April 15, 2008

Cartooning practice and Inkscape 0.46

School’s out for a fortnight here at uni. Which as a PhD student who is tutoring means I get two weeks of unfettered PhD write-up time. I’m pretty worn out from the teaching and marking over the last couple of days, although it just might be lack of sleep catching up with me.

I’ve also noticed a few more trackings from Inkscape fans to the tutorial I made for Order of the Stick avatars. I’m guessing people need Inkscape tutorials. Once my PhD write-up is over I’ll write up some more (general purpose this time).

I need some practice with the new version however. And practice in general. I’m not that much of an artist really, and my cartooning really needs some brushing up.

I’ve started playing around with Inkscape 0.46 by just giving it a spin in creating a character using my old techniques:

  1. Sketch out a draft with pencil on paper.

  2. Resketch it using the calligraphy tool in Inkscape on a draft layer
  3. Construct the figure out of basic shapes and curves (this is the long part)
  4. Put in any special effects, shading, corrections and what-have-you.


This is a pretty early concept for the character “Eight” that part of one of two ideas for a webcomic that I’d like to launch later this year. I still haven’t made up my mind about the little details like colouration and accessories.

So far the process for creating this character isn’t working - not because of the final output, but because it take so freakin’ long to do. I don’t know if it’s because I’m out of practice in the whole Inkscaping, but it could just be I don’t have an efficient process. To test this, I’ll give making this character another go, but this time using a more traditional inking based approach - both digitially and on paper. I’m rubbish at paper inking and almost as rubbish at digital inking, but it’s something I should at least try to see how it turns out.

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4 Comments on Cartooning practice and Inkscape 0.46

April 21, 2008

Stephen @ 12:51 am:

I’m sure that I’ve said it many times in the past already, but I really like your character styling. With my lack of any sort of art-related background I don’t have anything more insightful on the topic to say other than I’m looking forward to that webcomic you’ve been dangling at us for a long time now. :)

April 22, 2008

Ron Crump @ 10:30 am:

Just like to say how much I appreciated your Inkscape avatar tutorial.

I used it to make a basic figure that I then used as the basis of a cartoonised football report (at the URL above). Might become a regular thing, if I can get quicker at doing it.

April 24, 2008

David "Trapper Zoid" @ 1:13 pm:

@Ron Crump:

Thanks! I can’t claim credit for the art style - that’s pure Rich Burlew (creator of the Order of the Stick). However I think his style makes a great tutorial for Inkscape.

I was surprised when visiting your website that your code of footy is the one that immediately springs to my mind, being born and raised in Melbourne. In this big ol’ internet I’m used to “football” being many things other than Aussie Rules!

June 26, 2008

CarpeGuitarrem @ 3:30 pm:

Once you have the first character portrait down, it’ll be easier to just take that same portrait and modify it slightly for other poses. Also, the more complicated a character is, the better off you’d be doing it on paper and scanning it in. At the level of Order of the Stick, it’s simple enough to do in Inkscape. But as you get more lifelike, more 3D, that possibility of paper-sketching gets more and more attractive…

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