May 28, 2013


Once again, for my own amusement, I present a breakdown of my drawing process. Here is a pictorial testimony  to why it takes me so long to produce a single page of artwork.
Above is the initial penciled version, including its many mistakes and confused areas.

Here is the initial inking. Note that I modified the pillars to make them more suggestive.

I am an obsessive "line-builder" No brushes for me; just hours of nit-picking embellishment. 

Blobs of white-out and tiny chicken-scratch texturing and the drawing is virtually complete. (Lately, I've been using Photoshop to fine-tune may problem areas. For instance, I felt it necessary to shrink Cochlea's right arm to scale. You can see the final version HERE.)

Inevitably, this page will suffer further tweaking when I get around to adding color for the inevitable printed version (which should be available this time next year, courtesy of Fantagraphics Books)  Thank you for your attention!


  1. hi!i really enjoy your sketches!
    please share more often:)

  2. So you'll ink a line multiple times to get the right weight? Madness! What's the reason for not using a brush?

    Do you find that quite often you won't notice errors like dodgy proportions until you actually see a page on screen? I use Photoshop plenty to tweak little things like that (more than I'd like to, since it means I screwed up the drawing!). And often I'll even go back to the original drawing and fix it on paper too, because it really bugs me to think that one day someone may see that flawed drawing and chortle hysterically at my ineptitude. Probably not a likely scenario, but artists aren't necessarily rational beings.

  3. My reason for not using a brush is precisely because I am mad. - Truthfully, i am just uncomfortable using a brush. I don't have the motor-control to achieve the desired fine line with a brush. Also, the line-building satisfies the compulsive urge.

    Where can I see a sample of your own work?

    1. I've always had preconceived ideas of how a line should look before I put it on paper, and sometimes a slightly off one will keep gnawing at me until I 'fix' it. But a while back I started to realise that most of my favourite illustrators draw wonky lines all over the place; and if anything it adds to the aesthetic appeal, because the result is more organic. And more often than not I'm the only one who ever notices the 'imperfections' in my own work.

      You've already seen some of my work, since I submitted some fan art a while back :)
      But that was all digital (I'm trying to improve my pixel paint abilities). Most of the inked stuff on my website was done with a brush -
      Yes, they're a little harder to master, but I love the versatility of the brush, and I love the more organic look their lines present.

  4. I am really anxious to see more from Ectopiary

  5. Suggestive is usually always good ;)