Mistakes Will Be Made

1 Feb

As many of you know, I ink my comics.  Yeah, the ol’ fashioned way (as some may call it) is how I do it.  I use a dip pen, India ink and Bristol board.  I haven’t graduated to doing everything digital.  Personal opinion?  I think it’s good to have an original on hand.  It’s just my preference.  Keeping EVERYTHING digital just frightens me a bit.

So, along with creating originals comes the consistent accidents with them.

You see, when you do originals, and you make mistakes, it’s on paper to deal with – not a computer screen (duh).

That can make cleaning up an ‘accident’ tough at times.  Or not.  It just depends.

For example:  Here is a comic I recently drew.

1233990_10200830020427770_1825837220_nAbove:  The comic I recently drew (oh, wait…didn’t I just say that?).

Notice anything in it that seems, oh, out of place?



Well, to avoid keeping this post a Q&A let me point it out to you and elaborate.

When doing originals in ink, the one thing to avoid is touching ink before it dries.  Why?  Well, if you never experienced it before (which I’m assuming most of you have) if you touch ink too soon when it’s not dry, it smears.

And ink – well – it’s not like pencil, my friends.  Nope.  You can’t just pull-out the big pink eraser and clean it up.  You’re kinda screwed.  Of course you could get some White-Out and TRY to contend with fixing it, but good luck.  Using White-Out in art is like using Silly Putty to seal cracks.  It doesn’t work too well.

At any rate, you guessed it – I accidentally swiped my palm into some wet ink on this one.  Here is the results:

1654052_10200830020027760_618730062_nAbove:  You can see the smudge.  It’s not THAT bad – but it’s there.  Obviously, right?

“Oh $%#$!” is usally what I say after stuff like this happens.  After settling down and bit and grabbing a chilled glass of tap water, I sit back and remember……

The GOOD news is – this can be repaired.

Photoshop can repair anything, BUT, on top of that, there is a way to go even deeper and give this a better fix.

You see, where this happened at I have drawn a bunch of intentional small lines that accompany the art.  So, if I were to simply delete this in Photoshop, it would be hard to replicate these small lines digitally.  You get it?

One thing that I could do to help rectify this situations is one thing:


I can help balance this out.

How do I do that?  Well, if there’s a dark area on one side of the art, to add some balance, all I must create is ANOTHER dark area on the opposing side.

So, I did this:

1798435_10200830020147763_1053055797_nAbove: The opposite side of this cartoon

Do you see what I did here?

Normally, underneath an end table like I have drawn, I wouldn’t have THIS dark of a shadow.  However, since there is a dark area where – at first-  there shouldn’t of been, I balanced it out better by making this quite a bit darker than usual.

It’s more appealing to ones eye when they view it and….


Unbeknownst to viewers, they will never be able to tell that a mistake was made!

bod140212Above:  The finished cartoon

Now don’t get me wrong, I did touch this up in Photoshop as well – erasing as much smudge as I could.  Plus, the coloring is darker around the particular area.  However, it wasn’t much digital clean-up since I was able to balance this out better by hand.

Next time you have an ‘accident’, don’t sweat over it.  Just chill out, breathe, cuss a few times and then remember that there is probably a simple fix.  Just stare at it, mull it over and you’ll find a way.  NOTHING is unrepairable (well, unless your dog gets a hold of it or something).




2 Responses to “Mistakes Will Be Made”

  1. bubujin_2 February 2, 2014 at 4:01 pm #

    Interesting exposition on the process, Nate. Thanks!

    • w101njf February 3, 2014 at 7:08 am #

      Cool Glad you enjoyed!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: