I figured, a superhero is only as good as his supervillain. Any veggie superhero needs a suffciently non-veg adversary, hence the good professor here.
Enoki is a kind of Japanese mushroom (although the ones I've drawn look more like porcinis), and Niku is Japanese for meat.
The pencils have been left in and aren't very visible except on his leg (I didn't draw as many construction lines as I usually do, for whatever reason). It was inked with both the fat and thin brush pens. As you use them each pen deveolps a unique 'signature' — a flaw or uneveness to the stroke that can be used for various effects. The large brush pen, being used less, still delivers a thick, uniform black, but the small one, perhaps though my overzealousness, has developed a U-shaped hook to small strokes (i.e. a straight line is black on the outer edges and less so in the middle). This worked to my advantage in the shading of the mushrooms, and you can also see the signature in the lines that run across the 'accordion' portions of his right leg and abdomen.
I also busted out my older brush pen, the first I bought. This is the pen I used to draw the image in the post "Man Thing" — you can see its signature in his hair. The pen is a little larger than the current one and has gone to grey unless I really press it into the paper. Here I used it to shade in the metal fingers, the abdomen and the right leg. I'm sure that when it's completely out of ink I may still be able to smoosh the thing against an ink pad and use it and its unique signature.
Colouring was done in the Gimp. I just flat coloured it because I liked the ink shading and didn't want to risk it clashing with any dodge/burn effects on the colour. Colour-based shadows and highlights work in a drawing which has bolder inks, like the Cosmocolli image, because the inks there are going more towards structure and texture and less to volume, but in linework that has many greys a simpler colour process works. It's like pen and wash techniques.
Unlike the previous veggie sketches I didn't use a vector process. Like I said, I liked the ink shading, and any conversion to vector would have resulted in:
- a loss of much of the grey tones and shapes that give the image its character in my opinion.
- a massive vector shape that would have destroyed my computer and be fundamentally useless to actually work with. Any simplifications to that vector conversion would have further destroyed the structure of the piece.
Elaborating on that second point, even in the Cosmocolli image (which was vectorised but not simplified, thereby preserving much of the original sketch — again, this was down to the bolder lines), the resulting vector trace was eating up memory like anything. I had to make a low-res bitmap copy to act as a guide for me to colour under, and keep the vector traced sketch on a hidden layer until colouring was finished and I could export the image to a bitmap with the vector trace visible.
It's a bit of a hack, but it works, and that's the important bit. All those seconds the computer takes to redraw a heavy shape everytime you zoom in and out of an area (which can easily be thousands of times) can add up to hours over the long run.
Here's the wallpaper version, a big close up where you can see many of the details not apparent in the small version above:
Note that the wallpaper version (1600×1200) is around 500kb. Sorry Dial-Up users, but that's as good as I could get it without a noticeable drop in quality.
All in all I'm happy with the image. The shading style reminds me of British comics, for some reason, although I couldn't really pinpoint any particualr one. After colouring was done I chuckled at the resemblence to Bronze Age Lex Luthor. Always been one of my favourite villain designs.