I've never really used a nib for anything other than a few drawings here and there. But I never really felt a connection with the tool enough to use it for an entire book or project. In fact, I used to ink everything with those terrible, dead to the world Micron pens. Nothing felt more lifeless. About 3 years back I picked up a brush and started scribbling around and really liked what came out of that and have been using that style since. After watching Francis mess around with ink, I think it's time for me to step back out onto that ledge again and try out a new style for The Project.
Enter the nib. While watching Francis's demo a second time thru, I pulled out an old junky nib from my drawer and did a little doodling. I used a col-erase pencil to throw down some very loose shapes and then just went to town with the nib and ink. I started to get very excited by outcome and began to see the seeds of a different look to apply to The Project.
I love using the brush. I'm very proud of the years I've put in on the OZ books and the style that I've crafted for that world. I proud of the covers I've been doing at Marvel over the last few years. But this is my first creator owned project and I want it to stand out from my other work. It needs to have it's own unique voice, not only to set itself apart from my other books visually, but to help elevate the tone I'm going for in the writing. i think it can also inform the tone of the writing as well.
From the few tests I've done so far, illustrating from loosely with a nib is allowing me to creating a bit harsher, jagged line that gives you a sense of unease. This definitely matches the tone of the Projects subject matter which will have a large cast of very questionable characters. But it's also an all ages book that I want to feel very whimsical and youthful but not in the exact same ways OZ does.
So, I'm going to play around with the nib a bit more with as I get closer to the illustration stage. For now, back to the writing.