Adam Smith

Adam Smith is ink and ink wash.

Okay. So the back story here is that an executive-style uncle of mine is having a birthday next week and since all I can ever give people as gifts is art, I thought, “I’ll give him art.” The image that popped into my head immediately was Adam Smith Action Shot. Nice, right? By the time I could find some loose bristol to draw this guy onto, I’d already scripted the associated comic in my head, which you’ll find below. Eventually this will be a neat 12×17 print for sale. Like, in a couple of weeks. The comic was actually drawn on two pages, though the intention is for it to display out as a single page.

Included here (at the behest of a friend of mine who was curious to see a full process on one of my pieces) are scans of the storyboard from my notebook, the pencils, the first ink layer (black!) and then the ink wash for the shading. The color was done on the computer machine, though I may take a whirl at using inkwashes to color the actual art as well. The grey inked version is what the actual art actually looks like right now, except that it’s on two pieces of paper. It’s not exactly what I wanted but it came out pretty well and I got to try out some new toys.

This is my storyboards.

I was originally going to have more text but decided pretty quickly to nix that. It didn’t add anything, so bye bye! I always write in pen, usually colored, and often make small corrections in a second color. This was pretty shaped up and short in my head to start with, whereas the storyboard for a Bathos or something like Lusus Naturae is a much bigger mess to behold.

This is what my pencils are.

Since I typically try to work in a larger size than the final print, this was spread out across two pieces of Bristol, 11×14 each. It doesn’t give me a lot more space after shoving in margins, but it’d be worse working on a 12×17 sheet, right?
I ruled out the basic row sizes across my bristol board, but sized the individual panels as I went without a ruler. Trying something new, since I’m usually pretty meticulous when it comes to measurements.

This is the blacks.

So, at this point I’ve inked (on to two separate pieces of paper but i combined my scans to create the final print and didn’t want re-separate them just for this) out my pencils using a nib pen for the lines and a brush for the big chunks of black. I make some changes and additions on the fly as I ink, see if you can spot them all! The tree and grass in the angst panel was done with pro-white and a silicon color shaper I recently picked up. This whole piece is a little unique in that I actually did go through and make corrections with the pro-white instead of saving the screw-ups for photoshop.

This is the greys, or the inkwash.

When you brush black on to a paper, you get this rich texture of dark greys where you want black, which is why I usually scan artwork in strict black and white before adding the grey inkwash. This gives me a pure black layer to put on top of the grey to take a little of the wishy-washyness out of the final printed art. In the case of this print I kept in a little of the texture on the finished blacks, just to keep it organic. Anyhow, the grey is produced using a brush with a few drops of india ink in a bowl of water to dilute the hell out of it. I’m not incredibly consistent with my tones because I don’t ever stir it enough, but I like the living feel to the inconsistency. Don’t knock it, this sort of thing is what makes me an artist and not a banker.

There you go. I’ll order the prints once I decide I’m happy with the color job or not. They’ll probably only be available locally since I hate shipping 12×17 stuff. The original art will get lost in a pile somewhere until and unless someone wants to buy it off of me. Voila!

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