“Inking” the Justice League wall mural in my cousin’s room in their new house started yesterday and it was a lot harder than I expected. I thought I could finish the whole thing in two days but getting stuck for hours working on just one panel led me to realize that 2014 will still see me painting the mural. That’s not a bad thing, of course. All good things take time.
The main difficulty has to do with using paintbrushes, which I don’t have enough experience with. Going in, I thought I’d blaze through the inking process by just quickly tracing over the pencil sketch, but the paintbrush tip was so hard to control that I had to go over the lines really slowly in order not to mess up the mural. The paintbrushes that I bought also got ruined pretty quickly, so by the end of the first panel, I was mostly working with brushes with solid paint clots for tips.
I’m using a combination of black acrylic paint and a regular Sharpie to ink the drawing. It’s virtually impossible to paint the smaller details of the drawing, so I’m using the marker for those (and possibly an ink pen for even tinier ones later). The only drawback to this method is that the acrylic and the Sharpie produce different hues of black. You can’t see the difference when you’re looking at the mural a few feet away from the wall but you can definitely notice it if you look closer. Still, I’d take that little imperfection over smudging the design with nasty blots of paint.
The first panel to get done featured Brainiac, the Collector of Worlds. I had to leave before I finished inking my favorite Joker panel but everyone who saw what little I inked told me that they were blown away–and that’s really good! Hearing things like that makes all the pain worth it.
I don’t know when I’ll be able to finish the mural but I really want to wrap it up this January. I’ll post more of my progress here on Frustrashow soon. 🙂