Monday, January 26, 2009

Dead Pets - Page One - Pencils

I'm still busy finishing the last episode of the current Dead Pets story. I'm probably going to milk what bits and pieces I can for this blog. Sorry, but I've been working on the strip exclusively for a while now so there's not much else I have to show or talk about!

Here's the pencils for the first page of the first episode. I began this page by knocking up a rough perspective drawing in Manga Studio EX, printing it off in light blue and then I drew over that. I've used a couple of applications to help me out whilst drawing Dead Pets - SketchUp for help on a couple of perspective heavy panels and Manga Studio for the same and the occasional rough breakdown too - virtually all of Dead Pets was drawn and inked in the traditional way (paper and brush and pen) and the lettering and colour are all digital. I'm toying with going all digital but I'm having trouble committing fully to working that way. Some old habits are hard to break.

I sought out a bunch of photo reference for the van on the web, I find cars and vehicles difficult so the more reference the better! It also looks like there's a few places where I've redrawn the odd bit or moved elements around in Photoshop.

I wanted to set up the situation as quickly as possible in this first panel of this page, my aim was to avoid having too much preamble. Here's a family, they're moving into a big, old house, one of them is a young boy and his only friend in the new place, is his dog. I tried my best to make sure that something happens, in each episode and that the story progresses in some way and that each episode ended on a cliffhanger or moment of suspense, however slight. Three pages per episode (one of those truncated by about a third) isn't a huge amount of space to work with but limitations are good, you have to think and learn to work within them and hopefully, be creative with how you do that.

That squirrel ends up causing a fair bit of trouble for poor Godfrey, the dog. If only he knew.


Dave Shelton said...

See, because I am a) forgetful and b) stupid, I'd not made the connection about the squirrel here being the same one as later on. Luckily your target audience of 8-11 year olds will hopefully have brains less addled than mine.

Faz Choudhury said...

I won't pretend that I'd worked out the squirrel thing from the beginning, it wasn't entirely planned that way, or at least not consciously. It was one of those things you realise you can use when the need for a plot point came up. Whether my brain knew from the off that I'd come back and use it, I couldn't tell you.

I had to work out exactly how and why Godfrey goes missing, all I knew was that it was going to happen, the squirrel set up was already there, it seemed plausible (as far as the whole strip is plausible...) so I took advantage of it. That then led me to think of some material for the penultimate episode.

I love it when a plan I didn't have comes together.