Monday, October 19, 2009

Dead Pets Pencils - Episode 2, Page 2

It's been about a year since Dead Pets was printed in the Guardian's now sadly defunct Comic section, it doesn't feel anything like that amount of time. It's always interesting, and slightly alarming, to take a look back over work that was drawn a while ago, more often than not all you can see are the dodgy bits of drawing and where you would do things differently. The thing that strikes me most about this page right now is that there's fourteen panels on it. Fourteen panels?! What was I thinking? Artist me punches writer me in the gut. Good thing my gut is generously cushioned.

I'm not fat, my chest has slipped.

One thing I wanted to make sure of with Dead Pets was that there was always something happening in every episode, that the story was always progressing and that it took a little bit of time to read even though there was only 3 pages every week, one of which wasn't a full page. I also wanted to take advantage of the weekly format and the opportunity to have some sort of cliffhanger or unresolved moment at the close of every episode, hoping the readers would want to come back the following week. I don't know if I was successful in achieving any of those things but that's how I hoped it would be.

Here's the inks for this page. I cheated a little and used a very slightly modified copy of panel seven for panel 3 once it was all scanned in.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dead Pets Pencils - Episode 2, Page 1

I absent-mindedly sketched this rough idea for the opening panel and there was something about the point of view that appealed to me so I decided to go ahead with it.

I thought I'd try knocking up a model of the layout in SketchUp hoping that it might save me some time and that I could print off a picture from the correct angle and work over it. I was wrong about the time saving element but it was a very helpful thing to do. Once I'd knocked the model up I realised that the view I'd chosen was such an extreme, exaggerated one that to have it match the rough I'd need to tweak the depth of field on the camera in SketchUp. This distorted everything but I thought it looked okay and helped add to the feeling of being high up and that it was a large house. Anyway, here's a screencap of the model.

I printed off a blue line and worked over that, here's the final pencils. Sam's mum and dad appear to be missing from the pencils, I guess I must have drawn them on another bit of paper and added them in later on.

These are the uncorrected inks, you can see that I started to spot the black squares in the chequered pattern on the floor and then stopped. I thought I'd leave it and give myself the option to drop it in at the colour stage or even use a different colour. If I'd filled in all the dark squares it would have been a fiddlesome nightmare to separate them out in the colouring stage should I change my mind about what colour I wanted them to be. In the end I made them blue rather than black so I was very happy I didn't fill them all in.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Birdman Doodle

While rooting through my pages of art on Dead Pets I found this doodle on the back of one of the pages. I have a terrible tendency to faff about doodling or making marks in the margins and on the back of the work I'm actually meant to be doing. A two-headed birdman, don't know what I was up to there, I have an inkling that I may have had a Huzzah in the back of my mind at the time. Pardon me for not cleaning up the scan but I've got some work to get on with and posting this is just another way of doodling in the margins.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Dead Pets Pencils - Page 3

Here's the next page of pencils along with the inks, pencils are a lot rougher than the first two, I think I was winging it a bit with this one, there might have been a more tightly penciled version but if there is I can't find it. I don't why I drew Godfrey the dog in front of the cross on panel 3, it's messy.


You can see in the inked version I got rid of him for clarity's sake. The last panel changed a bit, I was never truly happy with the drawing of Sam, the boy, in that panel. I was right not to be happy, the final version of him scarpering is better, at least I think it is, but it still bothers me. I turned Frazzle, the cat, so that he has his back to us, and decided to have all the characters in silhouette, it probably made more sense to have them looking at Sam and made his running away a focal point.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Dead Pets Pencils - Page 2

I've been neglecting my blog again, partly through laziness but I've also been busy working on some comic strips for educational books with Rob Davis and Geraint Ford. I'll post some bits and pieces from that soon but seeing as I've got a bunch of pencils from Dead Pets Society sitting around I'd scan them in and post them here, my plan is that it'll give me something a bit more regular to update the blog with while I work on these strips with Rob and Ger. 

Here's the pencils for page 2 of DPS (I posted page 1 quite a while back). I was probably trying to be tight with the pencils at this stage, I was still finding my way with everything at this point. If memory serves, I left more to the inking stage as time went by and I became more comfortable drawing the characters. Dead Pets was inked with the Kuretake brushpen that I like so much. I did fix a lot of mistakes, clean up the artwork and fill in areas of black on the computer once the art was scanned in though, that tends to be a quicker, easier process. I would usually blow up my thumbnails and print them off in light blue and pencil over those, I think I did that here but there's a lot of blue lines so I can't really make out what's what.


If you'd like to read a couple of full episodes in colour then a previous post has a couple of links to them on the Guardian site.