Somehow in the midst of prepping our house for sale, house hunting, temporarily moving into an apartment, and other life events I fell behind reading Harrow County. In fact, I didn’t realize just how far behind I was until Inktober of last year when I stumbled on an article noting the series was ending. That article was already six months old to boot!
In an effort to fix the terrible wrong of missing so many issues of such a great title, I starting buying the various trade paper backs. And while I still haven’t worked through them all, they did inspire me to do a series of fan art drawings depicted most of the main characters.
|The deranged witch, Hester Beck
|The beast of the woods, The Abandoned
|Emmy's evil twin, Kammi, and the "Bone Sauce Haint"
|Emmy from Inktober for completeness :-)
|Emmy's "Family" of nearly immortal witches: Levi, Willa, Kaine, Corbin & Odessa
|Emmy's friend and hedge witch, Bernice, wrangling evil snake magic?
Now for a little bit of process, which I love writing about and documenting, but since it’s likely ridiculously boring for readers I’ll sum it up as TLDR drawing and inking takes time and effort :-)
I think I'll walk through “The Abandoned” drawing since it’s the one that took the most time due to the amount of ink and shading work. I started with a rough idea of a crouching beast and then did a process very similar to the paint overs I discussed here. The exception being I wasn’t painting over ZBrush speed sculpts but rather painting/tweaking speed sketches in Clip Studio:
|Number two is the big winner! I choo choo choose you!
From there, I took the tiny rough layout and blew it up in Clip Studio, switched it to blue, and began refining the line work:
|Still a bit rough, but getting there...
Next I opted for a 2nd refinement, which meant drawing over the above version once more in Clip Studio:
|Super polished outlines
Now it was onto shading, which I also did at the "digital pencil" phase because the inks turn out much better that way. I've tried to add shading while inking and I always wind up adding too much or making it a mess, so I've learned to do this part digitally as well. Once digitally shaded, I threw a color overlay over the pencils (usually #9E6439) and dropped the opacity to 35% and printed the beast out for inking!
|Finally ready for inking!
Why the light brown? Because I like it more than blue for some bizarre reason. For this drawing I printed it on 11 in x 8.5 in Strathmore vellum mixed media paper (cut down from an 18 in x 24 in pad). That's pretty much the paper I use for all inking, and since it's mixed media if I want to add watercolor shading it will stand up to it pretty well. Once printed it's a matter of using mostly a Winsor Newtown #2 sable brush and inking. On this one I used an 01 tech pen on the smoke rising off its back just so I could get a flat weight line which I thought would look better (not sure why?). Here is a picture of the inks before they were scanned back in:
|Inks in real life!
And that's the whole process! It may seem like a crazy amount of work and effort for an ink drawing, but trust me it's more time consuming than you think.