blog archives

16th Feb 2011, 6:32 AM

Saprophyte

Your Questions Answered!

I got a few questions in the comments for Wednesday's comic (#008), so I thought I'd answer them with a blog post!

1. How do you control watercolor so well? (from Linden)

Good question! I get this sort of thing pretty often outside the webcomic as well, since all of my personal art is done in the same watercolor/ink mixture. The answer is:

  • practice! Sounds cliche but is totally true. Learn from your mistakes. Build muscle memory.
  • tons of patience. For the most part, you can't just slap your brush around or use quick strokes with watercolor, especially for something like this comic. Excepting large areas or certain stylistic additions, my brush strokes are extremely controlled and pretty slow. This also applies to:
  • drying time. The best way to control watercolor is by controlling which areas of the paper are wet and dry--the paint will go where there's water, so by controlling wet and dryness, you control the paint. This means doing small non-adjacent sections at a time and waiting for them to dry before moving on. For every hour that I spend actually painting, there's usually between 3-6 hours of drying time where I'm off on the internet or something (but all broken up, not all at once). You'll get to see this in more detail when I do my process post.

I've had a lot of people express to me the idea that watercolor is a difficult medium. It is, if a) you don't know how to use it/how it works and/or b) you're used to painting in oils or acrylics. If you're interested in watercolor, I strongly encourage you to take a class! I took watercolor and did an independent study on the medium in high school with a really excellent teacher, and although I've discovered a lot of things through experimentation, the foundations she gave me were really crucial to my artwork as a whole.

2. And by not "hard drawing" the dialogue in, does that possibly mean we could get "raw" versions of the comic? (from Shamus)

I'm not exactly sure what you mean here, but if by "raw" you mean comic pages without the dialogue, well, what would be the point? I'm not placing the digital bubbles over top of handwritten speech--the page is now solely an illustration, and so the digital bubbles are going over top of backgrounds and the like.

Eventually I will be doing a process post, and so you'll get to see the comic without bubbles then (in addition to things like the preliminary sketches, actual sketches, and clean line art), and eventually a printed book might have a "sketchbook" section, but other than that, I guess the answer's no.

30th Jan 2011, 2:24 PM

Saprophyte

VELCOME, VELCOME, BAHAHA!

Hello, everyone!

For a few years now I've had a hankering to create a webcomic and/or graphic novel--probably because I read a lot of both. However, I've never really been able to get my ideas off the ground! Sometimes they weren't the best ideas, and sometimes...I was just busy. Right now I'm finally in a position where I think I can handle a three-post-a-week schedule AND I've got what I hope is a good, interesting idea!

Most webcomics these days are digitally drawn, or at least digitally colored. Ignition Zero, however, is completely traditional aside from a few adjustments in Photoshop. Each page is done in pencil and watercolor on a piece of 9"x12" watercolor paper. It is kind of labor intensive, but I love it. So far.

ANYWAY.

This comic will be featuring content that some people may not understand or agree with--like Orson's anarchist and Marxist friends, Deaf culture, people with special needs, or asexualism in general (a word which right now has a red underline, as the dictionary doesn't recognize it!). I try not to be preachy, but Ignition Zero does heavily feature organic, vegan, DIY/anti-consumerism type lifestyles because it's what I know/love/live, and what most of my friends know/love/live. It's not the only lifestyle type you'll see, of course! One of the things I strive for most is diversity.

Also, you may notice the site itself is a bit lacking. In the next few months I'll be working on making it more legit, buying a domain name, adding extras pages, etc. So look for that in the future! 1/31/11 marks the posting of page one! I'm so excited for it to go up, and I hope you enjoy it.

- Noel