Updated: May 7th, 2013

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05.02.2016 @ 11:03 am - Revisiting an old friend.

Here’s the new painting I did for my upcoming art show—a painted version of the cover to Paradigm Shift – Part Three. Background is watercolor and gouche on paper and the character is acrylic on a Dura-lar overlay.

Recently, I’ve been experimenting with paintings that mimic the look of traditional animation production art using backgrounds painted on watercolor paper and the characters painted on an overlay. I’ve loved the results so much, I gave the treatment to this cover piece.

Here’s the background minus the overlay. I printed the original inks for the cover in light blue on a big 12×18 sheet of watercolor paper and lay down an underpainting in watercolor over it, then built up the painting in layers of gouache. I love that gouache can produce really flat colors like this, or you can dilute it and use it like watercolors for textured effects. The brick work behind Kate is the result of several layers of glazing, so the paper & watercolor texture shows through. The only downside of gouache is that if you re-wet any of the flat areas, they tend to smear and create odd textures. However, it’s easy enough to touch up with a fresh layer once it’s dry (which doesn’t take very long), and if you use Holbein Acryla gouache, once it’s down, it’s down. I decided to hash out the color palette for Kate here before I painted her on the Dura-lar.

The Dura-lar overlay is painted like a pre-digital animation production cel: character inked using FW acrylic ink on the front and colors painted using Holbein Acryla Gouache on the back. Of course traditional animation houses didn’t use such extravagant materials. They used basic india ink and cheap vinyl paint in a standard unmixed color palette. In my case, I pre-mixed the colors I wanted in generous quantities on the palette before I tackled each major section (the hair, the skin, the shirt, etc…) so I wouldn’t have to re-mix the colors if I ran out. Gouache colors tend to shift when drying (even the fancy acryla gouache). They tend to get lighter when they dry, so I have to mix the colors a shade or two darker on the palette and hope for the best. Even with pre-planning, it didn’t prevent a mistake. When I painted the jeans, the colors didn’t match the underpainting. After some hand-wringing, I wiped out them out and repainted them to get the colors right. The nice thing about Dura-lar is anything out put on it can be wiped out with a wet paper towel, so it’s easy to try again.

The painting took about a week’s worth of work ing total, spread out over a couple of weeks. (It’s always much faster when all the preliminary work is done—in this case I already had a final digital painting to work from!) Here’s how the final piece looks in in its frame:

You can see the piece in person at North Shore Comics Mayhem which opens May 6th at Porter Mill Gallery and runs through May 28th. Reception on May 7th from 6pm-9pm.

04.19.2016 @ 2:38 pm - “North Shore Comics Mayhem” Opening May 7th!

I’m very excited to announce I’ll be exhibiting my work in “North Shore Comics Mayhem!” at Porter Mill Gallery from May 6th-May 28th!

The show features original comics and cartoon artwork from independent comic artists local to Boston’s North Shore. I’ll be sharing wallspace alongside Eric Boeker, Braden Lamb, and Shelli Paroline. Be prepared for zombies, werewolves, giant monsters & robots, sci-fi action, and sweeping fantasy adventures!

In addition to original artwork from “Paradigm Shift” and “STRANGER”, I’ll be showcasing a series of paintings based on traditional animation production art. The show will also highlight the process of creating comic art, displaying inked works, pencilled layouts, color prints, and more!

Come visit the opening reception, held on May 7th, from 6-9 PM!!

Porter Mill Gallery
95 Rantoul St.
Beverly, MA 01915

10.14.2015 @ 2:01 pm - STRANGER is out today!

Space is a lonely place… especially when you’re the only human girl in your class!

Candy feels like a total misfit at her prestigous orbital school. But When a mysterious new student arrives, will she discover a kindred spirit or remain feeling alienated among aliens?

I’m delighted to announce that my first all-ages comic, STRANGER is out today on Comixology. It’s a single issue standalone written by my friend Russell Lissau and published in OMEGA COMICS PRESENTS by Pop Goes the Icon. The print edition will be out next week and showing up at a comic shop near you.

You’re probably all wondering where I’ve been, how I’ve been doing, and whether or not I’ll ever start posting PS again.

The short answers to these are:  I’m doing great.  I’ve been working on other things, including learning how to paint and playing a lot of music. And while I hope to finish up PS Part Four, I’m moving away from webcomics (duh).

Also, I’ll be exhibiting at M.I.C.E. this weekend in Cambridge. A number of my paintings and a few pages from STRANGER are now on display in the art show for the festival:

More later.

Edit: I’ve had a few questions about the pre-orders I took for Part Four waaaaaay back when I was still on the convention slog. If you’re worried about it or want you money back, email me at dirk@dynamanga.net.

04.14.2014 @ 6:04 pm - Truth.

Have you ever seen “Kiki’s Delivery Service”? Remember the part where Kiki suddenly stops having the power to fly?

Well, that’s me. That’s where I’ve been since last fall in respect to comics.

I won’t be updating PS anytime soon. I’m also not checking or responding to comments right now. I’m working through some shit. I’ll tell you the whole story later.

Like Kiki, I hope my ability to fly will come back. Maybe it will. But I can’t force it to come back on command, and no amount of cheerleading or well-wishing will speed the process along. I have to do this myself.

The only thing left is to let go and hope for the best.