Sunday, February 6, 2011

This week: C

You finished on time. Overall, you didn't really progress much. There's not really much new to say. The same problems of carelessness are there. Actually, its mostly a matter of creating a style at this point. I think much of it comes from not being able to see the image on paper, and concluding not alot can be done until then. Get some printer ink! Another thing is that I haven't had practice with certain models, so rather than take the time to learn them I just go to finish. Not the best idea.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

This week: B-

I've made some major leaps over the last week. The primary success comes from significantly reducing the time it takes to finish a drawing. In many cases, I was able to create a pose from scratch; other times I was able to finish inking just by looking at an earlier sketch layer. Either way, I definitely seem to be able to retain proper construction principles better than ever.

Overall, my improvisations 'worked'. There were no major problems. Again, I seem to be absorbing all the right principles and steering clear of the bad ones.

I also did a bit of experimenting with sound effects, backgrounds, speed lines, and tones. For next week I'd like to take all of these areas a bit further. So, whether they're necessary in a given panel (per se) I want to include all of the above in every panel for this weeks page count. Also, feel free to re-work panel compositions and general layouts.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

This week: c+

The + is mostly for a job well done finishing all 7 pages. Throughout the week, I was usually a page or two ahead of schedule. In addition, there were some solid background and tool improvements.

I seem to be leapfrogging between getting fast and getting good, so rather than try to move in one particular direction, I'm going to let both do their thing for now; I'll increase speed and efficiency while upping the technical skill and drawing quality.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

This week: C-

6 pages out of 7.
Clothing is improving or remaining consistently good.
Slight improvement of backgrounds
Slight hands and body improvements.
Negligible background improvement.
Minor speed improvement.

Feel free to experiment more with backgrounds, tones, effects, and line weight even at the expense of solid drawings. Also continue the push to draw straight from a rough construction sketch. Draw some panels of A without the glasses.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Week 2 grade: D+

First thing: all 7 pages didn't get finished; only 5. However, the finished pages look better overall- the background, linework, composition, and effects have all improved. Each page is much more complete. Also, the overall speed has improved.

Achieving a C average next week will require the completion of all 7 pages. I need improved compositions. Experimentation is fine, and won't necessarily count against you. Make sure to put in all the music notes. Develop some lab props outside of work. Search for the ideal scale/ line weight. I want no incomplete forms.. no lines that aren't connected to anything. Negative spaces around characters needs to feel 'more natural'.

Remember: and A represents ready-to-print material that is both easy to read and fun to look at. It needs to have flair.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year and Weekly Goal

I've been working on a page every day now for 8 days. Some observations have begun to surface.

I'm devoting a minimal amount of time each day to completing the page. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but a fundamental choice has once again emerged: either trade in your 'other' time for 'drawing time' or don't expect to do a serial. I'm simply not putting out work that meets my standards. This evaluation is given based on the facts of my current situation. At this rate, I'm more suited to working on my graphic novel... which may be a good idea.

One desire I've had is to actually begin some sort of planning outside my work time. Another is the desire to increase speed-- this one is most minor. Lastly, more skill building during work is probably the strongest desire right now.

Here's the criteria for evaluating my weekly work:

Goal: 7 pages finished

Estimated time: 56 hours (@ 6-8 hours per page)

Grade is based on actual performance and growth. An 'A' during week 1 will not be the same as an 'A' during week 11. You will receive 2 letter grades lower for late work.

A full 7 pages completed of average quality will score higher than only a portion of the work of excellent quality. The goal is to increase stamina, speed, and quality in that order.

First goal: To complete the page count in the allotted 1 week time frame. A 'C' will be awarded if this goal is achieved and represents a comic with complete, solid drawings with good construction, composition, and readability. The letter grade will then change depending on the actual quality of the drawings: a higher letter grade represents above average ability given my current aptitude (same for lower letter grades).

Week 1 grade: C-

Lots of hits and misses. Virtually every panel (save one... maybe) needs work to some degree. The minus is for the 2 bad panels that could have been easily fixed. That said, you nearly had a flat C. Shouldn't be too difficult to achieve a C next week, but you'll have to show some overall drawing construction, background, and technique improvement.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Review and plan


Take a problem and try different solutions. Get in the habit of taking time with a problem rather than trying to skim over it.
Remember to use drawing references! You don't have to process and automatize everything right away.
Use different pen styles. You're using a computer, so take advantage of the different weights.


Practice drawing characters digitally as well as on paper.
Spend some time developing newer characters.


Flow chart- current plan

1 page per day with no planning ---> build momentum ---> formulate ideas while working ---> begin planning during FREE time ---> probably redraw/ rework pages during FREE time ---> planned version slowly takes over? ---> begin publishing

The key is to build momentum and to keep it. Every time I have successfully built momentum in the past, I ruined it during the planning stage. Say I start on a project with little forethought. Usually after a couple of months of drawing I begin developing solid planning and ideas; they aren't FULLY planned and developed yet. I decided that this tighter version of a story is superior and promptly drop the lesser version to continue planning. What then happens is momentum drops completely and I'm back to where I started.

In the past I would conclude that the spontaneous version, while rougher, was the superior over the planned version. While it's true that something is better than nothing in this case, I failed to recognize that a tightly planned work is much more difficult and long range but the end result of such a struggle is most likely going to be far superior to the short range project. And a short range project, which could be translated into a project not necessarily ones own planning wise, is undeniably good for solid work experience, momentum, and discipline.

So to recap, work on a 'daily' version with little regard to plot. Don't work out an outline or do rough storyboards or anything beforehand- just work on one page per day. Once you get going it'll be okay to do some minor planning ahead of time. Eventually I believe that planning will reach a point that I'll be working on a cohesive story that will take a while to work out the details. That's based partly from experience, partly from theory.