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Saturday, 25 October 2014

Art Tutorial - Page 2 of 'A supervillain in the woods'

I've been enjoying this.

So, just for a reminder of what this is:

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.
As I've already shared, I came up with this insect-woman, Entomon, as my villain, and her giant Firefly assistant, Cole. I had a lot of fun doing it, and the children were interested in seeing more (I think they were slightly disappointed I returned to Acquisition, rather than doing more of this), so here is Page 2.

For this to be a tutorial, I thought I should do at least a couple of things differently, so one of the things  I did differently was to sketch out the page in advance, and worked out roughly what the dialogue would be, and how I'd lay out the characters and speech bubbles. If you can make out my writing, you can see that most of the dialogue stays the same, but I made some changes. Also, in doing the sketches, I realised I really needed to research the new bugs I was adding.

When I started my actual drawing, another change was to try something that I read as advice a while back: Don't put the panel borders in straight away. It seemed to work for me, and I think kept me a bit freer working as I developed the further stages. Still, what we have is the basic stick-figures that are showing what is happening, which I still insist is a stage anybody can do. Again, I've used a coloured pencil, so that it will get in the way less when I'm working on later stages.
Then it develops to the more detailed roughs, still using the coloured pencil, so that I can quickly change and adjust anything that needs it, and I've given myself a clear basis for the detailed pencils to follow. Also, I put in the panel borders at the end of this work.
Next, the detailed pencilling. I've put this in two stages, how it looked with the orange pencils underneath, and a version with the orange removed to show what I actually drew.
After that, I added the first layer of inks. It clears up the lines, but still lacks a bit of definition, with the bottom left panel being a bit unclear still.

Using a thicker ink pen, I think I've succeeded in making the figures stand out better from each other, and generally add definition.
From there, I added shading, which was very important for this page, as it is set inside a dark cave, and some of the details in the art don't make as much sense without that necessary darkness.

After that, I just had to add the dialogue, with a couple of minor changes (the third panel was so big, it was just asking for at least one more speech bubble than I'd originally planned). I also changed the positioning of some bubbles from the sketch, so as to not hide any important areas of art.

©2014 James Mathurin

Friday, 10 October 2014

Some insect sketches

So, I'm carrying on with the Entomon comic I started with my comics group, and that will require some more bugs (I would say insects, but I really wanted to include a Millipede, and that would just be scientifically inaccurate). Not all of these will be used straight away, but I'll be trying to work them in.

Seeing as this is part of my tutorial series, I will simply say this: If you're drawing something for the first time, do your research and sketching. Even if you don't end up with perfect copies, you'll pick up on little details that will make it look much more interesting, and will help you if you have to make up a fictional version.


Beetle and Mantis (this is actually an old one that I seem to have never scanned before):

©2014 James Mathurin