First the bad news: I've hit a snag with the story and have decided that I'd rather get the story the way I want it to be rather than rush it out just for Hallowe'en. There's also the way I want to work on it. The standard way of drawing a comic book is to draw all the frames for a page on a single sheet. However, after a few attempts at working that way, it just wasn't working for me. I realized I'd much prefer to draw the panels each on their own sheet of paper and then assemble it. I'm used to creating storyboards this way so I don't see why it couldn't work for a comic book story. I'm also experimenting with the idea of going one step further and creating the backgrounds and characters separately and then assembling them into one image, much like they do in hand drawn animation.
Now the good news: there will be stories drawn by me on my blog. And they will be on my blog this Hallowe'en.
The image here was the impetus for the project. I drew it while I was waiting to see if I would be called to serve jury duty. I didn't get selected. I drew the above sketches as if they were the storyboards for a silent vampire film. When I decided to draw a comic book I was casting about for an idea and I recalled the several pages of sketches. I decided why not make my comic book about vampires, complete with moonlit graveyards, fog shrouded landscapes, intrepid heroes and heroines and did I mention vampires?
With that in mind I have decided to draw the comic book as if it were a silent film. There will be very little (if any) words as I want it to be a very visual experience. Because I also want it to be easy to read there will be no crazy page layouts.
I also plan to have it finished by the end of October. So I'm looking at over 120-180 panels that need to be drawn, maybe more, maybe less. That is a lot of drawing.
I have also decided that I'm definitely going to post some in progress videos.
I finished The Peacock. I had a good time working on it. Originally it was going to be line and watercolor but as I worked on the inks it I knew I was going to add other mediums and the final piece came to include india ink, watercolor (mixed with white gouache in places) and, finally, acrylic paint. The signature under my logo is red prismacolor pencil. Everything but the kitchen sink as the saying goes.
The Peacock, 10"x16"
The use of all those mediums reminds me of a great story. The cartoonist Doug Wildey, the creator of Jonny Quest, once showed the writer Mark Evanier a western painting he'd completed. He pointed out where he'd used markers, oils, acrylics and various other mediums. Evanier mentioned that one of the things they taught in art school was that one shouldn't mix mediums. Wildey replied that he could do it because he'd never been to art school. I love that story because I can relate. Here's a link to the original story as well as a bit about Doug Wildey. Just scroll down till you get to the close up picture of the gent in glasses.
One more bit: I only ended up submitting one piece, rather than two. The other one wasn't working for me. That's the way it goes sometimes.
I mentioned before that I was entering two works into the annual county fair that we have here every fall. I decided to post one of the works as it evolves. This one is titled The Peacock (I had to come up with a name fast for the entry form). I based it on a photo I took a couple of years back. The frame I had determined the final size of the work.
I laid the image out on Bockingford watercolor paper in rough pencil and used a #2 round Windsor & Newton brush to ink it in. The next step will be to wash in the colors and finish it off with colored pencil and acrylic highlights. Hey, it's a mixed media work.
I'm starting work on a new project, namely a comic book. I've always loved comic books and wanted to draw them one day but got busy doing commercial artwork and, except for a few pieces here and there, I've always set that part of my drawing life aside.
So here I am. After several false starts over the years I've committed to drawing one. I have my own ideas of how they should or, more to the point, could be drawn as well as how I should approach the storytelling which when doing a comic book story is the single most important thing.
Drop by regularly as I embark on this. I may post a video or three at the drawing board and when it's all done I'll either post it here or create a seperate blog.
Things have been busy with me. For starters I wasn't sure I wanted to continue this blog. Somehow I began to feel the weight of it and as there were other far more pressing matters such as my mother's illness and passing that needed my attention it beame easier to not post anything as the months went by. I even went through the drastic step of removing it. My wife wasn't too happy that I did that so I decided to unremove. I'm glad I did. Luckily, everything was still there.
So here we are again. Esther suggested we both enter paintings into the local fair. I wasn't sure but as the entry deadline approached I thought "why not". We filled out the forms, paid the entry fees and are now getting ready to work on our entries. As I am entering two this means a tight deadline (not really as I'm actually pretty fast when I get to it). Esther has it even rougher. She's doing an oil painting! The drying time!
My paintings will be mixed media since that's the category you write in when you mix pen and ink with watercolors. As you can see from the drawings and paintings posted here the work will be a bit looser that what's normally entered into these things. As I'm not entering to compete but just for the fun of it I'm hoping that the works will be enjoyed in the spirit that they were created in. I paint to enjoy myself and I'm getting back in the mood. That's always a great thing.
In the meantime here's a quick sketch I did a while back. It's a hot summer and I thought a visit to an island just might be the best thing.
Island Paradise, 10.5 x 8
Can you hear the ukuleles and seashells strumming and humming? Pen and ink with watercolor on 110lb index card stock.
While organizing the basement I looked at all the paper I'd accumulated. It's a lot of paper and I decided to take a picture of it. It's a mix of different brands of watercolor, bristol board and index card stock.
The DVD's next to the stack are there to give an idea of how much paper there is (if you zoom in you can see some of the movies and shows I like).
Every one of those sheets will end up being drawn and/or painted on.
T-Rex is my favorite dinosaur. So I thought it would be fun to work on one.
Moon Of The King, approx 8.5" x 8.5"
I laid color over color, allowing blooms, runs and what not to occur. I mixed watercolor with white gouache, a real no-no among modern purists who work in watercolor (although guys like Sargeant, Homer and Turner were okay with it, but, then again, what did they know). After I'd painted it I went at it with black india ink and brush, going for an almost calligraphic feel.
MaimeriBlu watercolors on Canson XL watercolor paper (not bad stuff once you figure out what makes it tick).