Monday, 27 September 2010

Pencils, inks and hungry witches

We had a two part series running on Tales of the... over the last two weeks. They're a couple of dark fairy stories, loosely inspired by Jim Henson's The Storyteller, the mid-90s television show, by the Henson company and written by the late Anthony Mingella. The first of them (Tales of the Storytide presents The Little King with No Son) was fun to produce - it's an audioplay, with a lovely accompanying illustration by Ruth Kelly.

The second (Tales of the Storytide presents The Prince's Smile) is a piece of illustrated prose, and presented an interesting opportunity for some artistic experimentation with my good friend, and fellow Tales of the... co-creator, Stephen Downey. I did some rough pencils for the piece and he inked over them. This marked the first time that he had inked another artist's work and the first time that I had my work inked by another artist.

And I think the results are pretty impressive, with Stephen's moody inks suiting the subject matter much more than my more cartoony, clean style. Plus, he fixed up lots of basic drawing errors. What's that? I didn't say anything.

Presented for your intrigue and, hopefully, pleasure is a comparision of the inked and pencilled pieces.  You can click on them to see them in all their unfettered glory.

Above you can see the first of them. If I had been inking them myself, I would have been using some brush pens and black drawing pens, whereas Stephen goes for ink and brush. Notice how he added a light source? I don't even need to pretend that I did that on purpose because that's something I usually decide on when I'm inking myself, but Stephen has much stronger shadows than I do.


I think the prince in this second image looks a little bit like Alex Willmore's work, which adds a nice symmetry or serendipity, or something beginning with s.

And here's the last image. I think this is the best one. Stephen took a very unfinished pencil drawing and turned it into something special. The moon was a lovely touch, and if you notice the mortar looks much less like an antwerp, which, for those of you familiar with the Quest for Glory series, will add a further degree of whatever word beginning with s was decided to be the best one. 

*looks at watch* I spent an awful long time farting around on photoshop arranging those tonight.