screennotes 7.4

since last time:

We are not quite halfway through Inktober.

This year, I’ve been doing a Metal Gear thing using Jake Parker’s official prompt list.

If you haven’t been following along, you can check it out here.

The first and second day’s drawings were garbage. I felt so discouraged that my work didn’t have the magic of this or this.

Day 3. A breakthrough. I just kept drawing inking. i became less self conscious. I stopped thinking about what my work wasn’t and just – kept – working.

Day 4. Nothing special, but the poses were clear.

Day 5. A couple of things happened. I figured out how to make it look like a character was running. I started to get a couple of days ahead so that I wouldn’t have to just use the first drawing I made. Each piece took less time. I was getting faster.

Day 6. I realized that when using a brush for inking, it is vital to keep a sharp point on the brush. This should have been obvious.

Day 7. I decided to try a wash using ink mixed with water. The result wasn’t great, Snake doesn’t look nearly exhausted enough here to earn the title of the post, but the experience was invaluable.

Day 8. My strongest work so far. The poses were strong.I was simplifying shapes in my drawings. I felt like the drawing and inkwork had more charisma.

Day 9. Hit a wall. I felt like I couldn’t draw. And I could not make any drawings in my inktober sketchbook. (This happened to me last year, too.) I found a pad of bristol board. I tore some pages in half. I made a bunch of bad drawings. I inked badly over my badly drawn drawing. I had another drawing to do that night so I just posted the bad drawing.

Day 10. I had no ideas for flowing. I searched for flowing in the metal gear wiki and found the final battle in MGS 3 which is the most beautiful setting in any Metal Gear game. I started drawing so lightly on my bristol board. My Boss and my Snake looked like Bryan Lee O’Malley characters. I drew a background – not a lot of background, but inspired by the setting, my most epic staging yet. I liked it. I added a wash. I may have ruined it.

Day 11 and Day 12 I jammed out in a single session, which is a great way to work. Those drawings and inks on the second piece just seem to flow. Day 11 has a New Yorker cartoon vibe to it. (Should have a caption contest.) Day 12 let me revisit and improve on the ‘man in a funny suit’ theme now firmly established on Day 5. I also knocked out the pencils for:

Day 13, which meant that on Friday night I only needed to go back in and ink. I was afraid I ruined the piece w with my wash on the wall behind snake, but as I made the wall darker and darker it all worked out. It’s weird, but how you feel about the thing while you are working on the thing has almost no bearing on the outcome of the thing.

Day 14. The Fatman was a weird antagonist in the weirdest game in the Metal Gear franchise, Metal Gear 2. Great character design by the longtime Metal Gear designer, Yoji Shinkawa, whose work you should actually be checking out instead of reading this. Do it. I won’t mind.

Day 15. Didn’t have my size 2 Blick sable brush (that I had been using all Inktober so far) with me so I had to use my bamboo brush that I bought because illustrator Yuko Shimizu uses one. I was scared that the brush would be unwieldy but as long as I kept it straight up and down, the line control was there. Had to use some photo reference for the pose. I’ve found I really enjoy inking snow – this piece could have probably used some more. And you can’t really tell, but Sniper Wolf has Snake, the hero of MGS, in her sights.

If you managed to read this far, thank you, and I will see you on the other side of the month. (I mean, not see you – see you, but you know what I mean.)

Until next time,