Happy New Year everyone! Let’s make it a good one :)
During the holidays me and Silver found a new medium to play around with: Vine. With it you can take short videos with your phone and upload them instantly on a social network of your preference. Kind of like instagram for videos. It’s been a fun and easy way of recording some of the behind the scenes stuff.
First off, the latest page I was working on. I also recorded the full process, you’ll see that on youtube when the page comes out:
More witch portraits. I needed to make them to figure out the different characters so no witch looks the same. We’ll put them on our Etsy-shop later next week:
The Crone of Nevereth
Now that you’ve seen the Vines, I’m really curious if this is a method of seeing the comic making process that you guys enjoy. We won’t drop it any time soon, since it’s really been fun recording these, but if you have any ideas about what you want to see more of, we’d be very interested to hear about it.
Christmas comes and Christmas goes and it’s time to get back to work.
It was good to have a little break, for I finally managed to finish off The Last of Us; why did nobody tell me it had such a great ending? And why did no one tell me Ni No Kuni was such a boring game? Immensily pretty, but you can’t believe how much Kaija was raging that the game didn’t let her play it. Sorry Ni No Kuni, I don’t think we’ll be continuing you.
I feel like Ellie and Katniss have been modern dystopia-genre’s greatest gifts to mankind, and together, armed with bow and arrow – they could take over the world. If Ellie and Katniss had to duel for no particular reason, who do you think would win? My money’s on Ellie because she wouldn’t feel regret. But Katniss shouldn’t feel bad, because there’s no shame in losing to Ellie.
Ryse Concept art stuff
Both me and Kaija were featured in Concept Art World for our work for Ryse. It’s a great source for industry-level concept art, so check it out if you’re looking for some videogame/movie inspiration.
We’ve tried different mediums for recording our behind-the-scenes shenanigans and everyday life of creating RFR. We enjoy taking photos; it’s quite natural for us to do the point and click thing and it’s been very fun and educational to learn about the machines and lenses for it. We also enjoy recording Kaija’s drawing and putting them on youtube and we’ll be doing more of those soon and now, we want to add yet another device: Vine.
It’s a fun program, extremely simple and creative and super-easy to share. Check out my twitter feed for more regular vine-updates, not always RFR related and we’ll put the best-of in the blog every now and then!
I was browsing my folders and stumbled upon a video of an older page of this latest chapter. I sometimes record the progress while inking, but if I don’t edit it right away it’ll start gathering virtual dust and ultimately gets forgotten.
These scribbled thumbnails are my first step towards a finished RFR chapter six. They are a mess, I know, but in Friedrich Nietzsche’s words: You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star ;)
I finished these last week, working painfully and tiredly during the workday evenings, trashing three thumbnails for every good one. Then re-did everything on Saturday in two hours after a well needed rest. Not a single one in the bin. That’s what half a day of blissful leisure can do to your brain. I’ll try to remember that in the future.
Yesterday I stumbled upon Eliza Frye through Tumblr. By now I’ve already read most of her comics and I highly recommend everyone to read them. They are in the form of short stories that will leave you staring vacantly and smiling for a moment after reading them. Beautiful stories, beautifully drawn.
Also check out Jake Wyatt’s work. He is planning on launching his new, weekly webcomic “Necropolis” at the end of august. You can already find some test pages of the comic on his blog as well as his other work. It’s all eye candy!
I wanted to end this post with the latest blackout poem I did. Both me and Silver have been doing these once in a while for the past year. I thought maybe I should start posting them here, instead of just having them hanging on the walls.
Consistency throughout a full chapter has been the focus of the last couple of days.
I spread out all the existing pages of chapter six on the floor – eleven so far – and started looking for breaks in continuity. I had a bad after taste after finishing the latest page. It felt like a downer in some way, boring, but I couldn’t easily pinpoint the problem. So with the whole chapter spread out on the floor, together with Silver, I began searching for the missing piece that would make it all better.
There’s a noticeable shift between pages three and four. I had a realisation that I could push myself so much further with better compositions and making more illustrative pages than what I had previously done. I decided to improve the comic’s mood and pacing by reducing the panel count per page by at least couple of panels. Now that I didn’t feel like I was cramming too much information on one page, I could concentrate on more interesting storytelling.
Looking at all the pages simultaneously, I noticed that this change in approach ended up having an impact on consistency of the chapter. Improving the compositions helped the pages immensely, but putting all my effort on the bigger picture and treating the whole page like an illustration made me gradually drop the little details and textures that felt so essencial to the first three pages. Fortunately adding texture is easy enough, it’s the last thing I ink on a page anyway. But the stinky last page still gets a full redo. With an emphasis on better composition AND detailing.
This happens to me sometimes when I focus on a new skill or approach. Since it isn’t like a second nature to me in the beginning, it automatically gets most of my attention. Everything else takes a second place until I’m either fluent in it or I notice the imbalance. I think it’s good to be aware of this when it happens, but to be honest, there probably is a good reason why your brain needs to give learning new skills priority over your old habits. Let it run it’s course and give it time to stabilise. It’ll be all the better when it becomes a part of the normal skill set.
All in all, this was a good reminder to look at the full story in addition to just the individual pages. Like with a painting, step back and look at all the pages simultaneously, you might see something new that wasn’t there when you were zoomed in on one page.
As a little side project I started making a small leather skull-bag. So far I’ve covered a skull replica in plastic wrap, drawn the seam lines and cut the pattern. Hopefully more updates on the progress next week! And check out the creepy picture Silver took:
I’m excited for the upcoming weekend, because I will be inking a RFR page full of magical creatures and characters! I’ve been preparing by sketching them out and looking at old illustrations of creatures like dog-men and mermaids as well as reading up on all these wild and weird myths about them.
It’s all so fascinating to me. They seem to be such a real part of the world in those days. At the time of the witch hunts in Europe a huge amount of these stories were properly recorded in trials from witness testimonies, in much detail. You can just imagine how these elaborate stories were created: a retelling of an event spreading through some village, word of mouth moulding it, adding juicy details. With the tale comes finger pointing and accusations. Maybe the accused, in desperation, pushes the blame to someone else, not being able to shake the guilt they’ve been associated with. Finally, it all ending with a blown out, crazy myth for us to marvel at. Dog-men, monopods, witches, pacts with the devil, flying on brooms or sprouting wings. A fascinating source of human imagination.
Yesterday I finished inking a page from chapter 5 (don’t worry, it’s not going to be a spoiler) and captured the whole process on video. This is a bit over 4 hours of work compressed into approximately an hour and 15 minutes. The first video is sped up 200% and the rest 300% to 400% percent.
It’s funny for me to watch these process videos; there is a weird disconnect when I watch them – it’s almost like someone else’s hand drawing. When Silver showed me the first ever 12 second video he took, it made me laugh and brought a feeling of elation, but none of the self consciousness that I expected. Now the novelty factor is progressively wearing off, but the disconnect remains there. I started to understand the reason when someone on facebook commented that the drawing in the videos looks effortless. I see it too, but in reality it’s anything but effortless.
It dawned on me that the experience of drawing the page is so much more than just the movement of your hand. What I’m primarily experiencing while drawing is the layers of thought processes, conflicts and decision making, the hand is just a movement that follows. In video, the movement becomes the focus. That said, I think it’s still a valuable experience for both me and anyone who’s interested in seeing the process. I’ve learned such an incredible amount from watching other people’s process videos. It’s probably better not hearing the thoughts that come with the process, since it’s going to force you to figure out your own way of interpreting what you see :)
For anyone who draws/paints I recommend recording your process and watching it. It can give you a very objective perspective on your work. I think it can be a good experience :)