Underdog

So, for this quick Underdog doodle, I decided to try a few different inking brushes. The “Pen” tool has a nice, smooth line, and the “G-Pen” had a rougher edge. Both were fine for variable weight linework controlled by pressure, but I’d like to experiment more with the app. Maybe see if there’s a way to customize the brushes a little.

Underdog

I’ll admit, I only tried out the “Watercolor” tool to color this piece. It felt…well, not really anything like watercolor. But it got the job done in a smeary, blendy kind of way. For a few minutes I tried the “Watercolor (Wet)” tool and that seemed a little softer, more transparent and, possibly, closer to a watercolor feel. But that’s not what I wanted for this illustration.

Underdog

And there he is. No need to fear. Underdog is here. I ended up using “Pen (Fade In/Fade Out) for those lines denoting brickwork. The tool is very similar to ClipStudioPaint’s  “For Effects Lines” brush in that it gradually fades in and out after you lay down the stroke. A handy brush to have. Overall, Medibang Paint is a simple app to use on the desktop. I don’t have an iPad Pro (yet!) but when I get one, I’ll likely download the mobile app. And you should consider it too. Like I said, it’s free! And that’s hard to beat. -v