Over the course of drawing AntiBunny I took time to try lots of different materials. I was insistent on doing as much with traditional materials as possible. Here’s the basics of the progression.
During chapters 1 and 2 I used all pencils. Word balloons were digital though because my handwriting was almost entirely illegible at the time. Frames were also drawn in by hand, but I later re-edited chapter 1 to have digital frames.
During chapter 3, I started incorporating ink. Originally I used felt tip pens, and still shaded with pencil. Later in the same chapter, I’d start using gray inks as well, and occasional splashes of color.
During chapter 4, I cemented character designs, and started using tonal grays to some degree. I also experimented with more digital elements, including colorizing some elements to make them stand out.
Chapter 5 is when I really started getting serious and switched from a felt tip pen to a brush pen. The brush was difficult to control however, so I waffled back and forth with it and the felt tip pen depending on the job.
During chapter 6 I started treating panels more like full on ink brush paintings. During this time production took the longest, and the tonal grays and colored inks were getting expensive. Though I did like how the chapter turned out, it was difficult to keep up that standard, and in a way I started to feel like it betrayed the grittiness of the comic’s feel.
Chapter 7 is when I put aside the brush pen in favor of a dip pen and later a fountain pen. To this day I still use the fountain pen, as I find it gives me the best control over line with a single tool. This is also when I switched to hand lettering. Though I got some complaints about the switch, it did give me a big advantage of knowing how much space a word balloon would take up before getting to the final phase, and let me adjust panels accordingly.
During Nailbat: Final Journey, which is the current project, my art saw the most evolution. While the previous two Nailbat stories simply reflected the materials and style of the Gritty City Stories comics I was working on at the time, Final Journey stands alone as the core project of AntiBunny during its publication. I stopped shading, and started using full on hard black on white inking with the fountain pen, and did penciling with non-photo blue, as to produce cleaner line art. As the story progressed I started incorporating more and more digital elements including splashes of color in the background to emphasize action or mood, or just help the action stand out more.
Nailbat: Final Journey has been my longest and most difficult to write story given the weight it carries and the finality of it. It’s run longer than planned, and caused me more than one total breakdown as an artist, but I am determined to finish it, and the challenges its presented me have helped me grow as an artist.