Scott Williams seeking your opinion
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I wish more comic artists penciled and inked their own pages.  I really never bought into multiple people having their hand on one work.  I suppose it's my own personal hang up, and perhaps fine art snootiness?  Getting back to the topic, I actually prefer what you're describing.  It's all from you, from one hand, and at the end of the day your pencils and inks get onto one board, which is the preferred result for most of us (I'd imagine).  That said, I do own some modern stuff with pencils and inks on separate sheets.  I guess one has to make up their own mind when they see a page in a book that hits them in the face with the art as well as the story.  I will also echo my support for transparency and disclosure of the process.  It makes things less confusing.  I'm 39, in case you're interested in additional context around my comment.

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Along these lines, this is a piece I recently did using a digital layout.  I painstakingly light boxed the layout onto a board and then drew it again in pencils.  It's far from a masterpiece, but I'm fairly happy with it.  But to be brutally honest, a little something was lost from the initial sketch and the final pencils, since I basically drew it three times.  At this point, I'm not sure I could bring myself to ink it.  Happily, Jim Lee is going to ink it for me, flipping the art chore table in what I hope will be a very interesting experiment!  Looks like he is going to do it live on his Twitch live-stream this week (then recorded and posted on youtube).  Should be interesting to say the least!

BAT AND CAT PENCILS FINAL full shot.jpg

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8 minutes ago, Andahaion said:

I wish more comic artists penciled and inked their own pages.  I really never bought into multiple people having their hand on one work.  I suppose it's my own personal hang up, and perhaps fine art snootiness?  Getting back to the topic, I actually prefer what you're describing.  It's all from you, from one hand, and at the end of the day your pencils and inks get onto one board, which is the preferred result for most of us (I'd imagine).  That said, I do own some modern stuff with pencils and inks on separate sheets.  I guess one has to make up their own mind when they see a page in a book that hits them in the face with the art as well as the story.  I will also echo my support for transparency and disclosure of the process.  It makes things less confusing.  I'm 39, in case you're interested in additional context around my comment.

That's totally fair.  I tend to fall into the same camp, preferring a single artist's work.  But far from all the time.  From my collecting youth alone, Byrne and Austin, Miller and Janson, Kirby and Sinnott is just magic, where the sum of the parts a greater than each individual component.  Of course, YMMV.

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2 minutes ago, stinkininkin said:

That's totally fair.  I tend to fall into the same camp, preferring a single artist's work.  But far from all the time.  From my collecting youth alone, Byrne and Austin, Miller and Janson, Kirby and Sinnott is just magic, where the sum of the parts a greater than each individual component.  Of course, YMMV.

Oh I agree, there are teams out there who produce fantastic pieces.  And not to get all awkward between strangers online, but a fair number of people my age look at Lee and Williams with similar eyes as you do the aforementioned.  My buddies and I had a richer childhood thanks to you.

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In my opinion, whether it be for a published piece or a commission, I would want you to use every tool available to you in order to produce the most outstanding piece of art that you are capable of.  Additionally (and this is only a hypothesis from my own experience drawing or painting over the years), but digital layouts not only allow for you to save time, but could possibly extend your career by lessoning the wear and tear on your hands.

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3 hours ago, stinkininkin said:

Along these lines, this is a piece I recently did using a digital layout.  I painstakingly light boxed the layout onto a board and then drew it again in pencils.  It's far from a masterpiece, but I'm fairly happy with it.  But to be brutally honest, a little something was lost from the initial sketch and the final pencils, since I basically drew it three times.  At this point, I'm not sure I could bring myself to ink it.  Happily, Jim Lee is going to ink it for me, flipping the art chore table in what I hope will be a very interesting experiment!  Looks like he is going to do it live on his Twitch live-stream this week (then recorded and posted on youtube).  Should be interesting to say the least!

BAT AND CAT PENCILS FINAL full shot.jpg

I really think thats an amazing piece and would love to own something like that.  Now thinking about it over night, I agree, digital is just another tool in the artist tool box and if it helps to create pieces like this then all the more to you.  But I would also be concerned about over use and these images popping up again.  I think in the end however, the prices will dictate what will be acceptable at what level.

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Similar to what others have said, I think I'm most interested in being able to capture the word "original" when I buy art.  If there's a chance a copy could exist out there (or could be made in the future), that lowers desirability for me.  That said, the process you've proposed lends itself to that only insofar as you'd ever choose to use the same structure to cry and re-draw the same (or very similar) piece - so it wouldn't be much of a factor for me.  Especially if it's all 1 artist, I think I'd still be 99% concerned with final product as opposed to the digital prelim process.  That said, the 1% would appreciate something executed all by hand and the skill/time investment I know is required for a great piece.

I think one other factor would be considering what is standard for an artist - for some artists that is the only version of an original (like Fabok's ink over blue lines being standard for almost anything published that wasn't 100% digital).  If it's the norm for that artist, and was the process for their best stuff, I think that lessens concerns.  But, for example, I have an original from Jim's Batman Europa issue and I'm pretty sure Jim's process for that was similar to what you're describing (his water color/ink over his own blue line).  I love my page, though there is an asterisk in a way knowing that's not his standard process (or the one he uses for his most well known work) so it could be perceived as being less "authentic" in that sense. 

I'm a fairly young collector I think - been doing it only about 7 or 8 years, currently in my mid 30's.

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For batman europa i believe the layouts are by camuncoli with jim doing the inkwashes.  I dont know how extensive camuncoli's layouts were though..

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On 5/6/2018 at 3:19 PM, stinkininkin said:

Thank you!  How about a single piece by a single artist with the only blue line component being the layout, with the final pencils and inks on a single page/board?  That' really my main question of the moment.

 

If I am understanding what you mean by "layout", I'm okay with that. I run Adobe Illustrator, and using it to move or resize various objects to create a whole image is very helpful. Presumably, you would also do that with panels as well as objects.

My only aesthetic concern is that it reduces the liklihood of an artist using unusual panel borders (which I love). On the other hand, I guess it lets you try out more masks and special effects. Are those the sorts of considerations?

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I got the impression Scott’s planning to use this for commissions, so I don’t think panels/panel borders necessarily comes into it, but hey...

 

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On 5/6/2018 at 8:06 AM, stinkininkin said:

It's been discussed here many times, but I'm looking for current opinions from the collecting community about collecting sketches and art that use digital blue line.  Should probably have run a poll, but oh well...

I am changing up my process when I draw by doing much of the layout work digitally, and then transferring (printing) those layouts onto art board with a blue line, and then finishing the drawing with traditional pencil and ink.  Final art is all on one board, not a pencil page and an ink page.  My question is--Does this process discourage you, the fans, from considering buying either published or commissioned art done in this way or is it a non issue?

I don't see it as any different than doing the layouts/pencils in blue pencils like the old school masters, but I think older collectors in particular have an aversion to anything that has a digital component?  Or am I wrong?  Let me know what you think, either in simple thumbs up or thumbs down terms, or if you'd like to elaborate on your opinion a bit, by all means.

Thanks!

Scott

 This is the workflow that Sean Phillips uses mostly these days. He does the initial layout digitally. Prints that out onto an art board and finishes it either directly with Inks only or some pencil refinements before inking. I see no problem with it myself. I know some collectors will not even look at a piece if there aren't original pencils on the page, just inks. Unfortunately that's going to limit them to less and less as digital workflows increase. I paid for a commission from Drew Johnson and he did the initial layout digitally, printed that out on an art board, did some pencil detail work on the same page, and then inked over it all. I never felt short changed by his process. The art piece is  amazing.

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On 5/6/2018 at 3:00 PM, stinkininkin said:

OK, here's another variation, specifically for commissions.  Digital layouts in light grey instead of blue?  Blue isn't really necessary if it's not being printed, and if the underdrawing is in light grey like very light pencil lines, would that be preferable to blue?

 

Norm Rapmund will do this on pieces that were drawn digitally or when there's a tight deadline and there's not enough time to wait for FedEx of the original pencil pages. He calls them "Pencil Prints" and will be upfront about when they are used instead of inking directly over the pencils.

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8 hours ago, Andahaion said:

Oh I agree, there are teams out there who produce fantastic pieces.  And not to get all awkward between strangers online, but a fair number of people my age look at Lee and Williams with similar eyes as you do the aforementioned.  My buddies and I had a richer childhood thanks to you.

Thanks very much for the kind words.  It's cool to hear I was part of helping awaken an appreciation for this art form.  That used a be a weird concept years ago when I was younger, but after doing this for over 33 years, I've come to appreciate how much stuff I've worked on has meant to people.  How can that not be cool?

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7 hours ago, Doc McCoy said:

In my opinion, whether it be for a published piece or a commission, I would want you to use every tool available to you in order to produce the most outstanding piece of art that you are capable of.  Additionally (and this is only a hypothesis from my own experience drawing or painting over the years), but digital layouts not only allow for you to save time, but could possibly extend your career by lessoning the wear and tear on your hands.

Believe it or not, the wear and tear on my hands is non existent.  Don't know why.  Luck of the draw in the gene pool.  My back on the other hand, is pretty wrecked from leaning over a drawing table for 3 decades.  You win some you lose some.  lol But your major point about producing the most outstanding piece possible as the main goal no matter the tools or the process is spot on.

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1 hour ago, ESeffinga said:

I got the impression Scott’s planning to use this for commissions, so I don’t think panels/panel borders necessarily comes into it, but hey...

 

Correct.  Commissions and perhaps covers.  I don't have any burning desire to do panel pages and stories at the moment.

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2 hours ago, eewwnuk said:

For batman europa i believe the layouts are by camuncoli with jim doing the inkwashes.  I dont know how extensive camuncoli's layouts were though..

This was my understanding as well.  I don't think there was a digital component to Europa book, either from Camuncoli, and certainly not from Jim.

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1 minute ago, stinkininkin said:

This was my understanding as well.  I don't think there was a digital component to Europa book, either from Camuncoli, and certainly not from Jim.

Interesting.  The blue line looks very "Jim's Batman" style to me and pretty tight to his final ink.  Unless Camuncoli was intentionally trying to emulate that, I always assumed that was Jim's work and since it was blue line further assumed it was digital - I hadn't considered it could still be hand done?  

Not trying to hijack if this is too far from topic - these feel like the relevant type of questions someone like me might be curious about (though, obviously, not having confirmation on them didn't dissuade me one bit from buying the page)

 

5af0f1e04daaf_BatmanEuropa1p3-signedLowRes.thumb.jpg.470677fd2db5338b47b63684e03828eb.jpg

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7 minutes ago, Thawk said:

Interesting.  The blue line looks very "Jim's Batman" style to me and pretty tight to his final ink.  Unless Camuncoli was intentionally trying to emulate that, I always assumed that was Jim's work and since it was blue line further assumed it was digital - I hadn't considered it could still be hand done?  

Not trying to hijack if this is too far from topic - these feel like the relevant type of questions someone like me might be curious about (though, obviously, not having confirmation on them didn't dissuade me one bit from buying the page)

 

5af0f1e04daaf_BatmanEuropa1p3-signedLowRes.thumb.jpg.470677fd2db5338b47b63684e03828eb.jpg

I'll ask Jim and get back to you with an answer.

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23 hours ago, MGS said:

The one concern I would have is how much of the layouts, if any, are visible once you’re done.  I’ve seen some pieces where quite a bit of the blueline digital printout is still visible, and it does kinda take away from the visual appeal a bit.

+1

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Scott, what does the GOAT think of digital art?

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