The Art of Ryan Francis

The art website of Ryan Francis

2018: A year in review


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2018: A Year in Review.

If you’re reading this I finished inking and coloring my comic and I have it printed and up for sale at my Etsy store!

This year has been fairly progressive in terms of the stuff I wanted to do. I completed Shirley’s Day after three years of on and off working. Motivated by that, I’m well on my way to making more comics to prove that that first one wasn’t a fluke, and so far I’m burning through it faster than I did my first time which shows immediate progress on my part. It’s still slower than I want, but that insane comic artist speed should come with time put in.

Here are a bunch of last bit inking process stuff that I did for my spoiler pages.

In general, I worked on these pages out of order, mainly knocking out the art I felt wpuld be easiest to complete as I went. I thunk it results i. A wildly inconsistent look in a few ways, Ive gotten feedback and comments on the final comic that the characters get off-model and change proportions often. I gotta work on that nore.

I was fretting the last pages as they were the larger splash pages, but it went easier than I thought. I don’t draw birds often, so I’m not happy with how the pigeons looked for this final page.

I was a bit at a loss at how to render a shiny car in ink, I think I should’ve left it alone since I colored it as a white car in the end.

I’m a bit of a jerk taking up a whole library table with my pages. I’ve never gotten complaints so I think it’s fine. The library is pretty much my office, after I drop my brother of at his part time job, I save gas by hanging in the library near where he works. I feel more comfortable working on art in a library than sitting in some coffee shop, plus I can find books that I’m intrested in buying later.

A bit of flat coloring work on Page 6. I’ve never felt comfortable about coloring my art but since I felt I needed to prove to myself that I can finish a comic I push through. The comic works more with the color since the joke is mostly a visual trope in media.

Again, I regret inking the car with so much black since I ended up coloring the car white. I mostly chose white because the toy car I have for a model is white and I save myself the trouble of deciding colors.

Page 5 was worked on after six. I salvaged my colors for mom from an older drawing I did a while ago.

I did a bit of looking at sunsets images and their colors, so I can establish that it’s the afternoon time, again taking advantage of coloring being a good storytelling tool even if I feel I suck at using it.

In the end, I’m not one-hundred percent happy with my final comic, but the fact that it’s actually finished and printed is something that still needs to be acknowledged. I’m a bit down about not being able to finish drawing and inking a page in a day, like other artists I find.
It’s dumb to go comparing myself negatively to every artist who drops a picture remotely above a rough sketch, so I’m doing more to put forth the effort into reducing my time online and just focusing on what I’m capable to putting out in between working a night job and doing housekeeping stuff. I have to remember that Shirley’s Day is my first comic, I shouldn’t dismiss the fact that I stuck with completing it and not leaving it as an idea my head like a majority of people.

I stopped trying force myself to post art every day to feed some stupid algorithm that may or may not reward the “perfect attendance” or chasing the approval of every person I meet for some dumb hunger for attention for my art. It harbors my jealousy, frustration, and self-hatred to unhealthy means and I have to put it to myself to not be like that.

I’ll admit that doing that has put a dent in some art things I do regularly, namely my art streams. I initially stopped streaming because I wanted to figure out my tech more and do some work to make it prettier, like some more custom animations and to figure out my audio situation (music or no music?). It snowballed into dealing with a change in my job position and schedule and ultimately dealing with the heavy holiday season of the package delivery industry.
I’ve been thinking of consolidating my art to this website to cultivate more activity here and to stop being beholden to social media sites that have the freedom to throttle or block access to the art I post. I also feel like I’m just wasting my time throwing my work into the void of Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Doing this might even encourage me to learn HTML5 and CSS to go back to just having a good, unique looking website for people to go to for my art and I encourage you to do that as well if you’re an artist or any other creative person. I’ll keep these blogs up simply for archival reasons, but I am likely going to slow down activity to my socials as I build up a better foundation for a personal website that’s not just a portfolio website.
I still want to make tutorials because many ask me and I want to be as informative as I can. I’ve written an article on my website about editing comic inks from a scanned image and I’ve built up a recommended book list for learning art, a few articles about my process making some of my art, and it’s surprisingly time-consuming to write it out clear manner. That being said, I’d love to have the best of both worlds to make tutorial videos and articles to help people out and do streams to answer question that I haven’t been able to tackle. I’m still open to suggestions, so message me anywhere you can find me with things you might want to learn from.
Despite my dumb perfectionism, this is all not a complete disappointment though as I put myself and my art more out there this year; more than I’ve ever bothered to do for the last few years, ultimately resulting in selling my art at my first convention ever! I’ve actually enjoyed being at a con for the first time in my life and it’s nice to just say hi to people and tell them about my work and not have to awkwardly wander everywhere at a loss of what to do! Next year I’m exhibiting more cons in the future such as Comic Con Revolution Chicago and Indiana Comic Convention as well as a few more which I’ll announce as I confirm them. I hope to have newer comics ready by that time as well!
I want 2019 to be a bigger turning point for me as an artist. I’m crystallizing myself in more of the comic angle because I want to get better at making stories. I’ll still tackle whatever freelance opportunities tap me on the shoulder and see about accepting commissions, but in general I want to produce more comics, make a one shot, participate in zines, make a webcomic, create tutorials, or even learn how to write a novel, these all seem doable to me since I can see the possible result clearer than I would if I did something else. I’d love to be able to do this full time making my own work through my own vision, I likely won’t achieve that in a year, but it still never hurts to shoot for a pipe dream or an attainable goal.


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A Great Time at Galaxy 2018

I had a great time at Galaxy Comics and Entertainment Expo! This was my first time ever selling my artwork ever and this is a great start!

I probably sound like a kid talking about this, but here is my first table! Of course it’s tiny, but it actually exists!

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Scanning and Editing Ink Art

Many have asked me to do a tutorial on getting good line art and scans from my traditional artwork to the computer. This is my rough workflow for working with my art; it usually takes me around 20 minutes to finish if it’s a smaller piece. I will break it down as much as I can so you too can make good scanned artwork!

Scan your Artwork

You should find a scanner that can fit the paper in the scanner. If the paper can’t fit, scan the page in pieces and edit them together. I’ll make an article on this at a different time.

 

At the moment, I’m using the scanners at the public library. It’s an Avision FB6280E A3 Book Scanner from what I’ve looked up. Able to support pages up to 11 inches by 17 inches and can scan at a resolution up to 600 dpi, which is great for working with art in! Since buying them normally costs a pretty penny, I settle for taking advantage of our tax dollars and using local library resources!

For this scan, I used 9 inch by 12 inch Strathmore Vellum Bristol Paper. It feels good to sketch in it, handles ink decently, and Copic markers don’t bleed through it that badly!

The scan bed is large enough to fit a 11 inch by 17 inch page so it’s large enough to fit comic pages I make!

The library software for the scanner has great options to let me save to my own USB drive or email it to myself if the file size is small enough.

These days, I often scan in PDF since I’m usually scanning multiple pages of art and Photoshop can open the files easily so that’s a benefit for me.

Your scans should be at a really high dpi to work with. The minimum you should scan at is 300 Dots per Inch, any lower and you’ll have to work with a blurry, pixelly mess.. A mass majority of printers scan at 300 DPI, so if you have any that can go higher, you take that up! Though the higher the DPI, the long it will take to scan, so unless you’re drawing a digital Sistine Chapel, you should stick with 600 DPI at most.

In the case of this library software, scan at Photo Quality since it’s the highest it can go.

Back Up Raw Scan Files

These are the raw unedited scans (Reduced for web looking.) I always scan in Color, Greyscale, and Black,  but I tend to always edit the Color scan because I’ll have more control over the post processing. It just feels good to cover my bases.

In case of misfortune, make backups of your scans. You never know if you’ll lose the original sheet or make a change in the future that you regret and want to go back. Email the file to yourself, save it to Dropbox, copy it to an external hard drive, do all of it, slip the files anywhere you can so you can foolproof yourself.

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Shirleys Day Cover Illustration Process

I’ve been working on a new cover for Shirley’s Day over the past week. Here is a little bit of work in progress over the week. I have no pencils because I laid everything in blue pencil.

If I ever make any money off this comic, I’m the first thing I’m buying is some Pro-White.

Here are some thumbnail sketches of the covers as well.

 

 


7/23/2018 Update

I don’t have much to update for this week. I was spending the week doing some clean ups and finishes on an old freelance commission I plan to post soon.

I’ve also did a few turnaround sketches of my Rat Characters so I could have a rough color chart for my painting I’m working on. I feel like I’m just procrastinating now that I’m thinking about this more, especially since I still haven’t got my comic cover ready and my deadline is looming.


7/15/2018 The Home Stretch

Bad news is that I made slightly less progress than I wanted on my stream painting this week. It’s not horrible, I managed I put down some rough colors for the characters, but I feel like I need to examine the color relationships a bit more.

 

But the good news is that, I’ve finished all of the interiors of Shirley’s Day! All that is left is to finish work on the cover, arrange the pages for mass print and I can finally have it complete!

Some sketches I made over the last week but I still haven’t posted on this site yet.

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