Rough Stuff

21 July 2011

When I shared a studio with Dave Gibbons he was of the opinion that, as regards my attitude to my own work, I was either at the top of the dung heap or right at the very bottom. Sadly true, and this Angel gang cover for the Megazine is a perfect example.
In my own defence I should point out that I did this right after parting company with the games industry, and was feeling a tad apprehensive.

This is the first rough I did for the cover. I can’t remember why I discarded it, looks much better than what I went with I think, but, true to form, I know that the first idea can’t possibly be any good.

On I went, and this seemed to fit the bill. No Pa Angel of course, so…

…in he goes, and I remember being very pleased with, it seemed so much better than I’d hoped. Bloody brilliant, actually!

The next step is the pencil drawing, which will be scanned and messed about with so I don’t have to ink it, which I think will save time.

I draw it in bits and assemble it in Photoshop. Obviously the idea that not inking it saves time is ludicrous as a whole other layer of nonsense takes its place.

So here are the finished pencils and even though they have departed somewhat from the rough I remember thinking ‘Oh, it’ll be alright. Still looking good!’

But as I was doing the colouring it became more and more apparent that I’d lost whatever it was that had made the rough so pleasing to my eye. That ghastly background colour thingy. The general rubbishness of almost all of it, so depressing. The only bit I now liked was Pa’s bit of string – any port in a storm!

It’s now a salvage job. Maybe a new head for Pa will make everything alright.

But it didn’t.

6 Responses to “Rough Stuff”

  1. Matt Soffe Says:

    Obviously you're entitled to take a huge dump on your own work (I know I do!), but as a fan I want to say I still think this is awsesome.Really enjoying your blog.

  2. mister X Says:

    Maybe you're right about this work. After all, you're an author.But I like your fan art very much!I am glad that you have a blog! Thank you.

  3. shane oakley Says:

    it's really, REALLY tough trying to agree with you, since compared to the usual murky-digital painted megazine stuff – this one screams out proper comics.but understand your dismay. often i've agonized over a cover(last week!)tried a zillion variations, then returned to the original idea and realised there was nothing wrong with it.guess we need trust our instincts more.

  4. Martin B Says:

    Maybe, … just Maybe, (I hope you don't mind me saying it), the clean up process is too clean. The roughs always have some of that vitality that lends itself to the subjects, (do we want the angel gang to be clean?). You need to try to keep that rough finish still when you have to go thru the clean up inking stage. It gives the image an appropriate style/ manner.

  5. Briany Najar Says:

    I like it, but agree that the rough has more going for it.

    Maybe it’s Fink and Pa’s postures.
    In the original they’ve got more hillbilly energies.
    And there was a nice C shaped (or fish-hook) flow going up Pa’s arm, through Fink’s gun and Mean Machine’s shoulders / knife-hand.

    What happened to Link?
    Have I got them mixed up?

  6. Briany Najar Says:

    That was pure speculation there.
    I was not trying to give Mike McMahon a drawing lesson.
    Please, internet, don’t think that.


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