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What we all do…

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The Chronological Superman

*swoons*

I just found a great blog, The Chronological Superman on tumblr.  It describes itself as “Chronicling every appearance of Superman- from comic to newspaper, cartoon to film, and more – in the order it happened.”  It’s very interesting! It talks about all the appearances of Superman (duh) which is pretty cool and a great way to waste your day away :)

On a totally unrelated note, my BF and I recently had a disagreement on who would make a better husband: Superman or Batman.  I say Superman with all his honest-loyal-brave-and true boyscout-ness would make a fantastic husband.  He says Batman is better.

Batman has issues, honey.

Besides, what does a guy know about what makes good husband anyway? Just be quite and put the cape on, dear ;)

 

Go Figure Comics

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The above comic was done by the talented sister of my BF, who recently started her own webcomic blog (with a little coding help from moi). She’s a great artist with a unique style so check out her blog and stay tuned! :)

Wonder Woman Sings!

A couple years back I watched the first season of 1975 live-action Wonder Woman show (at the time I shared TV time with my younger brothers, so the show was removed from our netflix queue after the first season due to a lack of interest from them.  They were younger then, they would probably be more interested in it now, lol).  I LOVE Lynda Carter! She is one of the most beautiful actresses to grace the sliver screen in my opinion.  I also think she played the perfect Wonder Woman; confidant, feminine, charismatic and strong.  Wonder Woman has been one of my favorite DC characters since (am I the only one who likes the WonderWoman + Batman pairing?).  I originally meant this post to be about Wonder Woman art, but the google search returned too much on Ms. Carter and I got distracted, lol.

And guess what? Lynda Carter sings!!

*fangirl squee*

I think it’s about time I finished the rest of the show :)

 

How to Clean and Tone a Sketch with Gimp

I thought I’d share how I make my little comic doodles using a rough sketch and gimp.  I enjoy making these because they’re quick to do and don’t require any of my fancy drawing tools, meaning I can make these at work to pass the time (I keep card stock on my desk to use instead of an actual sketchbook).  Typically, it will take me under two hours to make one of these from start to finish, depending on how complex the drawing is.  To follow along, you’ll need:

  • paper (a thicker sketchbook paper, or card stock)
  • pencil (you can use your fancy drawing pencils, or a simple every day pencil)
  • Ultra Fine Point Sharpie Marker (the kind you can pick up in any office store)
  • Scanner (and the basic knowledge to use it)
  • Gimp (and the basic knowledge to use it)

Making the Doodle:

To get started, draw your doodle on the paper with the pencil.  Easy, right? (sorry, this isn’t a drawing tutorial, it’s a “make this picture look good and put it in a digital form” tutorial).

Don’t worry about getting your doodle perfect – I usually leave a lot of my sketch lines.  We’ll erase these later so it’s okay.  I also don’t put in the finer details until after the main inking is done.

Using the ultra fine point marker, start slowly going over the lines of your doodle.  *NOTE* This can be tricky to get the hang of at first, so don’t get discouraged!  Even if you make a mistake or decide you don’t like what it looks like, you can fix it with Gimp.  Notice that extra line on Wonder Woman’s right thigh? I decided after I inked it that it made her leg look too straight, so I added the second, softer line.  I’ll remove the first line in the touch up phase.

Continue to ink your lines until you’re happy with them (please excuse the blurry pic).

Once the main inking is done, erase your original sketch lines.  This is where you’ll really see how your doodle looks.  If there is any fine detail to do, sketch it in now and ink once you’re happy with it (I did the W on Wonder Woman’s chest after the other inking was done, and no, still not happy with how it looks but that’s about the best I can do on a little chibi doodle).

Go over your picture one last time and make sure it’s as clean of pencil marks as can be and then scan it, saving it to your computer.

Editing in Gimp:

Now, open the picture in gimp.

Start by creating a new layer. This is the layer we’ll add our clean up touches to.

Working on the new layer, zoom in until the area you wan to fix is large on the screen.  In this case, I’ll be fixing the line on the thigh.

Select the magic lasso tool and select around the blemish you want removed.  Using the paintbrush and white, touch up the area (notice I had to be careful around the lines of the boot as I didn’t want those removed).

Repeat where ever necessary. When you’re satisfied, merge the touch up layer down to the bottom layer.  This is your cleaned up raw.  I like to save my work as a PNG now, usually naming it something like [projectname]_clean.PNG

If you’ve already saved your clean version of your doodle, save a new version of it (something like, [projectname]_1.png).  This is the version you’ll be adding screen tone to.  With the newly saved version, scale it down to the size you want it to be.  Then go image >fit canvas to layer to shrink the canvas to fit the new smaller size.

Now select the area you want to fill with screen tone by selecting it with the magic wand tool.  Next, use the paint bucket and set it to ‘Pattern Fill’ (click the image of the current pattern to be given more choices).  Choose the pattern you want and then click the selected area on your doodle to fill it.  Repeat until you have filled in all the areas you want with screen tone.

Some things to remember when filling in with screen tone:

  • Don’t over do it!  Use the already available white space to your advantage and don’t fill every space with tone.
  • If more than one area is supposed to be the same color, use the same tone to convey this.  I.E, Wonder Woman’s top, boots and star on her crown are all supposed to be red, so I used the same tone for that.
  • Try to use different types of tone to keep things from running together.  I always use a dot tone for the hair (manga influence?) but like to use the noise tones for solid colors in the clothing.  I think it gives a nice contrast.
  • If you’re trying to fill in a space but the magic wand is selecting more than you want, check your lines.  If the space isn’t closed in completely, do touch up with a black paintbrush to close off the area.
  • The patterns I used are default to gimp, but if you want to find more just google “download gimp patterns”.  Deviant art has many good manga/comic screen tones you can use to add more tone to your art.

 

Looking good! Now make sure to save your work.  Here’s our original, uncleaned raw next to the cleaned and toned finished pieces:

Note that when I cleaned the raw, I removed the smile (decided I didn’t like it) and touched up many areas where the ink had gone over the line.

And that’s all there is to it!  Happy doodling :D

My Batman and Batgirl Doodle

My future brother-in-law (aka, the guy my sister is marrying in July) is pleasingly geeky in his own way.  He’s a big fan of Batman, TMNT and video games (though his preference for xbox goes against my preference for Nintendo).  He recently had his 26th birthday, and so I doodled this up for him:

It was only after I was cleaning it in gimp did I realize a few things:

1. I forgot to draw in the bat symbol on his chest

2. I forgot to give him a cape

3. What is supposed to be Batgirl’s hair looks like an out of place cape

So, I’ll probably go back and fix it a bit, but as I realized these things I was already nearly done with it in gimp so finished it up anyway, lol.   This is really the first superhero character I’ve drawn (well, I did end up drawing superheroes in crayons with kids at a church event not too long ago but that wasn’t exactly art) and as Batman is one of my favorite superheroes, I want to make it look good!  Also I should mention now that while I think I’ve seen every single DC superhero TV show made, I haven’t actually read any of the comics…I might one day, but there are just so many, I would have no idea where to start @_@  I love the DC characters though, Wonder Woman is the best ;)

A new Leia Chibi…

Though you probably haven’t noticed, I switched out the first chibi Leia that was in the header for a better, cleaner version.  I’ve also tried my hand at another version of Leia…in the infamous slave outfit.

Overall I’m rather pleased, it could always be better but for a quick sketch and edit in gimp it’s not bad.  I’m thinking of doing all of Leia’s outfits, possibly the ceremonial gown or Hoth snowsuit next.

Oh boy, I need to stop with all the  Star Wars themed posts, lol! ;)

 

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