25 August 2007




Dem said...

Explanation comment to follow when I've averted starvation...

Doe said...

Moi kulta,
Fantastic! I really like this. I love the background effect. Is this the one you were working with on photoshop when the computer crashed? I've packed everything now and off to bed. Surprise, surprise, my luggage is over the weight limit. But I needed to stock some fish, geisha and ryebread. I might have a surprise for you and Queen as well... Really looking forward to coming back tomorrow. Can't wait to see you and Queen! Kauniita unia ja oman kullan kuvia.
Kati xxx

Dem said...

Once again there's a real comment before I have the chance to leave my own comment explaining what's going on with this strip.

I've been toying with a few things in my head lately and this strip represents them starting to come out of my head to be toyed with on paper and screen. Mainly I've been toying with resurrecting/restarting a long narrative project and all the other toying is to do with how I would go about that. Specifically, I've been wondering about constructing comics in photoshop rather than on the page. Mostly I draw the comic page as you see it with minor cleaning up in photoshop. So that means I'm sometimes cramming wee boxes with even more wee drawings and words. So I thought I'd have a go at doing individual drawings larger scale, creating the blank page, frames, lettering etc in photoshop and squishing the illustrations into those pages. It would mean the fiddly stuff is done on screen (where - in theory at least - it's savable and recoverable when cock-ups occur and at worst one frame rather than a whole page is lost if a bit of ink is spilt).

And that's exactly how I did this strip - with ink on bristol, over rough pencil sketches, I made three drawings featuring the figures and a fourth drawing (without any prior pencil work) of the setting. I scanned these as six separate files - one of the setting, one with the two figures connected in panel one and then four with the individual figures from panels two and three. I made a 9 x 4.5 inch blank in Photoshop and then pasted in and squished all the files as separate layers: first the setting reduced to 50% opacity to give it that washed out distant look; next I drew the frames freehand with the mouse; then the figures; finally I added the text boxes and text. I'm not sure whether it's something I'll do all the time - I suppose it depends how quickly I can knock up a comic with a number of larger pages as I get more used to the process and the features of the software.

Now a word on the art - the final frame looks a lot different for two reasons. First of all because I did it hastily about three weeks and a holiday later than the art from the first two panels. Secondly, because in that time I had begun to have misgivings about the look of the characters (as well as an experiment in process, this strip also serves as a road-test for the way the resurrected long narrative will look). Finally, I read the chapter on tools in Scott McCloud's Making Comics and realised that those lovely outlines Jeff Smith and others get are done with a brush rather than a dip pen so I picked up a W&N#7 sable size 2 and had a go. I'm not particularly pleased with the result but I learned a lot - specifically that the thick dregs of an ink bottle aren't particularly suited to brush and ink drawing!

Phew - what a long comment! There's probably more I wanted to say about this but I doubt many if any have read this far. If you want to see the drawings that made up the strip, they're all in my flickr photostream - panel 1, king panel 2, assailant panel 2, king panel 3, assailant panel 3 and setting (which is where the sheep from the previous entry first found life...)

Moi rakas - glad you like it. It was just Photoshop that crashed but yes, this is what I was working on. Photoshop doesn't seem to like it when I mess around with my own font (faux bold in this case) but really it's my own fault for working on something for several hours without saving it once. We can't wait to see you either - not long now!