Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Added my Graphic Novel Worksheet + Composition

I decided to upload my Graphic Novel Worksheet, something I put a lot of effort in last week before I started going through old sketches and modifying my old drawing board.

My goal was to make a 48 Pager in the hope I'd be able to sell one someday, but you know what? Writing is tough. Not the actual writing process, but coming up with something to begin with. While I've been brainstorming ideas I been trying out my modified drawing table. I like it, I like it a lot. I've also come under the StumbleUpon bug and have been wasting hours surfing Astronomy and Art pages. So much so that I've run into people who've done comics of stuff I wanted to do. So much for originality hey.

I figure I might come off as a "Mr. Know-it-all " here, but the real intentions of this blog was to throw my ideas out there in the hope it might inspire other amateurs to see things in a different way. The processes I laid out here are guides I plan to use at some point, they might work for me, but not necessarily everybody else. And if you follow this blog you'll see I'm at a creative dead-end when it actually comes to creating something. Why is that? I have no idea. It could be writers block, artist-block ( that's real folks ) or because deep down I'm depressed and have a chemical imbalance in my brain.

Whatever it is, it's something I need to figure out. That's not to say I've been wasting my time. Sure I got off the beaten path and made a video game. I didn't draw for a month. Nor did I even attempt to come up with any stories. I did however try out a new method of laying out panels. This happened when I was trying out my new table, and since I wanted to practice some inking and coloring I also wanted to do a little better job than I normal do when I'm sketching. So I drew out these pages.

Just like those previous sketches I uploaded these don't follow a story. I used one of my customized Page-Stencils I made from very thick stock paper, added some panels, and filled them out while I was Stumbling around on the web. I know that sounds weird, but flavors of the month get me hooked and I find myself in a constant tug of war between what I should do, and what I want to do. ( last December/November it was Pinball FX2 on the 360 )

These aren't that great, but they were quick compositions to get me feeling comfortable in drawing pages out. It was about half-way through page one I started to struggle coming up with ideas of what to put in the panels. I thought to myself " if I can't fill up these panels, what makes me think I can draw panels with a written script. " After all my goal is to write out a Grpahic Novel before drawing it out. Frustrated I took a long look  at what I was doing and started messing around with both the Triangle and Traditional Compositions.

It was working, but I remembered a tutorial on DA some time ago where another method was to lay out a grid on your working area. It follows the same rules as the Triangle and Traditional methods. Willing to try something new I went for it and this is what I did to those panels.

By added a 3x3 grid to each panel first. I started to get a better view of what I could occupy those panels with. I had ideas, but nothing to push me into doing those ideas. After I laid out those grids I thought of what kind of dialog may or may not take place in those panels to also have an idea where to put the subject. I also followed the 1/3rd and 2/3 rules to make those decisions. Will it have a lot of dialog? Will it have little dialog? What angle/shot will I use? These decisions were made easier by starting with a simple grid.

The example I got this from used a much bigger grid to break down the composition. That fine as well, but since I'll need to be able to do between 5-8 panels a page, I needed a simpler form of laying stuff out. I hate it when I sit back and think for minutes or hours stuck on one panel. It isn't going to be a masterpiece. It's going to be glanced at and then the reader moves on. Which brings me to the first panel of the first page I did.

Notice there isn't any grids? That picture I worked on and off for almost a day before I used the grids. Pathetic. I added the background at the end only because I felt like doing a little perspective ( and little it is, lol ). I  took some time on the last panel of that page, because lately I've been in a perspective mood. I needed to clear cob-webs slowly, but I liked the results.

In the end even though I was trying to come up with a story, plus characters, and everything else. I was getting myself back into the process. Now these might not look like much, but even with all the mistakes in anatomy and proportions these pages will look way different after they're inked, colored, grained, and lettered. ( The reason I add grain to all my pictures is now is because I have an extensive collection of scanned comic books. My favorite is 40 years of X-Men. The added grain or noise makes my pages seem like they were scanned in. In other words it feels like a real comic book to me )

So that's where I'm at. I'm slowly getting to that phase where I know whatever I plan to do is around the corner. I got my method, I got my tools, and I got my time. I just need ideas. So when I say writing is hard, it is. Don't take it for granted like I've done multiple times in the past. Take the time to really craft something people would want to read, and you would too.

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