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Like so many others, I have a graphic novel in the making too. It's been in the drawer since I got more offers to do concepts and storyboards for various film projects. For me, drawing comics is still the most challenging out of the graphic disciplines. It combines multiple artistic skills from design to anatomy and each illustration is depending on the one before, on the whole of the page, spread and even the whole story.
Since the profession of drawing comics is a 'lonely business' I thought I share it with like-minded people in prospect of getting some feedback in terms of the relevance for what I am doing. I'll start posting the main characters now and the pages as I get along. Looking forward to hearing from you. thnx.
Well, I won't be of any help. Just here to say I'm really REALLY fond of your 2 last images. The girl with the sword is great. Is there a place where I could see others of your pictures?
Below is my first double spread in full color.
As you can see I added more detail than indicated in the sketch.
Although I prefer a reduced style, without line-art the page seems to appear too empty…
and the b/w sketch still feels more sinister, what do you think?
I like the way you have combined panels 2 and 3 on the first page. You lose nothing but gain a sense of hierarchy. I can't read the text but get the impression that the people entering are visitors. With the black and white panels the impact is different and it does not feel like a grand entrance.
On the second page the composition of the first panel is great. The way the dialogue is layed out really gives you the impression that you are dropping down into the bowels of the city.
The second panel is more oppressive in the black and white version but on the other hand in the colour panel it feels like you are closer to theme of industry is more dominant.
I really like the look of the finished colour pages and the composition and panel layout really work. After flicking through a couple of pages of this I would definitely want to pick it up and read it.
Except for the finish, which is excellent, every panel composition is better in the black and white sketch than in the finished version. The overall layout is also more appealing and balanced.
1st panel - I like how it goes black all the way to the left and the little white spaceship brings attention to the fortification and other ship.
2nd and 3rd (smaller panels) - They focus on individual aspects of the fortication and are more interesting graphically than the many towers, windows and obelisks in the finished page.
4th panel - The bigger panel is more dramatic in the sketch, because it's simpler, there aren't many distracting columns, just the one with the statue lit from below.
1st panel - I like the fortification positioned the left better, it adds weight. The smoke from the shacks also adds interest.
2nd panel - The bottom-up perspective adds threat which is more interesting.
3rd panel - The ceiling beams/ structure looks better directed as in the sketch version, but I can't explain why.
4th panel is pretty much the same, so no comments here
5th panel - I like the text on top rather than the floating speech bubble in the middle and whatever you are showing is more interesting graphically too.
Anyway, I'm curious about this project. I'd like to see more. Post more pages!
No real comments to make except I don't really find the text boxes tail trailing off the page necessary. The viewer automatically trails through the page as long as you set it up well. Then they know automatically where it starts and begins each page.
No comment besides that really, and even that's really minor. Looks good man.
Oh yeah also a simple tip that may help. Is think about and incorporate text boxes/bubbles into your designs before drawing, when plotting out the drawings really. Helps to plan more. Otherwise you may end up with situations where they feel forced or thrown in there later.
Thanks to all of you for your comments and suggestions. Very much appreciated.
@Jacobiahs: The people are gathering for some kind of ceremony. In my opinion it wasn't clear enough in the sketch, so I changed it to a more open space.
@Leonor: I agree with you regarding the advantages of the b/w sketches compared to the colored pages. The contrasts suggest a more defined composition with stronger impact. Still, the b/w pages are harder to read. From my experience many people outside the 'art-world' would consider the b/w style as far too reduced or even abstract.
Another lesson I learned is that b/w-art does not translate one-to-one into color. Solid black areas suddenly become holes punched into the canvas, if I don't add enough detail to keep it together.
1st panel - I agree with you, unfortunately the formation of the ships did not make much sense of the narrative.
2nd and 3rd (smaller panels) - agreed, but still I feel the need to introduce the city more precisely.
4th panel - don't think the columns are distracting, but felt the sketch was lacking depth and perspective.
1st panel - agreed, can't remember why I've changed this. Probably haven't figured out a graphic solution for smoke yet.
2nd panel - agreed.
3rd panel - I've tried to render the beams according to the sketch but decided to go for a simplified version with more atmosphere instead of repeating the same structure again and again.
5th panel - the text box works nicely but the balloon goes with the flow of the rest of the page. If I was more interested in the formal than the content I wouldn't have changed the layout so much. Storytelling brings many controversial issues into account and need to be evaluated for it's relevance. In some cases I need to get rid of one thing in order to achieve a simpler solution.
Anyway, thanks for the qualified critique, Leonor. You made me think twice and try even harder.
@JFierce: I added the tail of the balloon because the dialoque was continued from the previous page of the Epilog(not posted yet). Just to make sure to the reader, it is still the same person who's talking. It may well work without..??? yeah, you're right, there were some problems with the placing of the text and I shall plan this more thoroughly in the future.
okay, here is the next double spread:
fantastic. send me a pm please when i can buy it (seriously!).  well forget that its a redicilous request. i bookmarked your blog and see when it is released . thanks for the inspirational art!
Last edited by sone_one; September 30th, 2012 at 06:33 PM.
This is awesome. When I read the title I was sure I'll come here for explaining about emotional media deisgn, but you're a pro already from the start. Definately gonna follow this!
I'll have to second Swamp Thing! The amount of work to pull off what the OP is doing makes me want to weep. Can you reveal yet the overall story of you graphic novel?
@sone_one and Swamp Thing: Hopefully there will be some good news soon. I'll keep you posted about it.
@ZombieMariachis: The story plays in a medieval, steampunk-like setting. A friend of mine described it as a crossover of Metropolis and LOTR ;-) Don't want to give too much away yet and prepare you for the unexpected. Just saw your latest painting (here) and was surprised about the resemblance of the subject with one of my pages.
Oh wow that is crazy! We must be drinking the same water or something. Your composition has a very cinematic feel and arrangement. I'm also glad I hadn't seen this before I started, because your image has a lot more emotion and I'm sure would have deflated my resolve. Great work!
Ha! That's what I call successful understatement. Your image rocks, can't wait to see it finished.Oh wow that is crazy! We must be drinking the same water or something. Your composition has a very cinematic feel and arrangement. I'm also glad I hadn't seen this before I started, because your image has a lot more emotion and I'm sure would have deflated my resolve. Great work!
The graphic novel looks excellent! Love the cinematic feel and the use of simple tones and light and dark look amazing. The only real critique I can give is that on some of your subjects, especially the more rendered piece of the old man with the sword, have very small feet. And perhaps a slightly small head. Other than that the proportions are great. Your rendering style is gorgeous.
I keep liking the black and white better. It's not just because it's black and white. It's the structure of the pages. The draft looks more classic to me, like it's following proper rules of sequencial narration. The finished version is fussy, too many panels, too many small speech bubbles. Of course I don't know the story to really know if the flow is right or not.
@Leonor: I wish there were more people like you out there. Would save me a lot of work ;-)
@midknight523, chevy28360: thank you!
There are more sample pages, characters and a video on my KICKSTARTER page.
Thanks to everyone backing my kickstarter campaign. It just passed a hundred supporters ordering the book.
Wow amazing... I'm so impressed, I really like what you show here, the first images with black and white characters are just beautifull... The red lady is amazing, I like the way you mix the total-black with the color...
There is tons of great work in this thread! I especially love this: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8037/8...4504ae53_b.jpg
Can we get a higher resolution image of that? It is hard to see as is.
The only complaint is the beard of the man leaning on his sword. It seems rather flat. I am also a bit disappointed by the pinup of the woman above with the coming soon banner. To me it lacks the excellent taste of your other compositions, and comes off as..unrefined? I would use something else for the promo.
Also, I wanted to throw you the 30$ for kick starter. Can you let me know some information about the print though? What paper is it printed on? How many ink jets does the printer have that you usually print with? Would you send the print right away or would it only happen if you raise the 40,000?
Sorry to be a prude about it, but I love the fine art paper which is matte and does not wrinkle. My OCD personality does not bode well with glossy poster paper which wrinkles easily, and makes me go out of my mind.
what insanely inspirational work. WOW!
sb most art copied to page 1
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@Griffonnage: thank you. I am still struggling with that amount of black.
@Pavel Sokov: I really appreciate your thoughts on this. There are bigger images on the kickstarter page here.
The promo piece is definitely more profane, I agree. And that may be the reason why I did not want to overwork it to produce a 100% pure fantasy kitsch. But will definitely follow your advice and come up with a more suitable one....Man, no inkjet, NOOO! This will be properly printed in best quality available. If it gets funded, much sooner of course. No glossy paper, promise...
@The actual painting doesn't take that long. It's really the thinking, planning the flow of the panels, composition of the all-over page layout, storytelling and so on. Roughly a week, considering character, location designs etc.
@Velocity Kendall: your doing well yourself. The sketches and drawings are killer. They'd look great on your own website, dedicated to illustration only.
THIS. NOVEL. ROCKS.
Seriously, it looks so damn brilliant. Characters in first post are amazing, coloring looks really great. Everything is excellent. But, it would be awesome if some parts of panels content should be placed outside borders. For example, placing a half of character's body on white background to avoid those straight-edged panels. Or overlaying some parts of two panels between themselves - where objects or characters are cut in half (like a guy's helmet on bottom left corner).
Hope you understood at least half of what I said. Damn language barrier...
it looks awesome dude !!!
Blogspot : www.danarart.blogspot.com
Sketchbook : http://conceptart.org/forums/showthr...ketchie-sketch
Awesome job on the mountain scenes! I just hope that over the next decade I can learn to create such great compositions like you've done in nearly every single frame.
Thank you for your reply. I hope I did not offend you by putting down the promo piece, I just feel as though it does no justice to your excellent sense of design and the tastefulness of it all. I will throw you the 30$ when I get home I think, I love that poster!
You posted new pages, but they are once again too small. Are you shy of our ability to read the words? If so, why not post a high res version without the words?