100 Days – 40

The Lightbox Expo Online weekend was as adventurous and busy as expected – and I have a heap of notes to work through and a mountain of fresh ideas. Where do I start? Please bear with me while I recover from that amazing convention and do some soul searching.

I might have to tweak my approach to the 100 days of making comics slightly, so I better take a bit of time to breathe and plan aside, before I fully jump into my regular drawing schedule again.

I drew this little fanart of my childhood hero Shodan from System Shock at the expo. I got quite the response, also in the discords later. There are more System Shock fans out there than I thought – and if I hadn’t drawn this fanart for a “dead” fandom I could never have connected with them. Greetings to all of you – you rock. Not even trying is the biggest sin. Get your stuff out there, no matter how obscure.

Fresh work for the 100 days of making comic today: gestures and character design exercise Naruto Fan witch in pink and purple – with more very specific demands. Greetings to all the amazing artists on the Art Work House discord with whom I went through this!

For the design I first threw together a moodboard (the time constraints were hard!) and created a really quick concept sketch for the witch, then tried a couple of color combinations to have the base colors for the costume down. Also differently than usual I started coloring by flooding the whole canvas with a base color. I saw this at the expo and I will probably keep it in my process to never have to worry about white spots or looking for a good base color for the background in the end.

Also this was a great opportunity to not only create a design (I had no time to make a proper character sheet sadly) but to exercise executing it. As a one woman comic team I have to be able to work with my own designs. That might seem obvious but isn’t. Even that is a trainable skill. Ah, I’ll get there with comic making. I just need time, more of it. I quite like how this turned out and I’m eager to throw more of my characters around to get the amount of experience in to become a fully functional comic artist!

Take care and see you tomorrow!

100 Days – 16

Like a Machine

I was prepared for the worst today. I sat down willing to wrestle through the worst what my brain could throw at me…

…and then nothing came. In fact, what felt horrifying yesterday went quite well today. I was able to nail Grimm‘s design quite immediately. I tried a couple of different costume compositions on a different sheet, but somehow nothing was better than the very first one. Same goes for the head.

It‘s easier to explain Grimm‘s minimalistic design when looking at him in contrast to one of his yet unnamed competitors. My nickname for this arch mage is „Bully“. As you could guess Bully isn‘t much fun to deal with for colleagues or apprentices.

Both Grimm and Bully are powerhungry in their own ways. While Bully does everything „right“ as for following the clothing standards and intriguing his way up to a candidate for the next chancellor over the years, Grimm has no time to waste on politics. He wants all the power magic can grant him and needs all the knowledge for that, even the forbidden one. Grimm wants simple, practical clothing so that he can get to work as fast as possible after waking up. Also he stains or outright destroys his clothes while working in his laboratory from time to time.

When showing Grimm‘s preferred look next to apprentices Corvus and Asmund it becomes clear why many members of the academy leadership abhorr it. Grimm looks so down to earth that he almost looks like an apprentice himself to those who don‘t know him! And people like Bully are not having it. They haven‘t written the clothing standards for them to be ignored. But in Grimm he has found someone who is a worthy opponent. Grimm absolutely does not care. He cannot be intimidated or excluded as he doesn‘t want to be a part of Bully‘s club anyways. It might be Bully‘s downfall that he assumes deep down everyone is like Bully himself. Friends will eventually betray each other climbing the social ladder together, so Bully is always looking out for a knife in the back. But he has no idea about dangers that come from a place that knows no order and hierarchies.

Asmund (the blonde one) would probably give Grimm a stern look, if he wasn‘t distracted by his friend Corvus. Asmund mistrusts Grimm for the beginning. He mistrusts Grimm‘s repeated rule breaking and occasional statements of questionable mage ethics. Yet Asmund is blind for Bully‘s schemes as he hasn‘t yet learned that not everyone is friends at the academy just because they are all part of the academy.

Technical note: I have started to slightly improved yesterday‘s sketches of our two apprentices here. Now my Grimm looks so undeservedly rough, which makes me cringe a bit.

Looks like I have all main characters down that will appear in the scene! At least I feel confident that I know enough to work with it. So tomorrow…the environments. I count them as three: I need a general overview of the academy as a whole for the establishing shot. Then the bulk of my scene is in the peaceful academy garden, only intersected by a short glimpse into Grimm‘s office. Exciting!!

See you tomorrow!

Art report 24

After an extended weekend full of learning I’m back and gaining momentum again. I also did some design work for the comic yesterday, but it was deeply in spoiler territory, so I will not share this for now. I was very productive today, too, finished 1 1/2 illustrations but am not sure whether I’m free to share right now, so I’ll better wait. Have deliberations about TIME, one of LC’s antagonists. I’m happy I took the time to make some first concept artwork last year already. This is where we are heading from start to finish right now. TIME is a husk, a nearly starving thing crawling to you from the shadows, always hungry, always bored, snarky, and it can expand its jaw and body endlessly as there is nothing that it cannot eat.

Now design that, and give it a simple design that fits LC and the other characters. That’s where I’m heading to get that done. And yes, that might take longer than one day, but it’s so worth it.

TIME eating a young soul that decided to sleep on instead of going out on its adventure in the spirit world.
very first concept sketches of TIME

And now today’s haul:

TIME absolutely needs an expandable jaw like this. Tomorrow I’ll look at snakes and see how they eat.