More Character Doodles

A couple years ago, I started working on a comic-- not a professional gig but a personal project-- the two on the left are new drawings of main characters and the two on the right were background characters I felt like revisiting.

You don't have to read this next bit, I'm just rambling on today:

I've always loved comics-- I've been drawing since I ate my first crayon, and the first artists' names I learned were Kirby and Ditko and Buscema-- but I've never done more than dabble with comics. Thus far, my career as a picture-maker has taken me in a different direction but every once in a while I am inspired to increase my level of dabbling to enthusiastic dabbling.

On this occasion of comics-making-- a slow-moving slice-of-life drama about artists attending an adult school figure-study class-- I was pretty good at it for a couple of months. I'd work for an hour or so in the morning before my job and I'd try to get in a couple hours after.

My weekly process ran like this: The first day I'd write a page in the morning, arranging the lettering and layout in illustrator; I'd do quick thumbnail sketches at work during slow times-- just rough figures and scribbly environments; and then I'd work on the final art from then on out, adding color as I could. Thumbs, layouts, final drawings, lettering and colors-- all done at home on the iMac. I'd post the new page on Sunday nights, and I don't think anybody ever saw it. That's okay, I was doing it for me.

I stopped working on it when I took on a long-term freelance job. And then I focused on working on pieces that might help me get a new job. And then, other things intervened. Etc. So, when I finally got back to a point where I wanted to work on it some more, I saw it with that fresh eye; you know the one-- the one that can't stand looking at your old stuff. So here I sit, my enthusiasm blunted by too long of a vacation.

Why am I unhappy with it? I mentioned before how I'm trying to break away from doing art entirely on the computer. I've worked that way for a few years because I felt I needed to know how to do it, and now that I have a grasp on it, I'm trying to settle comfortably somewhere between the pencil and the pixel. Going back to look at this comic I can see where being strapped to a 4x5 Wacom tablet has hurt my drawing. Maybe I was used to what I was seeing on the screen but now, after having once again taken to paper and pen, I feel that I can draw better than I was drawing with the Wacom.

(Here is a sample of one of the less embarrassing pages.)

Maybe if I had a larger tablet I would be happier with the act of drawing-- If I could move my whole arm around as opposed to just wiggling the fingers and wrist I might get more of that "real drawing" feel-- but I can't afford that kind of experiment at the moment. At any rate, since I've been doing more drawing on paper I am more content with the finished work. I think my art has improved and now I have drawings that I'm collecting in sketchbooks instead of on hard drives. Well, they're collecting there, too, but you know what I mean.

I don't know if I'd revisit this abandoned project-- I'm afraid I'd have to re-draw the first twelve pages before I'd show them in public-- but looking around at all the fine work other artists are doing I'm on the brink of being inspired, once again, to try something along these lines.


The End.