100 Days – 11

Refining my style

Cheer with me, I have slept again! Taking it easy today, but still have exciting things to share with you.

Environment studies

After exploring candlelight I‘m going back to gardens, this time looking at two statues that have been partly covered in ivy. When I encountered ivy the last time I wasn‘t really able to catch more of the leaf shapes…or at least not precise at all. This time the linework is complex, maybe including a bit too many details again, but my confidence in this style grows as it‘s QUICK from my understanding and might be even quicker without coloring. It should be interesting to measure those times in detail.

Thinking about proportions

After my frustration with my lack of continuity when drawing my characters yesterday I did the first step towards solving that… thinking about character proportions with a graphic tablet pen in my hand. In a first impulse I thought I should reduce my whole comic to a whimsical 1:4 proportion ratio (measured in head length). I feel this would be my comfort zone, as my LC (the character on the outer left side) is a total comfort drawing character for me. But it just doesn‘t fit Corvus‘s personality, the tone of the comic and overall the grim aesthetics I envision for the comic. I will stick to either 1:6 or 1:7. 1:8, the heroic proportions, do not fit for a typical mage apprentice in my opinion. I really am glad I did this sheet today.

I additionally did some research on how to make character sheets and that is the goal now, to make those sheets and keep to them. But I can‘t pray those sheets into existence in a day, especially as I never did a „proper“ one of those anytime before. And that is okay! I will just keep chipping at it until the sheets give up and let themselves be drawn and presented to you.

See you tomorrow!

100 Days – 09

Going fast

I‘m not feeling well, but to my own surprise I was quite active today. And not only that, I think I have made tangible progress.

I started off with environments. After warming up with these first two I remembered the shocking revelation from yesterday.

I heard myself thinking that I wasn‘t willing to even paint five panels. My interesting new painting experience helped me understand the fundies better but wouldn‘t serve the comic itself. So I bounced back to my more lineful „usual“ style. It now feels more informed through what I found out since the challenge began. And I thought I was going pretty quick without rushing. Yes, I could imagine Corvus in this style.

When my drawing can‘t hide because of a simple rendering on top, I have to really deliver on that.

There’s some work to do on this front.

I discovered I‘m pretty bad or let‘s say inexperienced at measuring, thus occasional proportion and angle problems. And my lines could be cleaner, even if I prefer indicating lighting with strong shadows over heavy lines. But that‘s no reason to postpone anything.

The next steps still seem a bit foggy, or maybe that still is my brain. First act. Lists of characters, environments and important props to design. Storyboard. We‘ll get there.

See you tomorrow!

100 Days – 08

Going Slow

This week had an unfortunate start. My head is very foggy and I slept most of the day. I would push through that, but do you know the feeling when there is nothing to push? I‘m going to fall asleep again after these lines. I might be reacting unfavorably to an allergy test I took today, coupled with the strongest heat of the year. So while I‘m trying to do something every day, I might not be at my full mental capacity until Friday, when all tests are over.

In the early morning before the test I made these two environment studies following the Alla Prima Path. I do have a style. It currently just doesn‘t support all the shapes I want, but that‘s something I can change. I also really like the new distinction between underdrawing and whatever comes on top (or not). Learning to make better use of what you have in your toolbox already sometimes is better than just seeking out new things to add, although of course you need them.

I also thumbnailed a five panel moment from the Corvus comic and realized why I would feel no desire to paint that out. On the other hand I‘m not sure whether I wasn‘t extremely tired/super out of focus. Maybe I would feel differently with fully powered brain and see ways to make it work. I‘ll look at this again on the weekend.

Depending on my level of brain fog tomorrow you‘ll either see another peaceful environment study, if I‘m doing better maybe even characters. Should I be unable to focus at all like today I will continue the journey on Friday. I would hate that but life happens.

Have a great week!

100 Days – 07

Looking back

Sundays are always a bit tricky. For me it‘s the day of the week where I have least time to create.

So maybe this is the best day to reflect on the past week.

I have prepared this „best of“ including another practise piece from yesterday night:

This week was definitely very good for me and my art!

I have dissected my own artmaking process and started redefining what I‘m doing and why.

Even if I stay with a typical line emphasizing style for Corvus I might be able to do it better from now on. And I might not get discouraged working on my fundamentals anytime soon.

I created more art than i thought I would and feel a bit of momentum building up again.

And I have looked into a new program.

Next week I‘ll try to focus more. I had a choice to make whether to bounce over into a environment design and strengthening my perspective game or finish working with the Alla Prima book. I think I should finish things that I start in order to keep things clean, so I‘ll stay with Alla Prima for now. That doesn‘t mean I don‘t have to develop the environments, Alla Prima gives a lot of opportunities for that, but the focus is one of defining my art goals more. I feel the urge to review all my fundies and to learn more, but one field after another and never more of that than actually doing things for Corvus. It‘s a balancing game.

The adventure continues tomorrow. See you!

100 Days – 05

Getting ahead

Another day, a new chance to shine!

What I did for the comic today

Redefining the drawing process

After picking apart what happened (and did not happen) yesterday with passion I was so eager to do better that I started the same evening. I did my best to resolve my „style confusion“ and I‘m happy to declare that a winner quickly was found. The piece on the bottom left encompasses the best that I can give in the shortest amount of time…and while looking like line graphics was constructed from blobs and shapes rather than minding lines.

I guess I should try doing some art before going to bed on a regular basis, as I dreamt of art afterwards. I then woke up doing things a little bit differently.

Today I did some more sketches, just to make sure, and found that suddenly rendering wasn‘t such a riddle anymore. Not saying I‘m good at it, but my mindset shift away from lines towards showing light made all the difference. I have no clue whether I could hold up a style like this for a whole comic, but whatever this is, it is a step ahead.

To Do List

I then took a closer look at my ever growing to do list. It‘s good that I started writing it down in the blog as a first step. I don‘t know about you, but in the next step my to do lists tend to be forgotten or lost if I can‘t finish all the tasks immediately. I also cannot rely on myself tracking times for activities by myself. This doesn‘t come naturally, such as a trellis to a plant, yet the trellis is a good thing!

The solution? I set up a private git. I did my best to turn my to do list into tasks, assigned deadlines and tracking time costs two clicks now, one to start and one to finish. If you wonder what a git is – it is a piece of magic used by software developers to keep track of what they are doing, but you can misuse it as a planner, too. I will now have to teach myself to religiously open my git in the morning and keep using it throughout the day.

New habits

Speaking about it – instead of trying to become a new human and throwing everything over, forgetting most new resolutions after 2 days, I decided to stick with my habits. I saw potential and my dream tonight inspired me. I dreamt I was doing almost the same I was doing now, not really using new knowledge, but still doing so so much better. So I‘m going into the right direction already. But how can I do better and close that gap?

I just flipped my day. I am really not a morning person, but unfortunately that is the time where I have most energy, just like everyone else. I am teaching myself to start my day with a workout and then working on the comic immediately. This isn‘t revolutionary as a concept, but actually hard to do. I am really a nightowl and have living like that a substantial amount of my life. Change is hard. And it‘s also about keeping sources of procrastination such as household chores (I love those. Seriously.) and falling into a crochet frenzy away from me as long as I can. Can‘t destroy so much with them, when a good piece of comic work has been done for the day already.

Now I‘m curious whether I‘ll have a second wind in the evening sometimes for my creative work. We‘ll see!

Storyboard

While setting up my planner I took a closer look at act I of my comic again. I was surprised – again – that it wasn‘t as good as I remembered. But that is absolutely normal and exactly the reason why you write a first draft and then let it rest. Your memory will undergo some change and entrophy, in best case you will even learn something new for your storytelling in the meantime, and then you are confronted with your piece again as if you were just reading it as a stranger.

I promptly padded my storyboard overview out with 2-3 scenes to show the reader what is happening instead of having the characters talk to each other about it. Removing some exposition dumpm awkwardness if you will (what was I thinking?). I have 8 scenes to play with now and I‘m actually looking forward to every single one.

See you tomorrow!