Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Comics Nooby

I took a sketch pad and my new brush pen home with me over the holidays, hoping to get in some good practice time. I wanted to both practice laying out full comic pages as in my baseball drawing, and to get a little more comfortable with the brush pen.

The second day I was home, I drew a couple panels portraying part of the previous day, when my mom took Nate and I on a walk down to the creek to see where the salmon were all dying after spawning:
Dead Salmon
It was a nice little vignette, I thought, so I decided that each day I would do a full page depicting something I'd done the previous day. I was laying out the panels, drawing in blue pencil, and then inking only with the brush pen.

Unfortunately, because of how vacations tend to go, most of the rest of my days were not nearly so exciting, and rather than drawing little episodes, I tended to just summarize each day with a bunch of confusingly juxtaposed panels. So the result is neither coherent nor really very interesting.

Also, the first page gave me practice drawing from different sources: the establishing landscape panel I drew from real life, then the second panel was from memory, and I used a reference photo for the third. Later pages tended to be almost all from memory. Here they are:
Crabs, Scrabble, and euchre
Puppy store
Jaime's apartment
Christmas Eve
Sleeping all day
Don and Jaime leave
Laundry, errands, dinner
Thai food and Gallagher
Replacing ink
I also noticed that while I didn't have any trouble coming up with different facial features for made up characters in Night-Wight, I have no clue how to look at an actual person's face and distill their features into a drawing. So everyone looks exactly the same in these drawings, and going back I probably couldn't even tell you who is supposed to be who.

Was this exercise a success? I don't know. I didn't even really do any shading after the first three, so I don't know that I actually got any better with the brush pen. But I did come up with a good variety of panel layouts that I think mostly worked pretty well, and I know that I need to work on looking at faces and figuring out how to portray them (or rather, how to model them in my mind so that I render them as accurate portrayals). It was fun, too, so I'm glad I decided to do it.

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