As I go through the pages to colour, I am also making any necessary corrections and improvements. On page 18 this included changing panel 1 with Rocco holding a helmet, to him holding a glove - this is more logical, as in the following panel, we see Uccello has the second glove on, In practice this wasn't as simple as just erasing a helmet (I usually create these items on different layers, which makes it easier to e.g. copy and paste for other panels) and drawing a glove. In the original, his left hand was hidden by the helmet, and in trying to pose the right hand correctly I had to repose and so redraw the whole figure of Rocco. I am quite please with the drawing of the glove, as the angle and way it is held, with the arm opening pointed toward Uccello, I think, accurately conveys it being proffered to someone to put on
After fixing the glove, I completed the colouring - only to realise that I had drawn a right-hand one, when it needed to be left-hand, so I had to go back and fix that. This led to a further issue that Uccello's hand with the other glove seemed disproportioned, and generally not as well drawn. Also Uccello's bare hand was somewhat fudged. This panel had been my first attempt to draw armour in detail - it was okay but somewhat inelegant, and seeming a mass of lines. MY next attempt in panel 2 was, I think, much more successful - it had a generally more confident and controlled quality to the lines. Also keeping the breastplate uncluttered, as a strong white shape seemed to hold the whole figure together. Anyway, as I had to fix the glove in panel 1, I decided just to redraw the whole suit of armour. This did take some time, as i had to make sure it was consistent with panel 2, however, in the end I think it is a small, but significant improvement,
When working on the line art I had in fact made the background reduced opacity, to compensate for the lines being heavier than the figures. This looked good in black and white, but I had to restore the backgrounds to 100% for creating the inks layer. In fact, once they are coloured, the line weight is not a problem.
It's worth noting here that I do go to some pains to have aesthetically pleasing lines, that make use of my pressure sensitive graphics tablet, for varied weights. I also use the Stabilisation feature for ink lines_ having this turned up fairly high for armour which requires smooth clean lines. I slightly lower the stabilisation for e.g. Rocco's belt, and sleeveless jacket, which is also meant to look like thick, stiff leather. I draw Rocco's face with medium stabilisation - as he is meant to be a strong and simple man, whereas I use less stabilisation for Uccello's face. I also use low stabilisation for drawing fabric (in this example - Roccco's sleeves). For a difficult line, I can delete and redraw it several times to get the best effect - one advantage of digital over actual pen and ink.The problem that goes with this is that's it's easy to forget to change the stabilisation back - you can the finish the drawing and have decide if it can be left, or needs redone.
Above is the colour flatted version. as noted above, I had done the colouring before I noticed the glove error. I created a new bitmap layer for the changed drawing, and overlaid that on the completed colour, and then amended the affected area. This took slightly longer than anticipated - there were white lines where ink lines had been erased, making it a fiddly job to fix, especially with the pale colour of the armour. In future it would probably be easier to just select and delete the amended item from the colour flat layer, ands just redo that part from scratch. It would just depend how much needs changed.
Some of the tonal relationships in the coloured version are not ideal - the faces and armour are perhaps too close to tonally close to the background, but I should be able to fix that with a tone layer.
Pnals 3 and 4 are reprised (n reverse order) on the following page (Figure 4, below), so I have copied and pasted in the colour layer. Once Uccello has the helmet on I will overlay his imagined scenes of the battle, but I'll do that on separate layers, using opacity levels, and possibly masks, but I am thinking at this point it is still helpful to have the flats copied in. I may remove the figure of Rocco from panel 1.
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Graham Johnstone ~ Master of Design - Comics and Graphic Novels student 2016-17