Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Flatland stuff

There's some dust in the corners of this place, huh? Well, I've been busy.

Busy cleaning up my 2011 24 Hour Comic, Flatland.

I tend to use 24 Hour Comic Day as a way to force myself to focus, to drop everything else and just create for a while; I don't really care about finishing the pages, or inking them at all. What I end up with is a 24-page storyboard of a full comic - or a whole chapter of a full comic, as the case turned out to be with Fathoms.

I don't really have a plan when I start, except perhaps a few vague images and a character-design or two. I just put pen to paper and let my imagination roam to see what it comes up with. In 2010, it came up with wide open seas and clouds and mischievous wind-spirits. In 2011, it became deserts and birds and blood.

Here's the first page, as it turned up on the Day:

Regular and coloured pencil, crooked panels, scribbly art - this is barely more than a thumbnail, albeit a rather large one.

When I picked this back up and started polishing it, I used the original storyboard as reference, and re-drew each page with it as a guide:

Again, not the neatest piece of art - there's scribbles and guidelines and all sorts of stuff in there that didn't make it into the finished piece - but it's better than the storyboard.

I did all of the clean Flatland pages in Paint Tool Sai, because I really adore the neatness of its lineart tools and the almost vector-like sharpness you can achieve with it. I went over the scribbly digital sketches in pure black and white (which was quite challenging in parts - how do you draw something black set against a black background, without making it either invisible or silly-looking?) and then added red as the only colour-accent - as blood.

Because all stories, as Terry Pratchett once said, are sooner or later about blood.

You can see the finished page On Smackjeeves, where I'll be posting all 24 pages.

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