Thursday, August 11, 2016

Another Page at the Penciling Stage

This is page 4 of another comic I am working on. In the spirit of deliberate practice, I'm looking at what I've done to see what specific things I can work on. I have trouble with facial consistency, bottles and hands. Faces and hands (along with body gestures) are the most important elements of narrative art. They are how we communicate in person, and they are the most important tools we have. I've drawn some great hands and I've drawn some great faces, but I think applying the principles of deliberate practice, I can draw them communicatively and consistently. So, I need to take the time to just focus on those elements. Like an athlete doing push-ups, I need to dedicate time to the basics. 

Bottles. Actors like having props because it gives them something to do with their hands. Actors are trying to tell you a story, so what they do with their hands can be as important as the dialogue they are saying. If I'm going to work on hands, I need those hands to be able to work a prop. And there's no better prop than a bottle. Beer bottle, wine bottle, soda bottle, liquor bottle, olive oil bottle — culturally, food and drink are some of the things we gather around to tell stories. We've probably been doing that since primitive homosapiens gathered around the watering hole. If characters are telling you a story (and they always are), then it makes sense for them to do it with food and drink. For better or worse, the bottle is my preference. David Lynch, who I suspect isn't much of a drinker, often has his characters eating or drinking coffee. It was reading Lynch on Lynch several years ago that made me notice this and want to incorporate it into my own work. 

Some of this page was drawn while listening to Susan Orlean's The Orchid Thief. 

I'll take another pass at the pencils before inking this, but I'm happy with the things that are good and focused on my improving the things that need work. 


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