Monday, April 06, 2009


I have this great 'Art of Hellboy' book which obviously, has lots of Mignola goodness in it. One of my favourite parts of the book however, isn't the (lovely) Hellboy water-colours he has, but the scans of his black and white pages. What's great about them, is that they're not cleaned up or anything; you can see the different levels of ink he used, the heaviness of the ink lines, etc. it's the next best thing to looking at the actual page. So, here's a reasonably big scan of a section of a recent Sweeney Todd page that i haven't altered. If you look, you can pick out parts that were done with dip-pen nib, brush pen, inky fingerprints, actual indian ink and various splatter effects.

I'll post the whole cleaned-up page in a few days.



luke f said...

What did you use for the white splatter?

I just know someones going to say jizz.
I`m betting Sliney.

charco said...

Some of those fingerprints deliberate? Looks great, its a refreshing change to see the different levels of ink.

Declan Shalvey said...

Hey guys.

Luke, i use Winsor+Newton white ink for the while splatter. I've tried white guoache before, and tipp-ex too but they're both very thick and complicated to use. I don't need to mess with the ink, so i can just job it at the page. I would have betted Mooney or Bob would make the jizz joke.

Hey Ciarán, ah yeah, the fingerprints are deliberate! I don't just paw the hell out of the pages haphazardly!
Still, if you had to ask i guess they look spontaneous, which is good. Admittedly; it's taking a lot of practice but i think i'm starting to get the hang of it.


Moondog said...

I see my countless jizz jokes have preceeded me...
I love this panel.

Michael G Clark said...

I like the idea of shading with fingerprints. I do have a great photoshop brush with fingerprints but I'd have to actually draw to have something to shade.

Always great to see the mechanics of the work.

Declan Shalvey said...

Yeah, i dunno about a photoshop brush with fingerprints... not sure if that would work well.
I've seen digital attempts at spontaneous practical effects like splatter, and it just always looks bad to me. Not that photoshop can't do great effects with brushes, (it can obviously do great things) it just seems to fall flat when it tries to replicate more experimental practical techniques.

Man, that sounded pretentious. Still though; it's true.

David said...

Another great page. I'll have to pick this book up. They should do it in black and white. Maybe with some red like you did with Freakshow.

Michael G Clark said...

Declan, you are right of course, it actually takes a lot more work to make a digital piece look hand drawn. There's the whole effort over practicality thing.

I tend to draw bits, scan them and layer them in as it's much quicker. Also works with scanned material textures too. I'll put the recent stuff up on me blog once I've completed a few for the filum.

thecomiccast said...

Really like this, Dec.

Declan Shalvey said...

Thanks guys.

David; nice idea but i quarantee that will neeeeeever happen. Classical Comics are all about the full-colour experience.

Michael; let me know when you put the stuff up on your blog as honestly, i'll forget to look. I'm not trying to put down digital; there's great stuff you can do digitally that you can't do practically. There's strengths and weaknesses to both approaches.

Hey Lian; glad you like!


Ciarán said...

Declan, this is ace. I wasn't going to comment on this but just thought I'd let you know that I'm dying to see how you 'finished' these panels. Finishing is a big obstacle for me personally. It's almost like, if I get the composition down in rough pencils, be it a figure or a scene, then the job is done, my brain shuts down. That's why I think maybe a brush and ink are the way forward. The nature of the brush lends itself to a 'get in, get it done' attitude, for me anyway.

'Get in, make it look good, effortlessly' is another story though! Keep up the good work.

Declan Shalvey said...

Ah thanks man. Well, it takes a lot of practice man. I'm doin' it years and only feel like i'm getting into it now. Keep in mind, brush and ink doesn't work for everyone, but if you're thinking that, then it's worth trying out.

Hmm. If you really want to see how i 'finish' a panel, this month i could always try and scan a panel as i'm working on it maybe? Show it being inked step-by-step...? What do you think, would people want to see that..?