This is my illustration for the Ninoy Art and Essays book. It’s different from anything I’ve done before so people who saw it didn’t recognize it was mine right away. The coloring of this was done on the computer, and I’m only starting to realize the almost infinite possibilities that one can do with manipulating images digitally.
In 1992 when I first thought of Timawa, there was this other superhero story I was trying to develop called “TRIBO”. I had wanted to completely pencil and ink it, but at the same time oil paint the colors because I wanted painterly brush textures on the finished art. But for a long time I was stumped as to how I was going to do it. I thought of pencilling it first, and then going ahead with he oil colors. When it dried, I could go in with the inks. My first experiments with a couple of Katutubo illustations (of Lakan) seemed to work fine. In fact, it was the same technique I used on a Conan illustration that eventually became my very first published fan art in the US in Wizard Magazine #15 (November 1992).
I asked friends what they thought about me doing something like that for a whole comic book. I was told it wasn’t possible (again with the people telling me it was impossible, ha! ha!). It was possible, but it would just take a LOT of time. Another option was to print a blue printout of the art, paint on that, and then superimpose a black printout of the inked art on acetate right on top and then photograph that. In the old days I think it was called “Blue Line Diazo” process. Very complicated in the pre-computer coloring days. I ended up NOT doing it because I soon got busy with inking.
In 2002 I got my first chance to color my own comics when Dean Alfar insisted I color my contribution to Siglo: Passion. I didn’t want to at first. My first experiments with Photoshop at Whilce’s studio in 1995 were disasters. It was deemed digital coloring was not one of my strengths. Later I realized I it was just me being the technophobe. I was still sticking to the romantic idea of painting with oils on a canvas (or Master illustration board). Actually, I still do. I won’t paint a painting on the computer, print it and then frame it for hanging on the wall, for instance. I’ll still do that kind of thing on a canvas with real oil paints. Besides, I love the smell of oil paint. I could sniff it all day. mmmmmM.
Now that I’m no longer inking, I began to experiment with computer coloring a little bit more with Humanis Rex!, simulating brush strokes and painterly effects with Photoshop. Most of the coloring on that was flat though, with only few effects. I decided to do it more of it on Timawa. I think it’s more evident now in the most recent installment I did (for The Buzz October 2008 issue), but I feel I’m still not getting the effect I’m aiming for. By the end of Timawa next year I’m pretty sure I would be able to finally “get” it.
On a more personal note ( I used to do these personal entries more often. I might do more now.), I finally got my camera from Coca-Cola. It’s a Canon, so I’m extremely happy. It went to Ilyn, as was really the intention, so she’s really happy too. She’s always wanted a Canon. It came with a portable DVD player, which was just fantastic because my old Pioneer player is really conking out on me. So it came at just the right time.
I’m glad I traded up the iPhone for this because I really wouldn’t know what I would have done with that gadget. Kensai seemed really frustrated with it.
But that said, having been sorely disappointed before and almost swearing off contests, I’m now looking forward to the results of the Cream-O video contest. Check here to see my contest entry. Try not to read the comments though, as there are a lot of really petty and immature people commenting over there, accusing people of cheating left and right. It’s a madhouse. So I just ignore it and just wait for the results.
The first prize is a Mac Laptop. If there’s an electronic gadget I want, that would be it!