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Thursday, 25 September 2014

Acquisition, Page 7

So, after finishing the stuff I'd been doing with my comics group, I went back to the unfinished Page 7 of Acquisition. So, here it is, shaded and lettered.

©2014 James Mathurin

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Art Tutorial - A supervillain in the woods

So, following on from this post, where I showed Entomon, a supervillain I'd created as part of a task I'd done with the children in my comics / cartooning group.

We set ourselves a little project, which was to do a page of comic art from the same idea. The kids chose what it would be:
-Who? A villain;
-Were? In the woods;
-Doing what? Finding a cave.
Some of the children have come up with some great ideas, which I'm looking forward to seeing, but here is mine:
Here are the stages I went through to reach it. First I sketched out the frames , figures and where the speech bubbles will go, with a soft, coloured pencil:

Next I added some details to the figures and scenery, and make changes where necessary (like moving Entomon from the centre to the right of the 3rd frame, to allow the cave to be viewed better, and to leave room for speech bubbles:

Then I switched to a drawing pencil to do detailed and shaded art:

After pencils, I switch to ink to define the lines better:

Then ink outlines with a thicker pen, to make the objects stand out from each other better:

The next stage, I did on Photoshop, but can be done by hand, or by other means, but it was me colouring (or, working in grayscale, shading):

Finally, as I showed above, I added the text and speech bubbles:

©2014 James Mathurin

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Supervillain Tutorial Part 2.

These are rough sketches for the villain comic i did with my comics group. I'm going to be putting up the finished page, but before I do, there were a couple of development sketches.

None of the frames in the comic show a closeup on Entomon's staff, but I did design it in a bit of detail, with a Praying Mantis motif, which I thought had some interesting subtext to a female villain. 
This is the very first rough sketch of Entomon, which I thought was a little too generic, so I tried to make more insect-y. The main thing here is the rough layout sketch of the page, where I arranged the frames, and what was going on in each one. I thought it was important to include this, as some of the children seem nervous about getting it right first time, and as you can see, this was just a very rough sketch, where I could make mistakes and rearrange stuff before I properly got started, as well as do practice dialogue.

©2014 James Mathurin

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Art tutorial - faces

Following on from the figures tutorial I did for my comics / cartooning group on figures, I thought I'd do another one, this time focusing on faces. Again, I was using a character that I've been sketching for Vic at Hazardous productions.

The first stage was to just get the shape of the head. Some people's heads are rounder, some are squarer, some longer, etc. Using a soft, coloured pencil, also add guidelines - halfway down for the eyes, halfway down from there for the nose, and halfway from there for the mouth.
Next I added more basic details - the neck, the hairline, the mouth and nose (with an indication of the shape - narrow, broad, pointy, etc.), the eyes and the shape of the jawline.
After that, more details. First of all eyebrows! Eyebrows are surprisingly important for showing emotion (test this: draw a smiling face a few times, and add different eyebrows. You'll get at least one delighted person, one crafty person, and one who looks like they're going to mug you). Also, the shape of the mouth, and hairstyle. If the distinctive hairstyle didn't cover the ears, I'd have drawn them, level with the eyes.
Now, switching to a harder drawing pencil, I do more detailed lines, making the features clearer, and adding shading.
Then, using an ink pen, I go over the lines to give them clearer definition.

©2014 James Mathurin

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Art tutorial - figures

Another series of pictures that I used in my comics group. Before we started working on our supervillain idea, I was using these sketches that I did for Vic at Hazardous Publications.

The point of these was to illustrate a principle I had talked about with my group: If you can do stick-people, you can do a comic. I'm not the first to realise this; Randall Munroe has been putting that lesson to good use for years now. Basically, I say stickmen can make a comic, and any of the later stages you can get with practice.

  • So, the first step is the one I think anyone can do - stick-people laying out the poses. This is the stage where it's easiest to fix anything you're not happy with. Check the poses, etc. At this stage I was using a blue colouring pencil, as it is easier to ignore and delete these lines once proper pencils and inks are used later.
  • This stage is still a basic one - make all the sticks into solid body-parts, put in the rough lines for the face, and add in the rough details of things like fingers.
  • Next, you add the rough surface details- hair, clothes, distinctive skin marks (hair, tattoos, etc). This stage is probably the last one where you can make big changes. You can see I've done that with the figure far left, whose pose wasn't working for me, and who would have been too difficult to change after the clothing and other details had been added.
  • Next, I went to a 2B drawing pencil, which allowed me to draw more detailed pencil art over the rougher blue lines. This lets me add a bit of texture, detail and shade, and just generally be a bit more precise.
  • Next, I switched to a thin black ink pen to reinforce the pencils, and make the lines clearer.
  • Finally, I used a thicker pen to go around the edges of objects, which helped to differentiate lines that show texture and shade, and lines that show shape.

©2014 James Mathurin