For the first time in over four years I've altered my process on Public Education. You may have seen my sketchbook challenge entry earlier this month in which I was illustrating verbs. On that sketch I penciled the Public Education characters as normal, but then I used a brush pen instead of my normal fixed tips. The result is a fair bit looser which I was assured felt more lively than the sterile line weights I had been using.
The results are a bit mixed on these first new strips. It's going to take some slowing down, and some getting used to. It's pretty easy for me to see added movement in the panels, but I'm still not totally sold on the aesthetic. It's a bit rough, and I don't need much help in that department. I may try my 0 brush on the next few strips and see how I like that. I do worry about using too wet an ink on this copy paper though. Not sure I want to start paying more for paper when I do hundreds of these strips a year.
What may be of particular interest is I still decided to use the fixed tip in a few areas. The panel borders and lettering were easy decisions. Changing the tools I use on these sections will help separate them from the characters in the panels. I also decided to use the fixed tip for the characters eyes. That's a purely ease of use thing, it's way easier to make a circle with a pen than a brush. I do think using the brush at the frequency I do these strips will improve my abilities quickly, but I'm not willing to go through the growing pains on the boards of my most popular strip.