I was pretty disappointed with how my inking turned out on a couple other recent drawings (like the Cyber Demon), and so I was determined to be more disciplined and deliberate on this Fallout 4-themed drawing. I’m much happier with how this one turned out.
This was completed with a pair of brushes, India ink, and a few pens (Microns and one ballpoint). Specifically, I set rules for myself about when to use a brush vs. a pen, and tried to be as consistent as possible with the mark making throughout. I was also more patient with the inking process, allowing myself to take the time I need to fall into the rhythm of each stroke, consciously reminding myself to relax. It helps me to do a long exhale while I’m making some of the longer, more important lines to keep my hand steady.
I talked about this a bit in the pencil version of this drawing, but I was hoping to capture a strong sense of action and movement on this one, and so I turned to my favorite comic book artist, Erik Larsen, for some inspiration.
Specifically, I was looking at the cover to the first issue of the 1992 Savage Dragon mini-series, which was one of the first comics I ever owned. I was nine when I got into comics, which was the same year Image Comics launched, and nothing in the world was more exciting to me than the savage one. The art style was so explosive and action-packed, and I loved how weird, sexual, and ultra-violent the stories were.
The mini-series and the first nine issues of the regular series remain incredibly nostalgic for me, and opening them up taps into the excitement I felt for them in my childhood all over again, making them a great source of inspiration.
That said, I tried to use some of the extreme foreshortening that Larsen is a master of, and I also mimicked the background buildings and ground. I was actually really struggling to find a suitable background for these figures until I looked at that issue cover.
There are so many things the comics pros do that I would never think of. My instinct was to surround the figures with tall buildings and burned-out vehicles so it would feel like they were right in the middle of the environment, but the small buildings in the background do a great job of maintaining visual emphasis on the action and characters while (somewhat inexplicably) still giving the impression the figures are in the city.
I don’t know if I’ll do color on this one or not yet. I’d like to try it for practice, though I have a lot of other projects I want to tackle for the new year and I’d rather create original content I can sell prints of instead of working with copyrighted material. Still, this was a fun way to pay tribute to one of my favorite video games and series, and I learned a couple new tricks in the process.