Lunatic 8/30-31


This is two-day’s work.

Day one:   I think I have the first chapter roughed out, here are my revisions after the mock-up.

8-29 thumbnails ch 1

So now I circle back to the first page, the “establishing shot.”   Since I first drew a rough version, I seem to have changed the dimensions that I’ll be working in… horizontal rectangle now, instead of a square.  I did a few sketches, getting all hung up on the perspective:


Day two:

Getting closer.

8-30 sketches

(those numbers are me trying to work out the dimensions of the final… based a little more on the way the mock-up worked.  I am now thinking 5.5 x 4.5)

Then I tried a “final” version, on this fancy drawing paper I bought.   Using pencil, conte crayon, brush and ink:

p1 try 8-30


I don’t really get this paper… the texture is too intrusive.  Maybe it’s just not to be used for this level of detail.

Otherwise, while I like this picture okay, I feel it’s lacking personality.  A little too “straight” of a drawing for this project.  I will try another approach tomorrow.

“Lunatic” process, 8-28-16

I woorked on the moon transition, from cloud-covered, to the face emerging.  This is done with black, white and gray acrylics. Though my plan has been this comic will be one image per page,  I’m thinking it’s too much to stretch this over several pages, so I will do a panel page for the transition.

moon transiton

Not sure of the composition yet….  maybe a more conventional grid.  Also, I had to flip the second panel because the direction of the cloud movement was wrong:

moon transiton adjust 2

I am finding that thumbnailing is inadequate for this project.  In order to sense if I am telling the story with the right rhythm, I feel like I need to see how the page turns will really work.

I do a rough thumbnail of the page spreads….8-28 ch 1 thumbs 1

Then I print up the pages with the right layout… trim and tape them together to create a little mock-up of the first “chapter” of the story:






Better to work this out in advance than after I have drawn “final” pages… some of the sight-line angles of the shot-reverse shot-type pages between the baby and the moon/roofline would be affected if I have to move things around (and I want to avoid the same direction diagonals on facing pages).

Reading the mock-up, I make some adjustments, thumbnailing a new set of spreads”8-28 ch 1 thumbs 2

Next, I’ll start roughing out these changed pages and see how it works….


“Lunatic” process: more baby steps

Just a lil time drawing yesterday… which is INFINITELY better than none at all, as I now realize/knew perfectly well all along.  Still sort of retracing my steps to get back to where I was a month or so ago.  Re-drawing the baby looking up at the moon, but also trying to refine the expressions ( it will be a sequence of 3 reactions, with subtle changes)8-26 baby1

8-26 baby28-26 baby3

8-26 3 babies

Lunatic process (oy, you call this a process?)

Well, for those of you who remember, I resolved to post every day’s work in my progress on this project.  Last post was over a month ago.  I didn’t stop posting…. I stopped working.

I guess that’s one thing about posting as you go, you have to reveal the embarrassing lapses in work habits.  Not that I was blocked or anything, just one thing or another got in the way, most of it unavoidable… FOR NEARLY SIX WEEKS!

I was doing so well, too…

Getting back into it is really hard.  Especially since this is kind of an experimental project for me.  But, enough complaining.  I dug up the sketches, and photo reference and stuff I had left lying around (to be covered over by the sifting sands of time)… and at least noodled around and did some sketches and thumbnails.

8-25 sketches

Had to remember how I am going to draw my protagonist, at various ages…. Fiddling around with her intense expression when she’s at work on her invention.  And (earlier) the scene where she is kissed on a park bench.  Plus more baby and young-girl looking at the moon faces, and playing around with moon expressions.

8-25 sketches1

8-25 sketches 2

And thumbnailing out the first chapter.  I actually find thumbnailing this one-image-per-page layout very challenging, trying to envision the spreads.  Also, thinking now that maybe I will actually break my one-image-per-page rule when needed.  For instance in the sequence where the face gradually appears on the moon.

8-25-16 ch 1 thumbs8-25-16 ch 1 thumbs2

“lunatic” process: 7-16-16

More photo reference and sketches, for the baby in the pram:

7-16 pram sketch4

I decided I don’t want to do more detailed sketches.  Getting a little burnt out on that, and also worrying about losing the spontanaeity if I expend too much effort drawing non-final images.  For this chapter, I think the next image I draw will be intended as final, not rough. Even though I’m still a little undecided on certain things, I think it’s better to work it out when I know it’s gonna count.  Just to avoid that feeling of not being able to capture what I liked about the rough version!

As far as the different media/effects I’ve been bouncing around with: Charcoal or conte crayon, acrylics, ink-splatter…. For now, I think my system is no system, just find the best medium or combination of media for each image/page.

Also, might be a bit of an interruption in this process… next week I need to spend time laying out the Shirley Jackson book, drawing an illustration, then Monday going away for a week.  So, probably not much progress on “Lunatic” until August….

“lunatic” process, 7-15-16

Sketches for page 3… actually more than just page 3.  There are 4-5 pages “cutting”  between the moon looking down, the baby in her pram looking up.

More messing around with different media and techniques… I liked the splattering, so maybe it’ll work in this image too:

pram 1

Well… no.  The spattering doesnt really make sense here.  And I don’t think I got the composition of this page right, either.

I switch to charcoal pencil:

pram 2

Ah,. yes.  this has the feel i want, and i like the expression.  Not right in all the details, but  it has the feel….  Let’s try that again:

pram 3

Nope.  Sometimes it’s so hard to reproduce what works well in a sketch.  This one just didn’t have it, so I abandoned it.  Maybe the angle on the pram was going to work a little better.  I call it a day.  I’ll be back.

“lunatic” Process 7-13-16

I’ve been trying to figure out how I want this book to look.  I’ve come to the “conclusion” that what I am after is images with rich and interesting textures.  Maybe from conte, maybe some kind of paint.  Maybe using ink-spattering?  I’ve never done that before (well not since i was 16 or so), so I played around with it today:

7-13-16 p2 spatter jpg

I need to work on my toothbrush-flicking control.

“lunatic” process , 7-11-16

More photo reference:

The first chapter is seven pages.  Each a single image, so if I was drawing this as a regular panel-page comic, it would probably be one page, or maybe two.  I don’t have to thumbnail page layouts, but I realize I do have to think more than usual about spreads and page turns.  I thumbnailed the 7 pages out with that in mind (spoiler alert: this is totally illegible): thumbnail chapter 1

The chapters are mostly short like that, but longer toward the end.  If I was doing this as a standard comic, it might be about… 9-10 pages?  But in this format, maybe about 45-50 pages.

Besides that, I worked exclusively on sketches for page 2 today:

7-11-16 p2nursemaid 7-11-167-11-16 p2 27-11-16 p2 3

The composition probably more like that last one, though now that I see it, it looks a little cramped.  Maybe the one above is better.

Not sure yet about the style this will be drawn in.  For this page, I want the background to be looser, not to command too much attention away from the figures, and hopefully emphasize the pram over the nursemaid….