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Is there a “bible” for using the 'Ligne Claire' style?

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yamilah
Member
#11 · Posted: 14 Apr 2005 14:34 · Edited by: yamilah
As already evoked, the best to do regarding the 'ligne claire' is probably to read the 4 pages' small chapter 'Comment nait une aventure de Tintin' in 'Le musee imaginaire' (Casterman, 1980), where Herge himself explains his art of drawing what he calls 'legible' images...
This basic text might help cuthbert to draw at best clearly 'delineated' or 'visible' images via Herge's own technique, though...

To draw images really as 'legible' as Tintin, cuthbert should start with reading tintin.com's funny information, where they say 'Tintin is neither a surname, nor a name, nor a first name', and tell about his tilted quiff, with which he is 'synonymous', thus hinting that a name is sometimes not just a name, that a picture is sometimes not just a picture, and that they can form a kind of word-image...
Richard
UK Correspondent
#12 · Posted: 14 Apr 2005 16:25
The best book I could think of for learning how to work in the ligne claire style would be Comment naît une bande dessinée? - par-dessus l'épaule d'Hergé by Philippe Goddin. Unfortunately out of print, this book seems to cover the working method of Hergé, and has plenty of illustrations (I think Flight 714 is used as an example throughout the book). A little more information about it :
Tournai - Casterman - 1991 - 47 pages - 285 x 150 mm - Cartonné
jock123
Moderator
#13 · Posted: 14 Apr 2005 16:38
yamilah
tintin.com's funny information, where they say 'Tintin is neither a surname, nor a name, nor a first name'

Whilst the first paragraph is fair, you are attempting to high-jack the thread by stealth here - it is practical advice that cuthbert is looking for, not the esoteric. They don’t even say that - you are mis-quoting them I fear…
They say it is “neither a surname or a first name” - you are making it impossibly mysterious by saying they say it isn’t a name.
yamilah
Member
#14 · Posted: 14 Apr 2005 22:24 · Edited by: yamilah
Thanks Richard for the reference you give. I'll try and see if that book is any different from Herge's explanations...

jock123
it is practical advice that cuthbert is looking for, not the esoteric.

Err... a very complex matter -such as the so-called 'clear line'- isn't automatically 'esoteric'!


They don't even say that - you are mis-quoting them I fear...
They say it is "neither a surname or a first name" - you are making it impossibly mysterious by saying they say it isn't a name.


Well here tintin.com home page's lower right corner reads "Tintin is neither a surname nor a name"...

Then page 1/8 insists on the fact that "Tintin is neither a surname nor a first name", and page 7/8 tells about the quiff which is his synonymous...

Do you get a different text overthere?
Richard
UK Correspondent
#15 · Posted: 14 Apr 2005 22:55
yamilah said :
Thanks Richard for the reference you give. I'll try and see if that book is any different from Herge's explanations, but I bet it's just alike.

You're very welcome, yamilah ! I think the book that I mentioned actually goes into more depth than Le Musée Imaginaire, it's devoted entirely to the subject and features such things as rough sketches, inking in, technical drawings (the Carreidas jet itself, cockpit etc.), cover designs, titles and more. It looks really fascinating, and I think it probably gives the most in-depth analysis of Hergé's working method to date.

Failing that, there's a section in Hergé & Tintin Reporters, also by M. Goddin, which chronicles the 'making of' Tintin in Tibet. And studying the original artwork, for example in the Chronologie series, or Hergé Dessinateur / 60 Years of Adventure would probably be very informative, being able to see the state of artwork with regard to gouache retouching, lettering etc.
yamilah
Member
#16 · Posted: 14 Apr 2005 23:57 · Edited by: yamilah
In 'Comment nait une aventure de Tintin' ('How a Tintin's adventure is given birth'), a chapter in 'Le Musee imaginaire de Tintin' (Casterman, 1980), Herge tells about the very first steps of his work:

(...) "Sometimes people also ask me about which of both text and drawing is the most important.
Neither the one nor the other, because -at least for me- text and drawing are born together, one completing and explaining the other" (p.10).

He then explains he works -panel after panel- on a tracing paper, drawing several lines of which he chooses the best before tracing it again on a clean frame, where it is inked, then (...) "Apart from a few exceptions, the colours are spread in flat tint, i.e. without paying attention to shades nor gradations. This gives in my opinion a greater "legibility" to the drawings (...), I prefer take the option of even colours, which has the credit of simplicity and legibility" (...) "The definitive dialogues are then drawn" (...) (p16).

Thus, according to Herge, Tintin's drawings have been made "legible", whereas the texts have been "drawn"... What do you think about it?

Updated April 15
Here are some lines Ph.Goddin wrote in the beginning of 'Le parcours de la methode', a chapter in 'Herge et Tintin reporters' (Lombard, 1986, p.123):

"Studying Herge's working method first implies scrutinizing his extremely elaborated process, which stands for a model of its kind, according to the comics' specialists.
This was done already. In 1978 Herge himself decided to do it in a text called 'Comment nait une aventure de Tintin'.
(...)
Evidently, this text written in the first person must be seen as his method's definitive explanation*.

* these italics are mine.
NB: translation improvements are welcome.
cuthbert
Member
#17 · Posted: 17 Apr 2005 18:48
Thanks Richard, I got my hands on a second-hand version of: Comment naît une bande dessinée? It's great! Thanks for the tip!
Danagasta
Member
#18 · Posted: 5 Jul 2005 18:35
I've been using the style off and on, much like my father did in Tennessee--he was the one who introduced me to Tintin. The standard for "ligne claire" isn't so well-defined, but there are some things it does need:
1)equal line thickness (everything looks as though the same exact size and color Copic marker was used to draw it, and that's usually the truth!)
2)A thicker line, anywhere from using a 0.7mm pen and upward
3) Flat coloring
4) No shading and rarely, if ever, shadows
5) Most, but not all, lines are connected to other lines (this isn't always possible)
It tends to resemble a Japanese block print, if you look at some of those....

Courtney
Charles
Member
#19 · Posted: 12 Jul 2005 04:47
Danagasta,

As a non-artist reading this post with only partial comprehension, I have been dramatically enlightened by this simple list. Thank you! As I think about Herge's work (my books are in another state right now, sadly) and also think about the few times I've watched an artist-friend draw, I completely see your points. The most profound of your points, I think, is that "most, but not all, lines are connected to other lines." While this is true, just WHY it is true (and why it produces such intriguing images) is fascinating.
Danagasta
Member
#20 · Posted: 12 Jul 2005 14:41
Charles
As a non-artist reading this post with only partial comprehension, I have been dramatically enlightened by this simple list.
No problem!!! The ligne claire style takes a lot of information (shading, softer outlines, etc) and compresses it into a few very sharp lines.You can still figure out what something is supposed to be or who someone is, but without so much on the paper.
Ligne claire isn't easy to do though...I've found that where a "traditional" black and white drawing with shading can take about two to four days total (this is compressed, I may work on a drawing for only an hour a day,) a ligne claire one with full color can take twice that. My main reason is that if you make a mistake, it's VERY obvious in ligne claire, and it's difficult to hide it. Getting it right is really, really time consuming, but fun too!

Courtney

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