Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Christmas story: Epilogue

This one was supposed to go up on Holy Innocents Day at the latest… which explains the coat in my apology, but not the pendant.

Frank the mouse waves, "Bye! Thanks for everything!" to the rat with suspenders, the mother rat, and her little daughter, who waves back from her mother’s arms. The rat with suspenders, still dressed in his Christmas-green, jagged jacket and floppy hat, waves back; holding the red fluff-lined coat and trousers Frank had, folded neatly under his arm. Frank is now wearing his traditional blue jacket, and over it, a heavy beige coat, with army-green lapels, and a scarf. He is holding his right foot slightly raised, out of the snow.
Frank turns around, and the three rats lower their arms. The mother rat shifts her weight to support her daughter better. " …and by ‘everything’ I mean the coat and the scarf–" he thinks to himself as he limps away, pressing on his thigh; "NOT putting your 1,000 gram daughter on me!
The camera zooms in on the rats, who don’t move a muscle.
"What did he say?" asks the mother rat, in French.
"I have no idea," replies the rat with suspenders, also in French.

Of course mice measure in metrics! What use are imperial units when the smallest basic weight unit (the ounce) and the smallest basic height unit (the inch) are a third of yourself?

Artist's note

I don't know whether this work can be called "inked". I was only seeking to give color to my pencil drawings so that, at least for one day, you could see what the rats looked like.

The conventional method for colorizing pencils on computer is to set the color to transparent and paint over the pencil; or so Photoshop leads you to think. There is a little-known alternative: set the white of the paper to transparent, and paint behind the pencil lines. (That is, keep the original pencil in the top layer.) This is what I used here.

However, the colors are, for the most part, solid; and were done by drawing a vector of the shape described in the pencil drawing. The very act of tracing over the pencil drawing with vector graphics means I could, theoretically, select a line thickness ≠ 0 and all the pencil lines would appear with a pristine, computer-made trace (that is, the outlines would be inked). However, due to a series of shortcuts I took (such as using a single vector for the male rat's jacket, collar, and sleeve) it just ends up looking creepy.

1 comment:

  1. Painting/coloring behind the lines is much like how they used to color the old animation cells by painting on the backside of the inked acetate.