Started a final version of the first page….conte crayon and ink.Â
This is two-day’s work.
Day one: Â I think I have the first chapter roughed out, here are my revisions after the mock-up.
So now I circle back to the first page, the “establishing shot.” Â 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. Â I did a few sketches, getting all hung up on the perspective:
(those numbers are me trying to work out the dimensions of the final… based a little more on the way the mock-up worked. Â I am now thinking 5.5 x 4.5)
Then I tried a “final” version, on this fancy drawing paper I bought. Â Using pencil, conte crayon, brush and ink:
I don’t really get this paper… the texture is too intrusive. Â 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. Â A little too “straight” of a drawing for this project. Â I will try another approach tomorrow.
I woorked on the moon transition, from cloud-covered, to the face emerging. Â This is done with black, white and gray acrylics. Though my plan has been this comic will be one image per page, Â I’m thinking it’s too much to stretch this over several pages, so I will do a panel page for the transition.
Not sure of the composition yet…. Â maybe a more conventional grid. Â Also, I had to flip the second panel because the direction of the cloud movement was wrong:
I am finding that thumbnailing is inadequate for this project. Â 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….
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”
Next, I’ll start roughing out these changed pages and see how it works….
Just a lil time drawing yesterday… which is INFINITELY better than none at all, as I now realize/knew perfectly well all along. Â Still sort of retracing my steps to get back to where I was a month or so ago. Â 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)
Well, for those of you who remember, I resolved to post every day’s work in my progress on this project. Â Last post was over a month ago. Â 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. Â Not that I was blocked or anything, just one thing or another got in the way, most of it unavoidable… FOR NEARLY SIXÂ WEEKS!
I was doing so well, too…
Getting back into it is really hard. Â Especially since this is kind of an experimental project for me. Â But, enough complaining. Â 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.
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. Â And (earlier) the scene where she is kissed on a park bench. Â Plus more baby and young-girl looking at the moon faces, and playing around with moon expressions.
And thumbnailing out the first chapter. Â I actually find thumbnailing this one-image-per-page layout very challenging, trying to envision the spreads. Â Also, thinking now that maybe I will actually break my one-image-per-page rule when needed. Â For instance in the sequence where the face gradually appears on the moon.
More photo reference and sketches, for the baby in the pram:
I decided I don’t want to do more detailed sketches. Â Getting a little burnt out on that, and also worrying about losing the spontanaeity if I expend too much effort drawing non-final images. Â 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. Â 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 interruptionÂ 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. Â So, probably not much progress on “Lunatic” until August….
Sketches for page 3… actually more than just page 3. Â There are 4-5 pages “cutting” Â 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:
Well… no. Â The spattering doesnt really make sense here. Â And I don’t think I got the composition of this page right, either.
I switch to charcoal pencil:
Ah,. yes. Â this has the feel i want, and i like the expression. Â Not right in all the details, but Â it has the feel…. Â Let’s try that again:
Nope. Â Sometimes it’s so hard to reproduce what works well in a sketch. Â This one just didn’t have it, so I abandoned it. Â Maybe the angle on the pram was going to work a little better. Â I call it a day. Â I’ll be back.
I’ve been trying to figure out how I want this book to look. Â I’ve come to the “conclusion” that what I am after is images with rich and interesting textures. Â Maybe from conte, maybe some kind of paint. Â Maybe using ink-spattering? Â I’ve never done that before (well not since i was 16 or so), so I played around with it today:
I need to work on my toothbrush-flicking control.
More photo reference:
The first chapter is seven pages. Â 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. Â I don’t have to thumbnail page layouts, but I realize I do have to think more than usual about spreads and page turns. Â I thumbnailed the 7 pages out with that in mind (spoiler alert: this is totally illegible):Â
The chapters are mostly short like that, but longer toward the end. Â If I was doing this as a standard comic, it might be about… 9-10 pages? Â But in this format, maybe about 45-50 pages.
Besides that, I worked exclusively on sketches for page 2 today:
The composition probably more like that last one, though now that I see it, it looks a little cramped. Â Maybe the one above is better.
Not sure yet about the style this will be drawn in. Â 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….