19. Tech and Techniques
The ongoing newsletter for THE PHANTOM PLEASURE Comic
Check out The Phantom Pleasure Instruction Manual (Just updated with new terms and a new illustration of Nyx)
Follow my Phantom Pleasure Instagram account! It’s still pretty new, but the post schedule will increase. Feel free to spread the word and thank you.
Hello! Welcome back, I’m glad to be uploading a new one. I hope you’re all well.
As you can see, I’ve been allowing my disturbing romance with digital watercolor markers to fully blossom. I‘ve put a lot of time in developing a sort of signature, consistent style for the characters and have discovered some fun techniques along the way. I’m going to do a bunch of these portraits to show off the characters and their personalities. They’ll probably end up being used as title pages for chapters!
You probably can’t pick up the scent, but as I sit here, a robust and earthy coffee smell is radiating out of my computer. This is because, while I was in the midst of severe sleep deprivation (took on too many projects, my own fault), I dropped an entire mug of coffee onto my art desk and soaked everything. But luckily, and with a great deal of help, my computer (and I) narrowly avoided total destruction. I did lose a few days, but I’m doing my best to make up for lost time… (Maybe my subconscious forced me to finally stop working for once?) Things are not 100% with the computer yet, but I’m working as best I can until the repairs are totally done.
I’m still drawing, writing, and plotting out the official version of THE PHANTOM PLEASURE comic while working on commissions to stay alive! There is also another comic project I’m involved in that is very, very exciting, and I’ll be able to talk about it soon. Until then, I can get into some art process stuff. I’ve been finalizing the design for Halo Lan’s main Promo Suit, so let’s get to it if you’re interested!
The sketch is still not finished (the coffee spill is partly to blame). but it’s getting closer. I still need to do something interesting with her arms, and I think I’m going to go with a fused, chunky round boot type thing on her legs. I don’t want the Promo Suit to look like something one could buy in a store, it has to have an alien quality about it.
Of course, I’m going to give it that shiny latex look once I finish all the seam lines and wrinkles. Now that I’m looking at it, I think I captured her knowing, mischievous expression better in the blue-line sketch. I’ll have to modify her face to get some of that emotion back in there…
Here is a fun one I did for THE PHANTOM PLEASURE Instruction Manual. If you’re one of the few following my new comic art Instagram, you’ve probably already seen it but I can show some of the process here!
I started off by creating a really rough, industrial looking surface with multiple light sources with slight color variations. This was a mix of hand drawn markings on paper, photos, and a lot of digital editing. It didn’t take too long but I did do a ton of subtle things. Then I put in a rough outline of Echo’s body and smudged a soft glow behind her.
Then I used digital watercolor markers to create the cords and cables that make up her semi-fused Synth Suit. I’ve been learning to use fewer layers, and just mix colors on a single layer like my celestially-modified beast ancestors once did in their (then tropical) Antarctic caves. If you’ve ever played the PS1 classic, ‘Ape Escape’, it’s basically the same thing. The process is most noticeable on Echo’s suit highlights:
… And on her face and hair:
The hair was probably like 4 different shades. I started with the darkest/warmest, then built it up by going lighter and cooler with the colors. After, I used the dark pencil color of the organic base drawing to add some definition to certain strands. It’s not too fancy a process but I like how the hair ended up looking. I have a bad habit of drawing her eyes too far apart, which I did again here. Ah well, I’ll learn to stop doing that eventually…
To finish things off this week, here is a character concept sketch of VELL:
She was Echo’s protege, back when Echo was a high level Dedicated Server in the private DEBUG LEVELS of Geo-City One. Vell is a very interesting and dangerous character with no limits. I’ve had fun to writing her and Echo’s backstory, and the way she ties into the main narrative is pretty exciting.
Can’t wait to share more soon <3 Thanks to anyone who made it this far. I’ll have more art and news next time, and maybe I can show some of the official pages and rough sketches. Please remember to check the Instruction Manual to get more info.