Lunatic Chapter 9 Process: Spatter, part 2

I’ve gone back and added a few pages to the final chapter of Lunatic,… a chance to do more spattering!



The globe-y thing in the middle is supposed to be casting light, so I want to shade the character’s clothing and face using ink-spatter. I mask off the areas that will NOT be shaded, using lots of little pieces of blue tape (and a piece of paper to block off the rest of the page):

Then pull out the old toothbrush-dipped-in-black ink and flick it at the paper a bunch of times:

Continue reading “Lunatic Chapter 9 Process: Spatter, part 2”

Lunatic, Chapter 7

With my one-page, transitional chapter 6 out of the way, I can move on to the next sequence. I want to get away from the cinematic, storyboard approach that I’ve been getting more and more into, pulled by the inexorable attraction of the filmic model. In other words, get as much information into a single image as possible.

At the Boston Comics Roundtable meeting on Jan 10, I doodled these sketches. Looks like a single comics page, but ideas for two pages of Chapter 7:

Here is the finished spread, based more or less on those sketches:

Lunatic, Chapter 5: process

JPG p 1 v2 shading 2 - DETAILAfter the last chapter ballooned to 34 pages, I decided to compress my story-telling for a while.  The next section is transitional, showing the character’s college career, as she knuckles down and studies hard.  I knew that it would be showing her studying long and hard in the library, and I decided it to do it in only 3 images, a progression taking place over a few hours.   I chose to draw the same scene 3 times, from the same vantage point, a bird’s eye view of the library, with the character far below, close to the center of the image.   The changing positions of the characters, and the changing light, tells the story. I have some ideas how I will add tones/shading, sticking to my principle of changing techniques or materials in each chapter.

Some pencil sketches:

p5 pencil sketch 1

ch5 pencil sktch 2

I want the drawing to be precise, the line clean.  An ink test:ink test

Continue reading “Lunatic, Chapter 5: process”

“Lunatic” process: chapter 4

(A diary of the making of this chapter, which begins with the first day’s work at the bottom, and moves up)

March 13: summing up the last 6 months of work.

Yes, six months later, and I am still working on chapter 4. The slow pace partly because of interruptions and creative blocks, but also because this chapter turns out to be the longest so far, and I run into certain problems.  And I’m still not finished with it!

So I’ll bring this up to date, starting with page 2, which I completed in late September. Pencils:

2- pencils only 9-26

Inks (still just inkwashes, the line work remains pencil):

2 -washes

Page 3.  I went through several versions of this, over the last couple weeks of October (MICE season.  A pencil version that I abandoned. I don’t really remember what I didnt like about this. The placement of the figure, maybe?  3 - pencils v1 abandoned

More pencils:

3 - pencils

And the ink washes added to that version:3 -v1

Again, five months later and I’m not sure why I wasn’t satisfied with this. But, apparently, I wasn’t.  The shape of the skirt is a little blobby, maybe that was it.  Anyway, here’s the final version.  Maybe I’ll end up using the previous one, I don’t know. I got options!

3 v2 2


Onto page 4, which was pretty simple, just one try (11/2/17):




September 20: Page one, at last!

After the slow process of the last few chapters, I’ve resolved to be more spontaneous, and allow myself fewer “re-do’s.”  Here’s the first page, drawn in one try, without any additional rough versions.  I changed the composition from the rough I’d done for the mockup, from this: 1

To this, the pencils for the final page:

1 - pencils only - 9-20

Before diving straight into the washes, I did a little digital experiment with tones, just to see how it might look, leaving the ground white and darkening the gate in the FG almost to black:

1 -digital tones- 9-20

Good enough, so I did the same thing with washes.  I made some other changes first.  I added the professorial figure with the cane, on the right, to reinforce the academic setting.  Then, digitally, I adjusted the lettering on the gate a little, because it felt out of perspective to me (by the way, that’s Latin for “knowledge is power.”)  Final page:

1 - washes touchups

Looking at it now, I think I might digitally darken the washes, and erase the pavement lines, to leave the ground a solid white shape with darker figures against it — more like the digital-tone version above.  That’s more of the graphic look I’d like for this.

Continue reading ““Lunatic” process: chapter 4″

“Lunatic” process: chapter 3

(This is a diary of the process of creating chapter 3, updated bottom-to-top.  So, if you want to follow the whole thing beginning to end, start at the bottom and scroll up)

July 10-13: page 7

For once, this page worked out on the first try.  Here are the finished inks, as the kiss commences:

3-7 7-10

July 5-6 (and peeking ahead to July 23): page 6

This is relatively straightforward compared to what came before, because it’s a “closer-up” view of the couple, meaning less background (phew!).  The boy leans in for a kiss, puckering up.

My last rough in the mock-up was extremely close, but I decided to move back to a medium view, so as not to lose the body language.   Started with a couple of sketches/roughs:

3-6 sketch 7-5

3-6 rough 7-5

Then launch into a final version…

3-6 abandoned 7-6

Not happy with this so I abandoned it.  It felt to me a little like the direction of his “lunge” was wrong, like he was going to miss her.  Also I had him too close, and I didn’t like the way his nose overlapped with her hair.  So try again:

3-6 v1 7-6 B

I decided also to not make the background shading a uniform gradation (referencing the lamplight from above-right, and getting darker as it moves to the lower right corner), but left light between their faces, so as not to mess up their contours, and let the “light” between them work emotionally. Continue reading ““Lunatic” process: chapter 3″

“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: July 6 2016

Real-time blogging on the process of my new project, still at very early stages.  The plan is one image per page.  I want to take each image seriously so it can hold its own, not being part of a sequential page layout.  Which means in some cases that I will have to do as much reference and sketching for a single image as… well a lot.

Such is the case with my first image.  It’s an “establishing shot” of a Victorian or Edwardian street scene, residential.  I gathered plenty of photo reference, thanks to Google (“Victorian Street” mostly):

victorian street residential 2

Continue reading ““lunatic” process: July 6 2016″

New project: real-time process posts! (“Lunatic”)

In the past I’ve done process posts after-the-fact, when I was feeling good enough about how a particular project turned out, I’d go back and post the thumbnails, roughs, etc.

For my next project, I’ve decided to try and post the process as it goes along.  This is a little scary, since the project itself is somewhat experimental, and there may be frustrations along the way, which I’ll have to share as they come, with whoever may be reading the posts.  Still, I’m going to try.

This new project is a wordless comic, and I want to try it as a one-image-per-page story.  Maybe at about 5″ x 5″ or so, I’m not sure.  The title is “Lunatic.” It’s sort of like a children’s story, but not necessarily aimed at children.  I don’t think I’ll explain the story just yet.  I guess it’s got a bit of Victorian sci-fi to it.

The process started, actually, in late 2014, I think.  The story came to me, and I scribbled down a panel-by-panel outline in a sketchbook.  I’ve just now scanned the pages.  They get more scribbly as it moves along, and I can’t really decipher the last page too well myself.  Here they are:

first thumbnails 1

first thumbnails 2

first thumbnails 3first thumbnails 4

The story’s sort of rattled around in my head since then, and it seems now to have reached the front of the queue.  As I’ve re-told the story to myself I’ve made some conscious changes (like the gender of the protagonist, for instance).  But now, looking at these old thumbnails for the first time in a couple years, I can see that I’ve changed some things about the story in my mind without realizing.   Now I have to assess if I like the changes, or want to go back to the original ideas.   The face in the moon was something that I had forgotten – was that a good idea or not?  It has its charm, and I’m tempted to go back to it.