A Conversation Among Old Confederates – Black and White


I am constantly trying to improve my skills. There are a lot of areas where I know I can improve. Anatomy. Composition. Color balance. Mood. And more.

The tricky thing is improving in areas that I don’t recognize need improvement. That involves asking people to look at my work and then give their opinion. I recently did that with a friend and he said, essentially, “Your lines are too thick. They make your style look old-fashioned.”

Comic books were originally printed on cheap pulp paper using cheap printing techniques. That meant that the art that reproduced best was the simplest – clear bold lines and flat colors.

In the last few decades printing techniques have improved immensely. The use of computers has allowed art to be much more complex. Because of that, many modern comic artist draw with what are essentially ball point pens; pens that create lines that wouldn’t have reproduced using old school printing techniques.

So I inked this illustration using a couple of snazzy pens that (mostly) lay down nice, clean, thin lines. The result was better than I expected. I do like a greater variety of line weights in my art but it shouldn’t be a problem to include these pens in my repertoire. One must pay attention to the latest fashions.