ATTENTION TUMBLR ARTISTS
SICK AND TIRED OF PEOPLE STEALING YOUR GODAMN ART?
Can’t find the godamn ask to tell the blogger to kindly take your art down?
Email email@example.com with links to your originals and the repost, and they’ll take it down.
NOW REBLOG THE SHIT OUTA THIS AND SPREAD THE WORD!
Japanese translation ・日本語訳
계속되는 Tumblr 그림불펌에 지치신 존잘님들!
내려달라고 하고 싶지만 불펌한 당사자에게 직접적인 연락이되지않아서 골치아프신가요?
»> firstname.lastname@example.org «< 이쪽으로 원본 소스 링크와 허락없이 올려진 링크를 이멜로 보내시면 Tumblr가 알아서 내려줍니다.
그리고 영어가 불편하신분들을 위해서 간단하게 작성을 했습니다:
"My art was uploaded without permission on Tumblr, and I would like the post removed.
This is the original link to my art (소스링크) .
This is the post I would like deleted (불펌링크) .”
This is from Detective Comics #854—early into JH Williams III’s run on Batwoman. I wanted to say a few things about it to sort of tease out a little bit of what I feel about his work on this book, and why it wasn’t as affecting to me it was for others.
This image sort of is a decent sample for what didn’t work for me with the Batwoman work. My fundemental critique, rejection of that work, was that the pyrotechnics of Williams special effect layouts I found were at odds with the gothic undertones of both the story, and his actual art within the panels. This was like if the Crow had scene transitions from the Adam West Batman series. Which I can get where that choice would be made because the series itself was kind of this gothic psychedelia thing. On some levels it WAS a cure soundtrack behind the cartoon Alice and Wonderland. But I don’t think the hokey same bat signal, same bat channel, quite landed that punch.
Moreover, from a page composition standpoint—a large chunk of his choices seemed to deliberately put a distance between the reader and the story. Even if the choices were on each individual micro-level made to relate back to the story—this was a book you had to hold out at arms length to appreciate as it was intended to be read—and at that distance, its difficult to actually read. In that sense, there is a prickly fuck you side to these choices in a genre where most readers and critics will never even take notice of the art. Williams III has seen to it that it is impossible for you to talk about this book without saying something about the art. The art is the first thing you have to engage with on every page—because the design choices while individually beautiful—fight you.
On this page the bat design in the middle of it immedietely makes you focus on it. That’s the first thing you register when you hit the page. Then you have to go search for the first word bubble. And if you follow Batwoman’s eyes from the first bubble it takes you away from the next thing she says. And the directionality of that panel is diagonal top left to side right, which runs you into the batman panel which isn’t the next panel you are meant to read. So you have to swim back against the grain—again all of this drawing attention to the big fat bat symbol in the middle of the page—over to Batwoman who says for the perp to whisper into her ear. Of course the action to get to that bubble has already ruined the dramatic spot of the extremely beautifully drawn square panel where Batwoman leans in, and simultaneously takes notice of Batman.
The Batman panel is interesting because he literally points you back up the page—drawing attention to the top corner of the batwing. again everything in the composition has been done to make you focus on the bat symbol over any of the actual content. The corporate logo over everything.
Good luck even seeing that triangle panel at the bottom of the bat. Batwoman’s hair in the bat panel tries to drag you back in that direction, but instead you just down in the lower panel because of the shape of the bat.
And then that bottom panel is it’s own trip because the arrow of the symbol comes down to the right of Batwoman’s face, and because of the whiteness of her face—your eye does move to the left—which takes you away from the next spot of dialogue which has been lettered about as far away from the character as possible, because again—the shape of the logo meant that you couldn’t put that bubble where it is meant to go without ending up on top of the logo or underneath it.
And look. In one sense, this is cool as hell. Because on one level it is very much middle fingers in the air, gripping your balls, punk comics. This is a comic that is designed to wage war against the predominant psychosis in big two superhero comics which has relegated the art to an afterthought. JH Williams III will not be ignored.
On the other hand, you can also read it as an artist who is having to annihilate their own storytelling just to stand on the box tops and get heard. There is a calculation here of “this is the only way to be seen in an industry which ignores its artists”.
So yeah. These pages put me off a little bit because I DO look at the art, and I just feel condescended to. And what’s worse, I don’t really feel these choices are nearly as effective as the art which they are obfuscating. There’s individual panels and sections in Batwoman which are stunning for their figure work, setting, dynamism, and the gothic tone he gets between the inks and whites. But you have to work for that stuff. To say nothing of how hard you have to work if you actually are interested in the story at this point. It leaves me very cold. And maybe somewhat depressed.
Also while I’m at it, Dave Stewart’s color choices(and I don’t doubt that trying to color anything under a DC logo is it’s own kind of thankless hell) in this book were a bit of the same stuff. It was a lot of “well I CAN put in these colors” and not enough of asking if he SHOULD. When you see these pages in their original black and white, the coloring feels extremely over worked in places. The top panel here is beautiful in isolation. But in conjunction with the middle harsher tones—it causes this bleed out on the bottom panel, which hurts the impact of the page as a whole.
Also…shitty graffiti alert there on the left.
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I’m not an uber-experienced colorist and I have no idea what the standard technique for coloring is—so maybe this is common knowledge—but there’s something new I’ve been trying occasionally when I really want to play with opposing hues as light sources. And I thought I’d share.
The short of it: I create three hue versions of the base color and give each a layer. Then I use layer masks to choose which layer comes through and where.
The first you see here is my standard—the colors I normally use are pretty literal. This will be the layer that’s using the sun as a light source. First I add some detailing here and there that doesn’t have to do with lighting, like pink on the knees or red lips or stained cleaver. And I added metal shiny because metal needs to be in higher contrast. The skin highlights you see, I do at the very end once I’ve shaded everything…so that’s not really copied over to the other layers. FYI, I did the highlights with the dodge tool.
Once I’ve added the detailing that I want to go on all layers, I copy this layer twice. On the second layer I play with the Channel Mixer (which is something I use a lot when I color because it unifies things), and make the colors darker, more blue, and a little more magenta/purple, too. This is my shade layer. Then I add a mask to that layer—what this does is, you can paint it away to reveal the layer underneath it, without actually erasing the layer. So it’s really editable and you don’t have to pick colors or anything. Just add and subtract. I subtracted with a hard-edge brush to imply very direct sunlight.
On the third layer, I mess with the Channel Mixer to make it darker than the first layer and lighter than the second, and I make the hue greenish-blue. It does look pretty alien on its own, but works great as a secondary or reflective light source. It’s good to use a secondary light source when most of your image is in shadow. Again, I added a layer mask, but this time I started by making it completely invisible, and used a soft brush to uncover a little green here and there. I did this because it’s a much weaker light source.
And because this is all rendered in layer masks, it makes it easy to play with color hues after the fact, which is why I like this technique so much. Then I can concentrate on rendering first and later go back to decide what hues look awesomest. You can do some pretty psychedelic colors using this technique!
I’ll show you how I colored my RG #2 cover!
I approached this similarly to how I did the Red Sonja one. Click the link if you’d like an in-depth explanation, but basically, I create different hue versions of the main flat colors, and use layer masks to create shades and highlights.
The first image was what I started with—the standard colors I use. I added some pink on her face and highlighted a couple areas before copying the layer three times. In this case, the original layer doesn’t show up in the final version.
Instead, I created dark blue, light green and light pink versions because I felt it would create a nighttime urban 80’s vibe. The dark layer was on the bottom and I used the green and pink as highlights above it.
This isn’t how I normally color, but it’s great when you want to use dramatic lighting, rather than use color to delineate objects from one another.
Make sure you pick up Rocket Girl #2 this Wednesday!! Last time it sold out on the first day, so GET IN THERE!
Belated reblog—picked issue 2 up last week and it was great! Go Amy & Brandon!!
Anonymous asked you:
Hey, is it okay if you like do a tutorial on trees and shrubs? PS: I looooooove your art and tutorial they are just soooooo wonderful, inspiratonal, amazing.
aww thank you so much!! ;v; haha well I don’t know a lot of trees so here’s two I actually know lmao, oak tree and pine tree I will go study more tree names when I have the time ohgosh _(:3 7 hope it helps!
aw man I wanna try this out when I get home.
I’ve always had trouble with putting leaves on trees, this is an interesting approach!