Doot Doot Garden: The Blog of Craig Thompson
Doot Doot Garden: The blog of graphic novelist Craig Thompson
paddling vs pushing pixels August 23rd, 2013
Thank you, Jordi, for your reminders and thanks to all you loyal blog followers for your patience in this two month lapse between posts.

Portland has the best summers in the world, so there’s been the typical sunny day distractions of: A) river swimming (drawing buddy Scott)B) white water rafting (flip on the Deschutes)C) a little surfing (Justin loads the boards on my car – fifth one on the back seat), and D) lots of stand-up paddling (Brazilian twins Fabio & Gabriel on the Willamette).

In the work world, dealing with recurring hand problems, I’ve experimented with some alternate drawing techniques, including investing in a 13″ Wacom Cintiq.  1) Adrian Tomine’s latest OPTIC NERVE has a genius lampoon of “our generation’s” resistance to the new brand of art tools coupled with our frustration towards the declining quality of old world art supplies (bristol, brushes, ink). 2) For a couple of days my drawing desk became a clutter of video monitors (yuck).
3&4) I managed to digitally pencil a page, but then (5) printed out blue lines and reworked with an actual tangible pencil.
Here’s (6) Dave Stewart’s colors (digital) on my India inks (analog).
Purists will be relieved to know I’m sticking with the old-fashioned pencils and sable brushes for now. Digital dabbling, however, did push me to adopt a new working method of pencilling on cheap sketch paper, then scanning and printing blue lines on bristol board to ink by hand. Saves me the hassle of light box tracing and erasing pencil lines.    More summer-time announcements coming soon…

12 Responses to “paddling vs pushing pixels”

  1. isa Says:

    purists can go take a cold shower, there´s no choice but to preserve the hand by any means necessary. hey oregon looks beautiful!

  2. Jordi Says:

    I totally agree with Isa, and can’t wait for the announcements!

  3. jess smart smiley Says:

    Looks like you do summers right! My uncle recently passed away, but was a world-renowned paddle boarder and judge, as well as an accomplished tandem surfer. How did you like it?

    Also: you mentioned trying alternative drawing methods to help with your hand – do you think the Cintiq helped? Obviously you are sticking with pencils and ink for now, but I wonder if that’s more to do with aesthetics and love of process?

  4. michael-angelo fehr Says:

    hmmmmmmm…leads one to wonder, how does dave stewart “erase” the blue pencil lines before he Fills in the color – if C.Thompson printed the Blue lines??

  5. mark fisher Says:

    I loved reading mr. Thompson’s book HABIBI and its center Focal theme around Middle Eastern Culture and Folklore.

    I would love to see him get interested in the Egyptian Lore and mythology and tales surrounding Ancient Egyptian Societies and Cultures–

    He seems to have an effective way of debunking superstition and Cult and Religious misconceptions and misrepresentations of History.

    Just his drawings alone would be more than well worth the read.

    He gives a Snippet of his own depiction of ancient Egyptian characters (on HABIBI pg. 343)
    and his is the only depiction that I’ve seen which gives a depth and realism to an otherwise Flat, Two-Dimensional artistic representation of Ancient Egyptian Peoples.

    I’m sure it’ll have to wait until after SPACE DUMPLINS for me to even keep my hopes up.

    (p.s. keep up the great work, Craig!)

  6. Monica Says:

    This is all so helpful and fascinating. I have the same question as Michael. I would love to know more about how Dave Stewart adds color over the blue lines. Looking at Dave’s page, it appears that color is added everywhere – even the white in the gutters. I would love to see more about the process!

  7. Bart Says:

    I would love to see a video of you inking, Craig.

    You don’t have to show us all your secrets but it would be nice to see how you accomplish your awesome pen/brush strokes with our own eyes!

  8. Maiz Says:

    Thank you for making me feel like the girl in the last frame… sneaking a peek at how the genius works with his digital quill!

  9. Marc Says:

    “pencilling on cheap sketch paper, then scanning and printing blue lines on bristol board to ink by hand” …whoa, that’s what I was just about to try! I really enjoyed reading this, thanks.

  10. kim Says:

    whoa ink.
    just finished blankets, yeah a bit late, but great still

  11. Craig Thompson Says:

    […] for the reminder about the Cintiq post, Dan. As mentioned back in August 2013, I’ve been experimenting with the Wacom Cintiq as a way to shake up & expand my working […]

  12. carlocki Says:

    so you leave your cintiq forever?

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