100 Days – 85

Working on the comic is in full swing. I knew I would need more time than usual for my comic work. In fact, I will probably need a couple of hours per panel for the first days, as my digital process for the comic isn‘t settled in yet and even some design questions for the scene are still up in the air. But I will sort things out and it will get smoother again.

You might not actually see it in the final piece, but I really had to work hard for the chapter cover that I uploaded today. From here on my comic takes place in urban environments at night, with few cyberpunk elements to spice things up. Although I did my best to research this setting over the past days, the competence doesn‘t show up on the canvas yet. It has to be persuaded with more effort and studies. I‘m not really good at environments, and that is okay, as everyone has strengths and weaknesses. But I still have to do the best I can, as a comic has to clearly tell you what is happening where in order to work. I need to get at least passable with environments. Ignoring them entirely out of disinterest was a big mistake. They can add so much to a piece, even if the focus is not the environment itself, but a character.

Other than that I‘m slightly worried about my perspective and lighting game. Those are not strong and that is a big problem. They‘re fundamentals after all. Bad perspective = confusion what is where and not being able to draw what you would want to draw at all. Bad lighting = you have no control over the mood of what you are seeing. A BIG problem for a comic! Oh yeah, and objects seem flat, shapes destroyed or misleading or the light just looks wrong when you expect realism, but the mood! Mood! Mood is everything! You do not entertain or win hearts when you cannot tap into the readers‘ emotions at all. I will try to come up with an emergency training program for the next weeks. I want the best comic experience for my readers and I want to present my story the best way I can, so I‘m better getting active and working on fixing that.

Art report 20

I took a long weekend off. I did not plan this, but enjoyed it and apparently I needed the extra- relaxation to really kick off a great new week.

Today I officially announce that I will be focussing most of my attention (aside from commissions and other already pending little tasks) on making LC’s comic “The Fearful Creator” happen. I have done quite some preparation work already, but I kind of never went the last step as with many of my past endeavours. Not anymore, I told myself. This time I’ll push through, I just have to, otherwise my whole universe will never get rolling. More on this topic the next days.

first glimpse into the spirit world

The Bluth/Goldman book really helped me. I then peeked into Betsy Luntao’s “How to Draw Backgrounds with Characters” and ofc “Framed Ink” as possible next steps in my learning journey towards sequential art. But then all of the sudden “Rapid Viz” by Hanks & Belliston. I did not really decide to work through this one first, I was just drawing since an hour until I realized what was happening. There is no magic bullet in art, but if there was one for me personally, it is Rapid Viz. The exercises ‘fixed’ basic visualization problems that I carried with me since years and that really weren’t tangible but still very uncomfortable in my mind within one session. I should not question my luck too much. It’s hard but healthy to admit that I must have been drawing ten years with severe deficiencies on a base geometry level of fundies … but I needed the time to figure out what was happening. And yeah, a lot of life took place, too.

And how can I measure my progress? My confidence and output on thumbnails literally went through the roof. Most of the theory was there already, I just had no way to visualize it quickly and reliably.

Thumbnails for a spider commission.
Thumbnails for a personal illustration themed “My secret friend”