Sunday, June 6, 2010

Page 8

It's been a very busy and distracting past few months and I have not been able to keep up work on my book. I really wanted to be able to finish a preview, or have my first issue ready by this Comic Con, but I've been too slammed with other work. Xiola is a labor of love, and it's going to take longer to finish as life keeps getting in the way. I think I'm going to have to scrap my Comic Con plans this year. I need to take as much time as I can to get my book finished, or at least farther along. The last year I went to APE, Comic Con and Wondercon and I learned a lot. I think the biggest thing I learned was that I need to be honest with myself. So now, that's what I'm going to do. I will continue to post and keep you updated on my progress, but it's going to take longer than originally predicted.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Page 7 painting complete

So I finished the painting for page 7. It turned out pretty well. There's a lot of sky in the panels as I've got a lot of word balloons that are going to go in there. All in all I'm happy with the end result here. The wispy clouds in the sky look nice. The distant cliffs and hills look as if they are seen through a lot of atmosphere. And the faces came out well. The one thing that bothers me now is that when I drew the ox eating in the first panel I thought I should put his horns down, and as he lifts his head in the later panels his horns rise into their natural position. But I didn't really think about that the ox doesn't really rotate his head much to eat, it just lowers down from his neck as if in an elevator. So the firest panel with his horns down looks like a different kind of ox than the one in the later panels. Oh well. It's just a comic book, right?

The skies I did by painting cerulean blue, leaving trails of blank paper for the clouds, then adding a little bit of ultramarine blue to the upper sky to add a bit of depth. And I dashed just a bit of cadmium yellow on the tops of the clouds to get a hint of sunlight.

On to drawing page 8 tonight.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Possum and Spy Guy

Wondercon is going very well so far. I'm getting good feedback from a lot of different folks. I always enjoy talking to other artists. It's great to learn how others are approaching their projects and what difficulties and challenges they are faced with, as well as feeling that the grass is always greener for somebody else. I ran into a few old friends and made some new ones.

I've got to give a shout out to a pair of brothers who are kicking out some great comics. Blair and Mike Kitchen are the creators of The Possum and Spy Guy They are turning out some of the best comics I've seen in a while. You should pick up their books now before they get too famous. They're located at booth AA117. Check them out if you get a chance. They're Canadian, but don't hold that against them.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wondercon this weekend!

Wondercon is happening this weekend at the Moscone Center in SF, and I'll be happily seated at my table in the small press area at SP14. I was able to get some prints made of my Xiola cover which I'll be selling along with my Wanderings prints for $5 to anyone who wants to buy something. I feel like kind of a schmuck that I didn't get a preview of Xiola out for Wondercon, but I'm not going to be too hard on myself. I work full time as an animator, take on contract storyboard gigs, spend time with the wife and kid, and somehow still manage to plug away at my book. If only I could only ditch one of my other responsibilities .... hm....

Well, I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of cool artwork, reading a bunch of great comics, and meeting some nice people. Hope to see you there.

Also, I designed my street apinting image for this year's Italian Street Painting Festival in San Rafael. The theme is "Bella Terra" (Beautiful Earth) It's supposed to be representational of the relationship between humans and nature. For some reason this was the first image that popped in my head. I've never actually done a piece that was based on the theme of the festival, but this came out so naturally I thought I'd go for it. The contrast of dark greens and deep purple should look great in pastel on the pavement.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Here are a couple of designs I needed to work out. One is of a tertiary character named Benn, based off a friend of my son's. He's going to be the guy helping Kodo climb to the top of the cliff.
The other is Benns' ox. I did the drawing on the left first, and I liked the silhouette of the body and horns. I played around with a more curved horns, but think I'll go with the long horns. I tried out a few different kinds of feet until I came up with a three toed version. The two feet on the left are a camel's and a cow's respectively. The rest are the final three toed feet from different angles.
I did a profile shot of the loaded ox based off refeerence from camels I found on the internet. And a close up of the head. It's basically a long faced, three toed ox with a beard, long ears and horns. I didn't stray too far from an actual ox, but that wasn't really the point. I like just taking things a little out of bounds. I still want this world to be believeable... somewhat.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Page 6 pencils started.

I'm starting page 6. Here's a little bit of my process. On the bottom left you see my layout for the page. On the top you see a panel of Kodo climbing up to the crest of the cliff. On the bottom right I took a photo of my son climbing on his bed for reference. I did a test drawing in my sketchbook on the top right to make sure I figure out any weirdness before drawing it on the page as I can't do too much erasing on the watercolor paper. On the top left is the pencils onthe watercolor paper. I still need to add a background of distant mountains, but this is kind of fun to look at how I approach each panel.

And here's the final page 5 page. It turned out pretty well. I wish I'd put more blue and less brown in the shadow areas of the rock. And I may go back over everything with a wash of cerulean blue to mute the color of the rocks a bit. I'm not quite sure.

Wondercon is coming up in a few weeks. I was hoping to have a preview issue out by then, but it looks like it won't happen that soon. I will try and get some prints done of my Xiola cover for sale, though. The last run I got came out slightly blurry.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Page 5 painting coming along

My page 5 painting is coming along. I like the first three panels. The middle panel is not quite finished. Some of the darks are not quite dark enough in places. And I'll probably go over the 3rd panel again with some darks as well. The last few panels should go fairly quickly. I'll probably finish it by Wednesday night, unless something comes up.

I ended up returning that Brother all-in-one machine I'd bought. The scan quality just wasn't good enough. It made my clean washes turn out all chunky. I guess I'm back to taking photos until/unless I can find a quality scanner for a decent price.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Page 5 pencils complete

As you can see I did end up going back in and redrawing the cave beast on the middle panel. I just liked the layout too much to change the size of the hole in the cliff. I also ended up changing her pose. The original pose was too faked. I'd not used any reference for the first pose. For the new one I got down in front of my mirror and figured out a good pose. I like it much better.

I like the way Kodo's face turned out in the bottom left panel. It really looks like my kid. I left a lot of white on the right side of the bottom right panel where I'm going to put a plume of smoke. And you'll notice I put a baby beast in the last panel cradled by her mother, just to show that the creatures are regular animals and not crazy monsters.

Time to start painting.

Also, you'll notice that the page was scanned in instead of photographed. I bought myself a Brother all-in-one that can scan and print up to 11x17. No more taking photographs. Yay! I hope this machine is up to snuff. The scanning and basic printing are good, but I'm going to have to buy some photo paper this weekend and test out how well it can print photo quality images.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Page 5 pencils started

I've started page 5 pencils. It's coming along well, but the last panel I've got so far has the cave beast way too small for the size of the opening in the cliff. I'll either have to redraw the cliff or the cave around it. I'm not sure yet which one I'm going to do.

I don't want the beast to get too large in the panel or she will be too close to the size she was at the bottom of page 4. She's in almost the exact same pose too. We're just looking down more from Kodo's eyeline as he climbs up the cliff. I think I'll redraw the cliff opening around her, and pull her arms in a bit. The framing in the panel won't be quite as nice as it is now, though. I like that the opening goes off the right side of the panel. I'll just have to figure out another way to make the opening not seem too perfectly framed. Perhaps a waft of smoke going up the right side of the panel will break it up a bit.

I had played around with a few different angles on the top right panel, finally settling in to looking down on the characters below. I'd already looked at them from eye level a couple of times at medium distances, and had only looked down in an extreme close-up and wide shot, and I wanted this panel to be a medium shot with a couple of characters in it.

I'm going to go to sleep now and get up early tomorrow to work on it some more.

Good night.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Been sick as a zombie for the past week and a half.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Page 4 complete

I finally finished the painting for page 4. I especially had fun with the bottom left panel. Here is the first shot we get of the cave beasts. I like the darks around her. I always like getting nice darks with watercolor. I'm often tentative to go real dark, but once I do I'm always happier. I could go darker everywhere, but all those layers slows me down. It's fun to start seeing this story come together.

I was taking a long time painting each panel because I didn't have a color template for the boy, so I had to figure out which colors to use for him each panel. To help with this I made a quick color sketch of him and wrote down the colors I used for each part of him. Now I just paint by numbers, basically. Much faster.
I've not done a final color design for any of my characters yet. I was going to kind of figure them out as I go along. The next main character I'm introducing is Robel. I've got his design down, but not his colors. I now know to do a color sketch first.
Now on to pencilling the next page.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A new year.

It is 2010. Happy New Year.

I have made two resolutions. One is that I will draw every day. Sometimes I can go weeks without picking up a pencil. My twenty year old self would never have thought a day would pass without drawing, but the computer has stolen a lot of my passion away. I became soft. Disconnected.

Well I'm back with a vengeance.

The other resolution is that I will work on my comic every day. I barely touched it in December. I get this real stuipid thing going that I feel like I need hours of time free to work on my comic. Painting takes a lot of setup and breakdown usually, but now I've got it down to a science. It takes me all of ten seconds to get ready and twenty seconds to clean up after myself. Even if I'm only able to sit down for a half hour to work on my comic, it is worth the time.

So here's where I'm at so far with Page 4. Almost halfway though painting I realized that I'd forgotten to draw the boy's staff in the top two panels. Luckily I was able to pencil it in just fine over what I'd painted.

The middle panel is com ing out a little weird. It's supposed to be the guys down below taking the pieces of honeycomb from Kodo and putting it in their cart. But I put a lot of blue on the cave wall that looks like a waterfall. I'm going to have to lift some of that off with water and dapping it with a rag.

I will be posting at least once a week.

Check back soon.