Computers Eat Art

Okay I’m sorry I’ve got to rant in a way that I might remove later, but what the hell, I’ve been annoyed for the past 3 days and I want to own to it.

See I’m entering what has always been a tricky phase of “The Cadence of a Restless Heart” — the phase where the kids are supposed to learn their history. About like Cadence and Solaris and dying and stuff. Well the rather cumbersome original approach was more and more disgruntling and I went from a steady jog with the pages down to slogging through muck when I got to this part, both with thumbnails and linework, not to mention coloring. So I decided if I had to force it that hard there had to be another way. The whole story’s riddled with full flashbacks so I thought I’d introduce it earlier with a scene between Cadence and Solaris where Solaris proposes the idea of resurrecting them. I talked to Ana about how it was weird they weren’t in the story at all till the second volume even though Cay is the namesake for the story and Solaris is the most powerful figure in it.

Anyway this isn’t really even about that, it’s just about how I shifted approaches like I’d been contemplating doing for weeks. I’ve been comfortable with my hybrid approach of traditional lines and digital color except sometimes I mess up the linework so badly that half the page is redrawn digitally anyway. But still I love getting ink down on paper — nothing can beat that, ever. But with the uncertainty surrounding this scene with Cay and Solaris I ended up sketching pages including dialogue (hitherto the dialogue has been entirely added after, because I didn’t need it apart from the thumbnail ideas of what’s discussed on each page), because I was faced with communicating a very important part of the story first-hand instead of the original narration from Solimin, which meant tinkering with each “it,” “and,” or “but.” As a result, I was less inclined to just ink over the pages because they got sloppier than when I exclude dialogue. So I scanned in sketches and decided, “Well, why don’t I try digitally inking these ones?”

AND I HATE IT.

It’s still slower than doing it by hand. And there’s something about the result that’s more…juvenile than my traditional lines. Also any headway I’ve made with backgrounds has been OBLITERATED. Plus, by the time I get to coloring I’ve been working with my damn cramped stylus for so long that I hardly pay attention to what I’m doing anymore. Inking lines by hand is a pleasure; inking them on a computer makes me crazy.

I mean, what this comes down to is obviously I’m not going to continue doing the lines digitally for a while, but it’s disappointing because these 2-1/2 pages I’ve done are beautiful except for that aspect about them that’s faintly…off. And part of me really wants to back up and ink the pages, even if it means making almost the same works. At least doing them digitally I’ll have gotten the layout strong, which was a concern about doing the dialogue-heavy pages digitally (because when the dialogue is heavier I feel inclined to keep the visual interest tighter than the more action-packed pages like the first 20 were). I’m not sure how I feel about back-tracking, because it’s kind of a pet peeve of mine — working slowly — but I’m kind of interested to see how the pages would compare.

Then again, I’ve always known my attitude towards a drawing affects how it turns out (damn my emotional landscape), and so the pages I do traditionally will probably turn out better largely in part because I expect them to…but it’s worth a little experimentation, I suppose. I mean, also, they’ll probably turn out better because I’ll have practiced them. And Cay and Solaris, while I’ve drawn their kids for 18 pages, are still new faces to my hands. OKAY I GET IT I’M JUST GONNA DO IT AND POST A COMPARISON LATER

GOD

[edit] as soon as I posted this entry and went off to try to sketch new pages, I felt dumb. ‘Cause yeah there’s something weird about them but hand-sketching them definitely didn’t go better…guess I’ll just move on. xD

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