As of 30.10.20
Haven't updated this in forever, so here's a photodump of all my sketchbook pages relating to this project:
Doodles of the different animals (and people) to be included in my puzzle page (15 creatures in total), playing around with distinguishable silhouettes. The smaller creatures are about the size they will have to be on the actual page in order to make them spottable. This means the page will have to be enORMous and im scared.
Playing around with panel borders and gutters during Creating Comics class via Zoom and brainstorming my third (and as yet undecided) point of view
Layout and colour tests for the fisherman comic
Drew the fisherman in the aquarium and not to toot my own horn but i think it turned out really cool. Recently got a brush ink pen again so am hugely enjoying using it and think this will be the drawing style for this comic, as it allows me to add elements of depth and realism while still having that romanticised atmosphere.
Tried colouring it digitally but i honestly hate it, not least because i have no idea how to paint digitally (or colour in anything other than flat block colours). Adding texture digitally is also new for me and i did learn a bit in the photoshop workshop but i still think it looks crappy.
Also i've been studying comics theory (using Scott McCloud's books Understanding Comics and Making Comics, as well as the youtube channel Strip Panel Naked) and been thinking a lot about how art style impacts reading experience. Especially how using a realistic style vs a cartoonish style affects reader engagement and how much they can connect with the work. I tend to naturally draw in a simplified, more cartoony style but for the fisherman i'm gonna try and work more realistic so the reading experience is more objective and you feel like you're observing him rather than empathising with him (art style supporting themes etc). My inking style is obviously still very stylised but it has more realism than how i usually draw. It follows that i should also use colour as according to McCloud colour has a comparable effect but i can't really colour in a naturalistic style and i've also been thinking about the comics maxim that art should first work in Black and White before colour is added. As an artist i lean very heavily on colour to assist my storytelling so i'm gonna push myself to do this one in black and white:
Practise for inking jungle plants and employing areas of black which i am usually v afraid of. Last page referencing Fabio Moon's work in Daytripper.
This deep black style links well to my artist for artist, who's work i've been playing around with also in inks (FRANS <3 <3 <3)
Layout sketches for puzzle page and more Masereel and plants
Size test for boat in puzzle page, but everything needs to be BIGGER and its stressing me
More comic thumbnails, border ideas and another fisherman drawing which came out even better than the last.
Puzzle page elements, where i test for size and try drawing everything teensy to reduce how big the final thing'll have to be, but to no avail. My problem is i want the creatures to be hard to spot since its meant to emulate really being gin the jungle and trying to spot things through the trees, as well as having the space and scope to include all these different elements, but the animals must be spottable and distinguishable, so stress.
Layout for puzzle page. For this, i'm taking inspo from Usborne puzzle books which i loved as a kid (and lets be honest, as an adult too) which often include maze or map based aerial view puzzles like this
and also inspired by this incredible dinosaur book i've had since i was a kid where you search for the different creatures on each page and it gives you some background on them and tells you how many of each to look for.
More tests for all 3 points of view
Trying to figure out third perspective. Really want to show a positive relationship between tourist and local since i'm already being cynical enough. I always had such good interactions with the women selling things on the street and i love drawing them but i'm hung up on the fact that a transaction is always involved and that there is only a perceived closeness that doesn't really exist.
Did a lil one-page comic in my usual style as i was feeling very stumped and i actually really like how it came out. Coloured with the colours of the usual stall roof umbrellas in markers which is something i don't usually do, but the back of the page looks even cooler. It has this kinda batik texture to it which i really like.
Still feels like a bit of a dead end though, until I had a brain wave at the Centre of Gravity art exhibition at the Soapworks. Was too fine-arty for me but this thing caught my eye, no idea what theyr'e called but i know the victorians made a lot of them.
I liked how i could thematically use it to show this perceived closeness when you look down the tube, but show how tourist and local exist on completely different planes when you change your view and look from above. I tried this and......
Yeah it's fucking hard to make. Might have to stick to making comics.....
And finally, a selection of my own photos being used for reference: