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Art Pipeline! The Masters of Time.

In most any endeavor we choose to undertake we are limited by the amount of time we have. This is why we plan, schedule and squeeze as many workable hours out of our days as possible. Time is our constant antagonist and because he will never cease his relentless attacks, we as inspired productive people must learn to work within his war zone. Just like a wave in the ocean, the art pipeline eventually closes and it's best for all of us if we're out of the tube when it does.

So what do we do? Well it's quite simple really. We plan, schedule, work overtime, lose sleep, stay in, ignore friends and whatever else it takes, but most importantly we never shy away and let time get the best of us. Embrace the limitation of time because, as the old saying goes, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". Not to say other creators are my enemy, quite the opposite. In fact I feel time is what makes our work so important. It's the time we put in, the time we sacrifice to the god of creation that elevates us from consumers to creators. If time wasn't constantly ticking away no one would care about our sacrifice!

But enough philosophy let's talk about digital coloring.

Above are the completed flats for page 3. This is one of the most complicated pages in the issue which became painfully apparent as I was separating all the different elements. If you're going to be doing much of this kind of work I highly recommend getting your hands on a graphics tablet and learning your hot keys. It will save you a lot of time!

One thing to keep in mind while laying down your flats is how much control you are going to need going forward in the coloring process. In the example above I wanted to be able to shade each of stones surrounding the fire individually. To make that easier I staggered the coloration on the stones so they could be grabbed individually with the magic wand tool (W). You could even take it a step farther and separate each side of ever stone, but in this instance I didn't find it necessary given how small the stones are in relation to the overall page. Personally I feel comic art is a constant balancing act between perfection and production but that's a post for another day.

The flats took longer than expected but we will get to the coloring I promise. Until then, check out page one to get an idea where we're heading with this.

Line art colored in photoshop.

Tip of the day- Don't procrastinate! Time is incapable of stopping, don't fight it, master it!

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