Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Page 2 pencils finished

Here's my first page with panels. I'm pretty happy with it. In this page I introduce you to Kodo, a young honey collector, as he makes his way down a cliff wall. He coughs from the smoke and slips, sending stones down on the people tending the fire below. An old man watches him with blind eyes.

The old man on the bottom right is kind of weak. He looks a little flat. But I like the energy in the two middle panels: the close-up of the boy coughing and the close-up of his foot slipping. Those panels have energy to them. I found that while drawing the close-up of the old man I slowed my pace down, and whenever I do that my drawings tend to end up stiff. I've got to let the lead flow. Let it flow.

I started on a color test tonight, but it was turning out real weak. The photo I took of the pencils came out too dark. I really need to photograph the art during the day when I've got nice natural lighting. Hopefully I'll be able to color test and actually start the painting tomorrow night. I'd like to start picking up the pace more. I've got a long way to go. My goal would be to get a couple of pages done each week; pencils to paint.

I've got some planning to do for APE next month. I've got less than three weeks. I'd like to make some prints of my cover, and possibly something else, but I don't know what. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Page 2 pencils in progress

I got most of the drawing for the second page finished this weekend. I did a little redesign on the honey collector character, and I designed his grandfather character and the other secondary honey collectors. I'm running out of steam tonight, so I'll have to finish up the page 2 pencils tomorrow night.

I also took some ref photos of my friend Leonard Robel who is playing the Flyer character named.. Robel. He's got a great serious look. Lots of angles in his face. Jutting brow. Fun features to draw. I like this shot.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Page 1 mostly done.

I wrapped up painting for the night. I was able to really darken up the foreground tree and cliff, but I think I need to add some of the reddish browns into the cliff on the left. I like its color better in the color study up on the right.

You can see some of my reference images here too. Cool cliffs and old gnarled trees. I live for reference, but probably rely on it too much. I guess I feel that I better keep painting from reality as much as possible or I will never get any better. All my work will get too cartoony if I just make everything up.

I'm going to try and pencil out the next page this weekend. It's got panels, a main character, crazy perspective, smoke, fire, and bees. Gonna be a tough one.

By the way. I just signed up for WonderCon SF in April. I am very excited to be all over the convention scene. Now I've just got to become more prolific. I should take a vacation after my current project at work; spend some time working on my book. I need all the time I can get.

Take it easy.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Page 1 undercoat and color test

I did a few color tests for page 1 and here's the one I preferred on the top left. I've now completed the cerulean blue undercoat. I don't know why, but cerulean blue may become my undercoat of the entire book. It helps to lay out my shadows lightly with cerulean blue as I can pretty much cover it up with any color. My darkest darks are going to be on the closest cliff with the tree. The next darkest will be the cliff on the left, and so on into the background. I may leave the far background mountains simply as they are now. We'll see.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Page 1 drawing mostly complete

Drawing out the first page I have lots of questions for myself. How dark do I want my pencil lines? How much detail and shading am I going to do in the pencil stages, and how much in the watercolor? Should I still add the vulture in the sky, or is the tree a good enough focal point? I think I made up my mind on the first two, but I'm too tired to decide on whether or not to add a bird. The sky seems busy to me because of the tree branches, and I'm going to be adding text to the sky on the left, so I can't put the bird there. I think I'll pass on adding a bird to the shot. Originally I thought it would add life, but I think the tree already achieved that.

Hopefuly I'll start painting it tomorrow.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Page 1 finally started in my NEW STUDIO.

I've been so swamped with extra work and what-not that I am only now getting onto page 1 of Xiola. I found the original design for page 1 to be lacking so I added a cool twisted, dead tree. The original design with only the rock formations seemed like an empty panel until I added the tree. Down on the left of the photo is my sketch. On the right, on a piece of watercolor paper is the beginnings of the final drawing. I've really got to start hustling now as APE is approaching and I've got nothing new to show since San Diego.

Another thing that has been slowing me down is that we recently moved my son Kodo out of his room and turned it into my office. The setup in my new office is much better with way better natural lighting. We are in the middle of remodeling the old office into a room for Kodo. It's a larger room with its own bathroom, so he's really excited. We've been tearing out cabinets, repairing water damage to the floors and walls, and installing central heating. Tomorrow night I will be sanding down and cleaning the walls for painting prep. Then we've got to buy and install the carpet, then add baseboard and trim. We're trying to finish his room by his birthday, Oct 3. Kodo's going to be staying in the guest room until the room is complete.

I just need to learn to live without sleep and I will be able to finish all my projects.