BOYTOONS MAGAZINE #74 – The Pencil Issue!

Robert, a good friend of mine always tells me that he prefers my pencils to my finished inks. He says that to him, the pencils seem so much more fluid and free, unrestricted by the need to tighten lines.

I have often found myself frustrated while inking details such as hair, lips or cock heads, upset because I did not nail the curve as solidly as I might have liked. So in a sense, Robert is correct – the pencil stage is often the most authentic and certainly the most alive.

In recent times, mainstream artists have skipped over the inking stage on their work, and jumped to the colors without breaking out the Jiffys. This seems to spare the maddening betrayal of lines that can often happen while inking, or better yet, keep the artist from seeing his artwork changed at the hands of an inker.

That’s all fine and dandy for artists who spend like, 4 billion years refining their pencils. But what about we artists who prefer to whip the pencils together and tighten things up in the inks. I guess there is a risk of sacrificing the fluidity of things when one views the pencils as mere guides to what the final image will be.

Myself I pencil rather loosely. I like the feel of my hand gliding on the paper, throwing down line after line. Now this isn’t to say that I don’t pay any attention to the details in the penciling stage, quite the contrary. But I like to cut out the heavy pencil shading and background elements until I am ready to ink. I fill in shaded areas with little “x’s” and know that when comes the time to ink, those little marks will be replaced by a good deal of Jiffy Marker ink.

Other little details that require no pencil guide often get skipped. For example, I never draw Camili-Cat’s stripes in pencil. I always just draw them in the inking phase. It saves time and helps me feel like I have “finished” the illustration. Essentially, Cam’s stripes are the last piece of the illustration, and like my signature, they are the last thing to go on the page.

One of my favorite things to pencil is hair, and although I prefer drawing women’s hair to men’s, both sexes offer a lot of follicle fun! Drawing Felicia is such a blast because my hand is loose and relaxed and whips around the page with total abandon! The result is a mane of gorgeous hair composed of only just a few wispy lines. Would you believe that inking those lines is probably the most nerve wracking part of the inking process for me.

I prefer my artwork pretty curvaceous, and my men are no exception. Pecs have to be just perfect, and again here, I can get pretty nervous inking them, not wanting to mess up my lines. Cocks and balls are the same, and I can sometimes take longer to ink these than I do the outline of the character’s entire body. Often, I am not satisfied with the inked version, and find myself yearning for the pencils so that I can try again. Of course by this point it is too late. The original pencils are inked over and they are lost forever.

Now I make a point of scanning all my pencils before I ink. This way I figure I can at least have a record of what the pencils looked like, but also, if I should really mess up in the inking, I could always print the pencil scans and ink over those.

Ironically, as much as I love the pencil stage, I don’t feel “satisfied” until a drawing is inked. It feels unfinished to me – almost like it’s not an actual piece of art. I guess that is also part of being an artist and being one’s worst critic. I see the flaws as well as the lines I love, and generally speaking, I try to do away with those flaws when I ink.

Still, if it weren’t for the pencils, there wouldn’t ever end up being any finished version of my art, so I guess I have a love hate relationship with pencils. I am learning to better appreciate this early, essential stage to my art and I think that I am starting to understand Robert’s notion a little more every day.

Deimos, Camili-Cat, Jeanne Darque, Sethan, Diablo, Azagoth, Bob and Zahn are © Copyright and TM 2007 Patrick Fillion/Class Comics Inc. All rights reserved.

Savage Dragon © and TM 2007, Erik Larsen. All Rights reserved.

Storm, Wolverine, Elektra, Spiderman, The Thing, Namor, Mr. Fantastic, Daimon Hellstorm & Spiderwoman © and TM 2007, Marvel Characters Inc. All Rights Reserved.

All illustrations by Patrick Fillion. Reposting of these imag
es is strictly prohibited.


Comments

  1. Hey Patrick!

    I love working with pencils,(I’m hopeless with coloring) except for when I do a canvas.

    Pencil work always reminds me of the comics that I used to buy as a kid. When there was a new Superman or Batman issue they were in black and white, they reminded me of coloring books, but with words. I still have them and look over them from time to time.

    Even today, I do all my sketches with pencils, charcole and granite, but when it comes time to do muscle tones I use an eraser to white out the definition, then go over the ouside of the definitions with a “smudge pencil” to make the egde of the muscle tone softer.

    What’s a “Smudge Pencil?” Well that is what they are called in Australia, they are made from a really hard refined paper that is compacted so tightly that it can be sharpened like a pencil, but your sharpening tool needs to be ultra sharp or it will fray at the tip and go all over the place. It has an effect similar to rubbing led sharpenings with your finger on a sheet of paper. They are a great tool and they really help in covering up mistakes. They also come in heaps of different width’s almost like a selction of …… well you know what I mean!

    If you like can send you a few with the “care pakage” I’ve almost completed for you.

    But that’s enough about me, let’s talk about you. I knew you did pencil work, but for some reason I thought you did 95% of your work on a computer from begining to end. Perhaps you should get Fraz to make a “Making A Boytoon” movie and post it on your Blog. It’s always been cool to see an artist at work.

    So, apart from all of that, how are things going over in your neck of the woods, how’s Springtime treating you? It’s Autum in Sydney but feels like Winter, raining heaps, really sucks! Makes no matter, I still have the local sun beds to go to maintain my tan!

    Time to push off!

    Big Hugz & Kisses!

    Manny

    xx

  2. OH MY GOD!!!
    Thanks for these awesome pencils! They look awesome, very detailed, very beautiful, very erotic and totally supremely sexy and splendid!

    You know, I collected original art at one time (Michael Turner mostly) but I was very often kinda disappointed because I got the inked pages instead of the “pure” penciled ones.

    Stil, after looking at Your colored versions of Cam etc., I’d have to say – I love them colored and inked as much as the pencils. Why? Because your coloring team does just such an amazing job, the babes seem totally alive in all their sexy splendour.

    Thanks for that update, Patrick – and greets to manny!

  3. “maddening betrayal of lines” –Man, you do have a flair for the english language! HAHA– well, I have to admit, it’s never THAT frustrating for me, moving from pencils to inks. My pencils are super sloppy– and often so convoluted, you can’t even tell what’s going on. I use the ink stage to clarify most of that.

    I have friends who say the exact same thing though. “oh, the pencils are more free– oh we like to see your process.” I find that most people who say that didn’t grow up with comics.

    I admit, your pencils are very impressive (and tighter than I think you realize) but I totally prefer your inks. Your spending a lot of time on the inks really shows through. And I think the fluidity of your original pencil lines are translated well.

    Awesome post, dude!

  4. oh– and i forgot to mention– NICE PACKAGE ON SPIDEY!!!

  5. Hey Phrog!

    How’s things going?

    Big Hugs for ya!

    Manny
    xxx

  6. It happends to me too. My friends use to tell me my pencils are more dinamic than my inks. But I think that a pencil isnt a complete work. Can look nicer but i prefer it finished ;). Anyway you have a great style in your pencils. Its very clean!!!
    Kisses from Delta Quadrant!!!

  7. Heya manny,

    still scoring – although finding a new job which suits my stellar personality is quite a hassle.
    But I won’t complain. Well, maybe I will… just a little bit… ;-)

    Other than that, I’m fine, getting ready to become the biggest nerd all over the world (just kidding)

    How’s things with You, mate? Everything alright down under?

    Greets – phroq

  8. Hey Phrog,

    Yeah, things are going well here, getting ready for the V Music Festival tonight, Pet Shop Boys are playing in an outdoor concert in Centinial Park, it’s gonna be massive.

    Manny
    xx

  9. Hallo Patrick!

    Reading this reminds me how I used to art in school. I always used to work with pencil. The first line was always the most exciting. Gripping the pencil, looking at the blank paper, thinking “right, here we go”, I would always move my hand up and down over where I would draw the first line a few inches over the paper before slowly lowering my hand, letting the pencil brush over the paper. I always felt a sense of freedom when I used pencil over say, ink or paint, even if the end result did bring me back to earth with a bang.

    I love your penciled drawings, especially the cover featuring my beloved Deimos. It’s awesome!!! *Goes to the Class Comics website to see if there are any Deimos pencil artworks available…*

    LOTS of LOVE!!
    Reinard
    XOXOXOX

  10. Damn! Damn! That’s all I can say. Just found your site and I’m a total convert, who needs real men when I can have yours. I’m a worshiping fan for life.

  11. Hi Patrick,
    Congratulations on being the cover feature in XTRA magazine! It’s great to see your characters out there in the newsboxes!

    best,
    j.

  12. Hey everyone…

    Hope you are all having a great week. Just wanted to thank you all for taking the time to comment on this article.

    Manny…It’s always great to read your comments, because it’s like you add your own personal touch to all the articles! Very cool! :o) I’ve often thought it would be cool to do a video of me drawing and upload it to YouTube or something. I know Spubba recently did a great “Color tutorial” for YouTube and it was totally wonderful. Maybe someday we will actually get our act together and put something like that together! Meanwhile, thanks for the comments! Glad you enjoyed the posting! Hugz + Kisses XOXO

    Phrog… Aaawwww! ? Thank you soooo much for your sweet words and for the lovely compliments about my coloring team too! I’d like to think that I run a pretty tight ship! HA! HA! HA! Seriously though, Hernán always does such a fabulous job with my Boytoons. He and I have a great teamwork going where sometimes he’ll start an image and I’ll add my little personal touches to it in the end. I love coloring but it is soooooo time consuming! That’s why I am so grateful to have people like Hernán to work with!

    I’m really pleased you enjoyed this issue and that you liked taking a look at more of my pencils! Thanks again for stopping by, dear friend! Hugz + Kisses XOXO

    JC… HA! HA! HA! Thanks for the compliments about Spidey’s package and my “command of the English language”. Honestly I sometimes re-read my work and think I am soooooo freaking melodramatic! LOL!!! But if you like it, I’m okay with that! :oD

    It’s cool to get you take on penciling VS inking – it seems no 2 artists are the same and that we all have a different view impression about our work and how we go about doing it. I appreciate that you think my pencils are tight though! It’s nice to hear! I tend to trash the shit out of my stuff! LOL!!! Thanks again for stopping by! Hugz + Kisses XOXO

    Iván… Great of you to stop by, my friend! Thank you so much for your comment! I’m so pleased you enjoyed the posting and that you like my pencils. I agree that a pencil piece can be “a finished piece” in itself, but I too tend to prefer everything once it’s inked and colored. LOL!!! I guess I am just picky that way! Thanks again for saying hello! Hugz + Kisses XOXO

    Reikro… Hello dear friend! Thank you so much for your wonderful comment! I always love getting other artists’ takes on the process! I’m also very pleased you enjoyed the illustration of Deimos on this issue’s cover. Even though that is from an un-used page, I’ve always really loved the lines on that image. It was great to get to use it here! :o) Much love XOXO

    Toortus… Ha! Ha! Ha! Great to meet you and thank so much for taking the time to write! ? Feel free to stop by anytime you like! It’s always great to hear from new fans! LOL! ;) Hugz + kisses! XOXO

    J… thanks so much for the comment! I haven’t actually seen the issue yet but I am really looking forward to it! It’s always great to do stuff with the Xtra – they’re a great bunch of people! Hope all is well, dear friend! Much Love XOXO

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