Monday, 23 November 2020

Being There

 Hello Reader(s)!

One day late here, but I hope you don't mind.  Lucky for you (Patient Ghsot), I have a page I particularly like.

Page 16

I like this page because I think I captured how it feels to be in the places shown in the first and third panels. I think the perspective worked really well in those as well as the light and shadow. I like how it feels bright and hot in the top panel, then bright but also shadowy in the last panel.

The perspective in the first panel was a bit of a challenge because I wanted to show the people in a reasonable (not too high, not too low) perspective, but then the airplane is HUGE, so it needed a low angle.  I think I got it working.

And I knew I wanted / needed to draw that last panel just as shown. It's one of those "pause" moments.  Nothing to read except the image, to put yourself in there, to imagine what the person is feeling.

And now I wonder if comics / graphic novels help people to become more empathetic, because ones that aren't too wordy, good ones, like shown here (snarf!!) force the reader to interpret, to be there with the characters, to understand another creature.  Eh wot?!  Good Masters's thesis topic?

Sunday, 15 November 2020

Nothing Lost

 Hello Reader(s)

Here we are again, another week older, and with luck a bit wiser. OOOH, and more importantly, here is Flight of Fancy's latest page.

Page 15

Well, finally a close up of our protagonist!

You probably know this already, Mr. Ghost, but I have difficulty coming up with designs for female characters.  I think it has something to do with the hair - how the heck do women style it?  What looks good, what doesn't?

I (deftly) worked around this conundrum by having our hero with really short, Mia Farrow Rosemary's Baby short short hair. I think it works... A) because I think I can draw this person page after page, but also because B) she's a pilot in the military - fashion takes a back seat to skill, discipline and all that. Problem solved!

I really like the drawing in the first panel - the outside of the field hospital. Instantly recognizable for what it is, but also interesting. Buuuut... that's just part of the story. 

This was the first hospital I drew, and while it looks really good, I got thinking that I wanted our hero still in the place where the crash took place, which is probably some base overseas where there aren't fancy hospitals like this one. And here we have another reason / example of why it is great drawing in a crappy lined paper exercise book... who cares if the image is wrong or doesn't work.  Erase it down or turn the page and get at it. No damage done! Nothing really lost!

Sunday, 8 November 2020

Point of View

 Hello weary travellers. After your long week, I give to you...

Page 14

I don't often go for these high 3/4 downshots that you see in the top and the bottom panels. When I see a panel in which all the Super Friends are sitting around a board room chatting, I think the artist did them for the reader and the drawing works like a floor plan, so reader knows where everyone is at all times and all camera angles.

It's a good idea, but I find this point of view / camera angle contrived. Not only do these drawings often lack drama, but how the heck would you get the camera up that high - wouldn't it be sitting somewhere above the ceiling?  Sure, we're drawing fiction and can draw anything from any angle, but I like to see the images drawn from as close to a human-eye perspective as possible, which means if you couldn't easily be in there with a camera, I don't want to draw it.  Another thing is that the  size of the rooms often look HUUUGE with HUUUGE desks or tables. This last thing is up to the artist to make everything look proportional.

But having said all that, I did the the first panel that way because I wanted to suggest a hot, barren landscape.  I didn't want the camera too high, but perhaps it could be a bit higher to push the emptiness, the alone-ness more.

And the last panel was done this way because I wanted to show the woman (HA!  That pilot was a woman! Hmm... now we're getting somewhere) splayed out across the busted fence panelling and the shadow "reaching" out toward her. I thought this angle would be dramatic, but also not put any emphasis or subjectivity on the person who found her. 

Sunday, 1 November 2020

Leaving Questions Hanging

Happy November, Readers.  

Following a scary, very quiet Hallowe'een, I give you the scary (number wise) page 13!

Page 13

Who is this veiled figure?  What are they doing?!

I tried to keep this question going as long as I could. I think it is interesting that we don't really know what the protagonist really looks like yet. I feel it keeps the reader interested and wanting to read more.

The top two drawings were particularly tough because for one, I was trying to continue the action from the previous page and also, the camera perspective made that continued action hard to show it all. I didn't want it be too tight or too wide a shot. Looking at the first panel again, I want to see the person's feet, but not sure why.

Perhaps I go overboard in showing every little detail of action, I mean, do we really need to see all of what happens in the second tier of images (panels 3, 4, and 5). I'm not sure panel 3 communicates so well, but I think it becomes understood by looking at the later two. Yes, I'm not going to tell you what happens there. If the drawings don't communicate the action, they don't work, so Class. your homework is to write me a brief description of what happens in each of those three panels.

I like panels 6 & 7.  I feel they describe a story detail well, a story detail that continues.

And 8, 9 and 10 perhaps show too much action.  I could have dropped panel 8, but it makes a nice harmony of panels on the page. I feel panel 10 is drawing the reader on. It doesn't answer anything, but instead I hope inspires the questions... "where's this person going?  What's going to happen next?"

Sunday, 25 October 2020

Look Ma, No Tracing!

Hello Hello!

Here we are again, with the never seen before, page 12!!

Page 12

It's funny how some drawings work out so well and become one's favourite. Wish I knew how to make it happen more often, but that might wreck the joyful experience when a great one just happens.

I love that last panel, where the pilot's foot breaks. I love how you can see the tread on the right boot, the twist on the left ankle and the way the knee isn't twisted... OUCH! 

You know how when you do a nice drawing and then trace it, some of the magic is lost, and it's not so much fun as it was doing the original. All the decisions are made, there's no more exploration or imagination needed.

        (Side Note: Yikes! What if I finish this thing and then want to trace and clean up those lines!
        How will I be able to do that and keep them looking good and be fun to draw!  OH NO!!!)

The way I'm doing this story is a bit similar. I'm not sure I mentioned it before, but unlike any of my other attempts at longer stories, I didn't write any of the story down. Nope, no script! I know what I want to have happen and have an idea of how, but if something happens in a drawing I didn't expect, or I can't make something happen on a particular page, I don't stress over it, I just see if I can fit it in elsewhere or consider whether I even need it. As a result I am sometimes surprised by how the action or story goes, which is actually a lot of fun. It's like I'm forging ahead into fresh territory, not tracing over something I've already done.