Craft Interlude: Challah

I woke up this morning wanting to make something with my hands...

so I did...

Comics and Graphic Novels: Process Work

Happy hot weather dear readers!

Apologies for the month long hiatus. My weekly workload has left little time for anything other than actual homework. This week, however, I seem to be on track with my assignment and thus find myself with an iota of extra time for an update.

The comic class has been crazy intense but amazing. Tom, Jessica, and Keith are great teachers who give great feedback. Each week we have two pages to pencil and a third to ink - read: buckets of work. But!! Because of the heavy workload, I'm nearly through a ten page mini-comic that will eventually serve as the introduction or prequel to a graphic novel for kids.

The first step in the process was a series of thumbnails - essentially ten detailed pages laying out the entire story. After a first round of editing, I ended up completely revising my story and thumbnails, redrawing them entirely. In the new version, I condensed the first three pages into one. With only ten pages for the entire story, I had to find a better - read, more concise - way to communicate the beginning.

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

New page 1!

After the revisions, I transferred this initial thumbnail (drawn on regular computer paper) onto a piece of 14 x 17 bristol board and tightened up the original sketch in pencil. (Apologies... the quality of this image isn't great... the erasing leaves some smudgy bits on the paper.)

Next step: inking!

Never having inked anything before, I decided to try inking the page using a brush.

First I drew in borders and began laying in any text.

And after all of the text was in, I began inking the rest of the drawing.

Finally, once the entire image was inked (and I forgot to take a photo of this particular step... oops!), I began adding textures (wood grain, cobblestones, etc), laying in light washes, and darkening bits of the image to balance the amount of white, black and grey throughout.

Until finally:

Having never inked anything before, I was unsure about the washes and shading. Ultimately I decided to stop here and bring the page to class for some advice before continuing. It wasn't a bad decision. Because of the feedback from both my teachers and classmates, I actually ended up reorganizing the comic a second time in order to better tell the story. This page will still show up in the final version, but as the third page rather than the first. Likewise, when I inked the second page, I did so in an entirely different style - with a nib rather than a brush - that I believe works better for the overall mood of the story. The style works better, but it meant that I woud have to redo the whole page. But again, not a bad thing at all. I think the new page tells the story better than the old one. I haven't quite finished with the pencils for this page (you can still see some perspective lines I need to work out in the first panel), but here is the page in progress:

So there's a little peek into the comic process. I've never done a comic before; it's been a lot of fun, but it is so soo sooooooo much work. There is a ton of drawing and refining in each and every page, and the pace is grueling. That being said, I am definitely learning a ton, not only about comics, but also about my own process - how I work and how I draw - and likewise about using ink with both a nib and a brush.

And speaking of that ink and brush... now, dear readers, I should get back to my drawing board.

Until next time!