Jinchalo page process

by matt

Here’s a splash page I did yesterday. This stuff is all pretty standard – there’s nothing really revolutionary about the way I work. But here you go, anyway.

First I start with a couple coloured pencils. Usually light blue, green then red – getting progressively darker as I sculpt the image and block the image.

Then I ink. I use a dip pen – the Japanese G-nib exclusively. It’s much more forgiving than the traditional Hunt 102 nib for a guy like me. I use FW (Daler Rowney) black *and* white inks. The white inks are amazingly opaque and besides white gouache or Photoshop, it’s the most opaque thing I’ve found.

A lot of people say they can get the same line and effect from using a Wacom tablet on the computer, but I can’t, so I still ink everything. And every moment I spend *not* working on the computer is wonderful.

Then I scan and clean up the image in Photoshop. There were two big ink spills on this page and lots of little scuffs. Everything is scanned at 600dpi grayscale and worked from there.

I usually add overlays in Photoshop with a default drybrush. Often I will do a manual overlay with a lightbox and a real brush. But this image was mostly done – I already had the values keyed in and I didn’t need a lot of expression or movement in the mid-tones, so I went straight to the computer.

Later, I will batch-convert both layers on all the finished pages into 1200dpi bitmaps to send to the publisher. I made a Photoshop Action for this on my last book and it saved me about 3 weeks of work.

This page is for a new book, Jinchalo – which will be out later this year.