Skipping over the commonalities between classic Western/Disney-style animation and current Japanese/anime-style animation, Japanese animation in particular has two terms it uses to refer to pre-cel production sketches: "genga", the cleaned-up pencil sketch of a (key) frame, and "douga", the clean pencil retrace or ink of said sketch for printing on the cel, with colored pencil indications for the colorist.
The douga are what interest me the most. They combine the appeal of drawn manga with the technical perfection of a blueprint. Nothing is moodily hidden in shadows or obscured by fading into the corners of a frame, not yet - it's simply the pinnacle of drawing, bare lineart with no tones or coloring to disguise its imperfections. No dependence on a lucky pencil stroke or neat trick or shading to take focus away from the perfection of shape and proportion.
ANYWAY. Here's some practice I did with a douga from the Berserk movie art book. First, I traced the sketch onto tracing paper. Then, I blew up and darkened the sketch in a copier. Next, I retraced it in my own hand (1) and filled in the details with regular pencil. Finally, from this new pencil "original", I inked and colored two drawings.
The grayscale drawing was inked with a brush marker, which I found obscured some of the detail and was hard to get a consistent medium line out of. However, it was perfect for coloring with copics (2), since the lines didn't run. The colored drawing was inked with a g-pen and Pilot ink, which handled the fine lines a bit better, and then colored with colored pencils (3).
PS: LORD A'MIGHTY what have I done to deserve this level of BS from my computer situation, I don't even know how it is deciding to format this stuff. Gosh.
- Do you know what I mean here? Like, retraced it as if I were drawing it myself, accepting slight adjustments for my own unique handwriting, as it were. I've found that's the only way to get really good, smooth lines in a line-for-line copy, to trace it and then redraw from the tracing.
- I have such mixed feelings about copics right now! I have only grays right now and not a full shade range in any of them, should I fill in the gaps when they're so expensive? And also I found out you can get a full set of colors from China for $30? Should I get that instead? Do I even want to get into coloring with markers?
- In fairly nasty colors, I might add. Although I feel colored pencils are a better approximation for cel-painting acrylics than digital coloring or alcohol markers.