Tag Archives: illustration

Proof of Concept

proof-of-concept-neg-space_edited-2

Layers! Onions have layers; reality has layers. You get it. 

This is a proof of concept drawing for my next big project about which I am stoked and can now discuss: collaborating with the always-amazing Linda Addison to create 1 or 2 comics for her upcoming book of interconnected short stories, Negative Spaces. Originally, based on the tile of the book, I have envisioned a very different style–much more black, much simpler lines–but after we talked about the project for a couple hours, the layers started to come together.

This image won’t be an actual comic panel: it just demonstrates the style in which the eventual comic will appear, more or less. Still needs some tweaks, but the idea is that each layer of reality has its own weight and solidity.

  • The background is a manipulated photograph; in the next iteration I’ll leave off the stippling and just play with the contrast and brightness to take it down to line work.
  • The human character is a pencil sketch, with the interiors filled in with grayscale to pull it forward from the background.
  • The kid’s imaginary friend is drawn in crayon, then reproduced at 50% opacity so it’s partially transparent but still heavy enough to interact with the kid.
  • The 5th dimension beings are a 3D polymer clay model set on the scanner bed to make them hyper-real.

These aren’t the actual 5th dimension beings, whose design specs have not yet solidified: it’s 3 different angles on the “chronic pain and insomnia” figurine from my personal demons collection, because it was the only monster I had lying around that seemed as if it would lie easily on the scanner. The actual 5th dimension beings will be flatter, for maximum scannability.

Of course, these comics have to be black and white, but knowing that in advance gives me the opportunity to experiment and possibly understand how playing with grayscale can add dimensionality

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The Trickster’s Hat Part 9

How and Why by Robert Graves

How and Why by Robert Graves

Exercise 29: illustrate a quote. But not just any quote. It was supposed to be something with a bit of humor to it as well as depth. I struggled with this assignment for days, perusing Bartlett’s, surfing web pages full of inspirational quotes. I didn’t want to put any effort into illustrating a quote that wouldn’t be deeply meaningful to me, and most of my favorite quotes are fairly serious, primarily about writing and creativity.

Just as I was about to lose hope, I noticed a little scrap of paper tacked to the wall behind me, where I had written out this Robert Graves poem, “How and Why” from (I think) the book Ann at HIghwood Hall: Poems for Children, published in 1964. (It’s entirely possible it’s from a different book of poetry for children by the same author, but I think this is the one). I had long been fascinated with the light-hearted, but also sort of provocative rhyme, and he long intended to illustrate it with almost exactly the precise designs I used here.

It took several days to create the lettering (I made these up rather than using a known typeface), sketch everything out, and ink it in. I’d still like to do some further digital work to touch it up, but this is probably my favorite finished product; It’s framed and hanging on the wall, just as I’d imagined it for about a decade.