Morning guys. I don't know what it is lately, but toning the last few pages has been really depressing. I can't help thinking, 'do I really need to tone them?'
There's nothing wrong with the tones. At least, not that I can see. Yes, the scene's a little dark, but other scenes in the past have been dark as well, and I didn't see a problem. I think, oddly enough, that the lines are changing. That I'm trying something different with the inking that makes the tones, well, kind of unwelcome.
While it'd be nice to sit back and say this is because my inking has suddenly jumped to the next level, I highly doubt that's the reason. It's most likely because I've been reading a lot of books on comic creators from previous years, especially inkers. Being exposed to so much great work in stark black and white could be upping my preference for that format. This isn't hurt by the fact that I prefer black and white in the first place. I love color in animation. I don't need it in comics.
I'm in the minority here. A number of people online seem to have little respect for black and white work. I know it, you know it, so let's stop lying to ourselves and get that nasty little fact out of the way, shall we? I'm not out of change people's minds. Frankly, I don't have the time or the energy.
If I know this and it bothers me - because let's be honest here, it does - then why work in black and white? For the same reason I'm sharing stuff from the sketchbook lately. It makes me vulnerable. With stark black and white I have nothing to hide behind. I used color to mask a lot of mistakes. People seemed much more forgiving of a lack of line width variation or shaky lines or hell, sometimes even off-proportions when the pages were colored. It was just, 'look at the coloring!' Yeah, I can color with markers and color pencils somewhat passably. But, while the color hid the problem areas from readers, I still saw them. Striping the color away forced me to start trying to improve those areas, instead of going, 'this is off, so I'll just color it a little darker than the rest so the eye is drawn in the other direction.'
I'll admit, the tones do the same thing at times. Can't figure out how to spot the blacks to create the illusion of depth? Slap a tone in there. Maybe that's what's annoying me about the tones recently. They feel a bit like training wheels. I'm wondering, if maybe it's time for the training wheels to come off.
It's hard to tell. It could also be because of all the chaos in the recent pages - legs and trees everywhere. A more simplistic set of pages may leave me loving the look of tones again. The only thing to do is keep going with the tones and continue comparing the finished pages with the un-toned ones. Trial and error. It's all trial and error.
"Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, 'something is out of tune.'"
-- Carl Jung