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The Full-Colour Cromulent Process:

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After a few comments on the watercolour process for these comics in the lead up for Full Colour Cromulence, I thought it would be a good idea to reshare this walkthrough I did last year!

bycrom:

Since I was photographing the comic this week, it was a simple step to photograph a few key stages as well, and put together a nice little process post. Here it is!

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First, I write and thumbnail the comic. Having now drawn both myself and Conan … a lot … I’ve gotten in the habit of shorthanding things. Frankly, the joke is often much harder to hammer out, but this week there were minimal rewrites. (see scribbled out words for insights into the scrapped, unfunny script)

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Then I draw out the comic! I’m using Canson’s pre-ruled manga art boards, which are keeping me to a consistent format and also take pencil and ink really nicely. As you can see, I’m much more worried about character expressions than anything else in the shot, judging from the relative darkness of the pencil lines there.

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Next step is inking! I’ve got a 100% micron pen inking setup now, partially because micron ink doesn’t bleed under watercolours, which is ideal, but also because I definitely work more legibly with fixed width pens. Any and all expressive linework I do these days I do with a chisel pen, which really helps me feel when I’m getting a thin or thick line. I’m still playing with spotting blacks in these painted comics, so this week’s had almost none. 

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And this, this is my favourite art tool. A Windsor & Newton Cotman Series 24 full-pan travel watercolour set. Real pigments! Pack up and go! Classy, easily cleaned white case! I had a smaller, half-pan set and quickly used up the blues, so this was the logical next step.

The more of these comics I make, the more of a colour system I hammer out. Conan gets strong, warm colours and cold dark hair; I get cooler colour clothes and warm hair and face. I usually do a light, warm-coloured wash now to tie the whole image together and make the word bubbles pop out even more. And I’m getting better at not using the whole palette in every comic - this week I opted out of any cadmiums (the hotter reds and yellows), viridian green or warm blues (cobalt and ultramarine) and used yellow ocher and venetian red really sparingly. Making those calls ahead of time is making colour a LOT less painful for me.

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So, first up, the underpainting! That light yellow is a lemon yellow/raw sienna mix, glazed on super light. Then a sap green/phthalo blue combo forms that base green, with a heavier blue glaze to start pushing in the contrast. That warm shadow tone is crimson red/raw sienna, glazed in to start pushing the warms and cools. You can already see how Conan will be the hottest thing in the comic (heh heh heh) with almost no warmth in the background at all.

On a side note, watercolour on manga art boards is probably not ideal, but they actually hold up incredibly well, the pigment sits nicely on top of the paper, and again, minimal bleeding. If anything they suck up water too fast, making it hard to do big wet-in-wet washes.

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The contrast really wasn’t working, though, and a lot of the forms felt flat and boring, so here’s a much hotter dark, almost pure crimson, laid in in washes and more opaquely to show the darkest darks and turn and layer a few forms more effectively.

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With a lot of my shading done already, I go ahead now and glaze in local colour information. Again, no warm blues, no cadmium reds or yellows, just an array of greens, siennas, umbers and a little cerulean blue to pup out things like that towel, that bowl and my toothpaste. Against that bluegreen background, burnt sienna and crimson red form some really hot oranges, and the tiny spots of yellow ochre (which is really opaque) and some tiny amounts of venetian red (which is an ABSURDLY overpowered pigment) lift Conan right out of the picture at points. Even the sap green is hot enough to stand out against a cool blue background.

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The last touch is letting it all dry and then going in with a white pen. It takes things back into the realm of cartoon, after all my colour noodling, and it helps me pop the shinier things like Conan’s bracers and round chestplate. Also it makes for a sweet signature.

And then I scan it, and clean it up in Photoshop, and pull out the text and make it crisp, and tidy the edges, and clean up all the stray paint in the word bubbles, and generally fiddle around till I think it looks awesome. And then I share it with you!

I hope this was interesting, and not just rambly. I’ve always used By Crom! as a project to experiment with, so as soon as I feel like I’ve got one process down I tend to switch it up and try another - you can probably go back through the watercolour comics and see several different techniques if you look close. So this is certainly no watercolouring or comicking bible, but a selection of this week’s approaches. And there is always more to learn!

Thanks! Cheers!

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lolliwolf
2399 days ago
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Evolution

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Someone wrote…

We all know that language is evolving all the time, as evidenced by the fact that the words “twerk” and “selfie” have recently become part of the Oxford English dictionary. So why is it so challenging to get a socially accepted singular non-gendered set of pronouns?

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

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lolliwolf
2635 days ago
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wocinsolidarity: militantlioness: Hey everyone! I’m making a...

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wocinsolidarity:

militantlioness:

Hey everyone!

I’m making a short documentary about the lives of trans*, genderqueer and gender non-conforming people of color.  I want this to be a exploration into what Trans* POC think about transition, style, being trans* (umbrella term) and any discrimination or racism feel in the community by other queer or trans* folks.

If you’re in the Richmond, Va are and interested in being interviewed please email me or tumblr message me (mickyalexvstheworld.tumblr.com).  Or just reblog this post to help me out. 

Thanks!

SIGNAL BOOST

Signal boost to all of you in RVA!

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lolliwolf
2645 days ago
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My Body’s Nobody’s Business But My Own

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He loudly said to my back, "You should go on a diet," as I was getting off the train. I had a pause waiting for the doors to open. Usually I ignore these kinds of things, but this time I turned to the 20 something white dude, looked him dead in the eye and said, "My body is none of your business, nor is anyone else's."
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lolliwolf
2700 days ago
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Lucy Bellwood’s Rope Bondage

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Dear Perverts, I’m as sick as a dog! Too many conventions this past month has landed me with a wicked cold, so I’ve fallen behind on reviews. Lucy Bellwood has luckily come to my rescue with this amazing rope bondage comic. She is the greatest!

Here’s Lucy’s blog post to go with the comic:

Hey OJST Readers!

I wish I had more room in the comic to tell you all the neat stuff there is to know about rope bondage, but fortunately for you there are many fabulous resources both in print and on the web for your further edification! Read on:

Tutorials: Two Knotty Boys, Twisted Monk, Tying It All Together, Crash Restraint, Ropetopia

Reference Books: Shibari You Can Use, Two Knotty Boys, Doug Kent’s Complete Shibari, Jay Wiseman’s Erotic Bondage HandbookThe Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage

Vendors: Twisted Monk, Maui Kink, Renaissance Rope, Rainbow Ropes

And if you’d like to hear more from me, head over to TwitterTumblrFacebook, or my homepage for more comics and updates.

Happy knotting!


And some links from our friends (with benefits)

And as an added bonus, a bunch of our friends with benefits have discounts for OJST readers:
NiteTimeToys has a discount code for us, Enter “OhJoy” at checkout to get 10% off.
Lovehoney also has a discount code for us, enter “10OHJOYhere for 10% off.
Early to Bed also has 10% off for the rest of May when you Add ‘YUM13′ at checkout.

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lolliwolf
2740 days ago
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Challenging the Delirium of Summer Dysphoria – Let’s Talk About Fashion & Gender Dysphoria

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Every year I ache for summer and spring to come along. Winter being Whinge-ter as every day I curse at the fact that I have to wear pants or leggings and that a short skirt and blouse won’t suffice. According to Ren Wilding of Dapper Q however, it’s the opposite for butches and tomboys, with summer proving to be a pain when it comes to what the fuck to wear department. Read Ren’s article about the relationship between gender dysphoria and fashion below:

In St. Louis the temperature is boomeranging between the lower 80s and the mid 50s, and the hotter days have me dreading summer already. Summers in this city are sweltering in a way that makes people want to take off their skin entirely, and I am no exception. I feel it creeping up on me, thirsty for the dysphoria building in my sweat.

I am more troubled by gender dysphoria in summer than at any other time because of the drastic shift in what is wearable. My everyday attire exists in layers, and when I start having to shed those layers, I feel like I lose control over my gender signification. For a long time I’ve been bewildered by these particular episodes of dysphoria because, generally speaking, I’ve been significantly less dysphoric since identifying as genderqueer. Yet, summer still threatens to affect me as it always has, and I have recently begun to understand why thanks to some of my recent reading.

In zir book, Female Masculinity, Judith Halberstam notes a nuance of gender identity and performance that I hadn’t considered before: “a gender identity that constitutes itself through clothing” and “equates… the clothed self with the construction of gender itself” (p. 99). Of course, I’ve been aware all along that I use clothes to signify certain things about myself including my gender. However, before reading Halberstam, I couldn’t connect the dots between my use of clothes for gender signification and the dysphoria caused by the necessity of wearing significantly fewer clothes in summer.

I always assumed my hot-weather discomfort was related to my body image, and while it still plays a role, it isn’t in the way I expected. My dysphoria isn’t about my curvy-bodiedness, but rather about how my curvy body is gendered when I lose access to certain signifiers (in this case clothing choices). Halberstam suggests the concept of “identity as not organically emanating from the flesh but as a complex act of self-creation” (p. 106). I feel the summer heat takes away some of my authority to act out that self-creation because it challenges the practicality—and even the sanity—of my preferred attire. I may have conquered the swimsuit, but polos still have me baffled.

Do you feel the same way? Do you have any tips for Ren and other butch dandies?

Featured photo by via un-gendered.tumblr.com

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lolliwolf
2743 days ago
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