An important part of Chapter 2 was that I became more open to the different tools I could use to draw and ink this comic. There is some variety in Chapter 1, but Chapter 2 sees more use of brushes in addition to the Sakura Micron pens with which I usually ink. Even though I incorporated more brushwork into Chapter 2, I never felt confident with new techniques. I brought out a brush to ink tree coverage because I know a brush can more accurately and convincingly recreate the look of a redwood, but when I tried, I desperately backpedaled.

Chapter 3 is where I finally gained a confidence of hand when using these new tools and techniques. I’m definitely still learning and have a long road to walk down, but I have gained a vocabulary for these tools with which I am becoming conversant. The third panel of this page, for example, was inked entirely with a brush, and not for an experiment nor from some misguided, half-understood knowledge from the masters. Instead, I needed that panel to be energetic and vibrant, almost comical. The Microns’ tiny little lines wouldn’t effectively give me the look I was going for, but the flick of a brush tip could.

I was nervous, but once it was done, I remember being quite happy with the panel, to the point that most people probably wouldn’t notice. People wouldn’t notice not because I made a brush look like a pen tip, but because that panel looks right. There’s a lot more brush work coming up in this chapter and you’ll definitely see the growth of my competence (mostly because I was able to sit at the feet of a mentor and watch how it was done).