Really enjoying drawing this book. This guy below (clearly a bad dude; tattoos, smoking, sideways looks) is lots of fun to draw. I don’t want to give too much away, so that’s all I’ll say about him.

I’m now over a quarter of the way through drawing it. It’s going a little slower than I want, but I’m pleased with what I’m doing. It’s easily the best thing I’ve done yet.

Anyway, here’s the process at the moment; I start with the script, break that down into pages. I don’t break the script into pages while I’m writing it as I find it a bit restrictive. Once I know what I need to do on that particular page, I rough it out in pencil on a sheet of ordinary cheap paper. I print those pages beforehand with a rough grid system for the sake of consistency. I then use a couple of bits of masking tape to affix the rough to the back of my very nice watercolour paper, and place it on my lightbox.

I don’t like doing overly finished roughs as they tend to make me clam up into mechanical tracing, which absolutely kills the line for me. It takes a lot of planning to make something look spontaneous. I use a Pilot desk pen with Platinum ink. I like the quality of line it gives.

So then I’ve got my line work. My current inking ethos is that mistakes are inevitable, but corrections are optional. I make no corrections to the line work. I’m not saying that this is a good rule (In truth it’s a pretty terrible one) but when I make corrections, the errors become visible somehow and the spontaneity dies.

The same goes for colour. I don’t mind going over the lines. I use a restricted palette so I know what I’m going to get. I don’t like any element of the unknown in the process. I am using three different kinds of colour - Daler Rowney Watercolour in tubes, which I mix as I go, Windsor & Newton inks loaded into aqua pens, which I also mix in a batch beforehand, and Brusho Colourcraft powdered inks. They are unpredictable and very colourful. The Yellow shirt above is the Brusho ink. In the image below, the oranges, browns and reds are Windsor & Newton ink, and the greys and the sky is watercolour.

As much as I’m enjoying drawing this, I can’t wait until it is finished so people can read it!