Black Lines

building_construction_inkedOk, I have inked the pencils I constructed earlier, showing parts of two real buildings that form the background to the opening pages of one of my stories.

In the end I did the curves freehand instead of fiddling with French curves*. Now for these objects, the inking (done freehand with ink drawing pens – I sometimes use brushes or brush pens too) is actually pretty much just networks of black lines since they are background details and, moreover, very simple skyscrapers. There are some others in this page that are more complicated, but let’s stick to these. There’s also the first full on view of the first principal character (you saw her in a previous post).

Most of the additional structure on these comes in the painting stage, as there is a sky, its reflections in the buildings, the sun, its reflection, and the reflections of other buildings. I’ll show you that later, once I’m done. A fun thing to keep an eye on when doing this is that the sky has a lot of structure that can tell you where the sun is even if it is not visible. Remember the post I did on that? Stay tuned.


(*I find those are almost always best enjoyed on French ladies. Yeah, I know, this is a family blog… It’s the holiday weekend afternoon wine talking.)

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8 Responses to Black Lines

  1. Ele Munjeli says:

    Nice effect, the wine. Your lines are just eccentric enough to dispel the look of an elevation.

  2. Clifford says:



  3. Plato says:

    I think Clifford knowing what you know about the “emergence of” while structurally rigid, the “free flowing forming” is a creative break toward releasing the potential around that creativity? Sort of like going to places(like streams, rivers) that allow that creativeness to flow inside.

    Not saying you should drink wine all the time, but definitively let go of the structure as one would have explored all avenues of the thoughts with regard to a problem in science await for the “aha” moment?

    For me, this is what science is looking for, and what Escher saw once taken there.

    Thanks for explaining the process and look forward to your explaining the constructed elements of the completed picture.


  4. Clifford says:

    For the record, people, I finished the inks the day before. The glass of wine, mentioned in jest, was while I was writing the blog post. It is irrelevant. Further, I should mention that I can only do this kind of thing with a clear head. A glass of wine is a surefire way of shortening the usefulness of any work session for me.



  5. Ele Munjeli says:

    er…sorry. No, actually, wine or no, I like the freehand aspect of the inking. That’s my point 🙂 The precision of an elevation is sterile, and unreal. Some irregularity in line breathes like an atmospheric effect.

    I’m curious as to how much you’re scaling your finished work.

  6. Clifford says:

    I see. Yes, as I said in a previous post, I am staying away from the kind of lines you can easily generate on computer, etc, which are too clean.

    Overall, I work on what has become the industry standard artboard – 11 x 17. (er… I’m using inches.) This would get reduced down to your standard graphic novel page of about 10 x 6 or thereabouts.

    Some elements are worked on in greater detail before reduction to bring to the artboard and combining with all the others.



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