06 May 2007

Aside from the convenient procrastination I’m commonly susceptible to (aren't we all at times?), I must admit that when it comes to my comics pages – I just have to make sure I get it looking the way I want. Even if that means re-doing pages.

I know, I know….. the notion of “That’s good enough” should be the end of a page when I think (and that’s the real ‘trick’ word here – THINK) the page is completed.

For those unfamiliar with my methods of working – I past up everything onto a wall as I go.


This helps me see it the flow & sequence of it all. It also helps me identify if anything isn't working or sticking out like a sore thumb.

Below is a typical example of ‘never being satisfied’, which would cause many people to slit their wrists, if not for the fact that I LOVE writing & drawing comics so much that I would end up thinking – “But if I’m dead, then… how will I be able to draw comics?”

The following is the opening page to a chapter of my current project that introduces the main character & his environment, so I had to make sure it encompassed a few things & REALLY set the ‘mood’ for the reader.

(You can click on any image to enlarge it.)

IDEA-1
The protagonist’s city is gloomy & grey, so the image had to have ‘punch’ to compensate for the ‘blandness’ of his environment. How?... well there’s nothing more that I love in B&W comics than mood. That means (more often than not) lotsa ‘black’. Needless to say, I have a fetish for buying nibs & ink.

This was my intitial finished page.

It was ok, but not 'exactly' what i wanted for the reader to 'get' as their opening notion of my story. I didn't say much with the image. I just went for execution.

I stuck it up on the wall and got on with the next page. This method works for me in that I can see (as a whole) the entire sequence as finished sequential pages. The more I look at them, the more ‘wrong’ sections stick out for me. The ‘editor’ in me simply loves that. Because of the largely ‘grid-like’ fashion that I construct my pages, it’s not too much trouble re-doing one panel (here or there) without it messing the whole page up.

IDEA-2

Anyway,

The more the days wore on, the more the opening page looked ‘ok’, and not good to me – so I decided the scene should be more of a 3-dimensional ‘landscape’, than a simple 2D perspective shot.

This is what I came up with, and how it developed:


The intial blueline pencil drawing.



The intial inked lines. (mostly thin)



More detailed inks.



Blueline contrasted out & inks sharpened/cleaned up.

Now, I wasn't that satisfied with the sky at this stage. It looked nice, but not bold enough - so I decided to draw darker clouds as an overlay. I put another sheet of paper over the top, and drew different clouds...



While i really liked the clouds as an inked piece, it made the page sway a little too much into the 'cartoony' category. That is - lighthearted or child-like.



So I added more texture to the clouds which gave it a better (more serious) effect.

Which I then added to the page, cleaned up strays, and added my 1-colour greytone as a slight nuance.


Whala.
(Hopefully, I stay happy looking at it on the wall as i do the forthcoming pages). -lol

Bobby.N

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