Monday, April 18, 2011

Cursed Pirate Girl chapter 4

So I'm really excited to be back working on the next book of CPG, I know I still owe a couple of people some con sketches, I haven't forgotten about you!  I just NEEDED to start the next issue.  So I thank you for your continued patience.  It will be quite a while before you see the next book laid out before you all printed up, soooo I thought it'd be okay to post a page or two along the way.  Mostly to convince you it will eventually happen and I will finish the story.  And no I don't need to convince myself, I know it will be accomplished. 

With that in mind here is the second page in Cursed Pirate Girl vol. 2 issue one -the Bright Star

                             Here are the steps that I take in doing pages. 
     -First I write out the script
     -then I break the script up into what I think will fit on a page
     -then I thumbnail out the script.  This I do almost literally, my thumbnails are 1 by 1 and a half inches and are very rough.  Some key dialog to let me know what I was thinking at that moment and usually just an idea of what panel structure I thought would work at the moment.
     -then I start working up a full size rough.  By full size I mean 6"x9" with a half inch border on the top and three quarters below and five sixteenths on each side.
     -then when I get the parts drawn up to what looks good I transfer the rough images to bristol.  With this page I worked up the main image then scanned it and adjusted the size of Haftu's head and then the whole figure.  I printed that out and worked up the fish on top of the print out.  I take a piece of tracing paper and trace it then transfer that to bristol.  I did it this way because of the minute details involved with the figures.  If there is an image with less complicated details I would have just lightboxed the print out.
     -once it's drawn out on bristol it's just a matter of inking. 
     -the last thing I do is erase any pencil I see and then put in the dialog.  While the entire piece is inked with a brush, I write the dialog in with a crow quill dip pen.

Here are the individual pages involved with making this page.

first rough, full size

print out w/ penciled water and fish added

tracing paper contour drawing, ready to be transferred

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

That print... part 4

Well here it is!  Here is that piece you've all been waiting for... maybe.  So here is the full thing with a couple of details, I'm guessing it was around 3 months but it could've been a bit more.  Emily tells me I should get a chess clock so I can time myself more exactly. 

The whole story behind it is pretty much this- CPG has put on a pirate festival to be a distraction so that her pirate crew can sneak into a secret royal treasure trove held in the small island city of Cub.  As the royal marines are attacking though she disarms them with the music she is playing with her concertina, it frightens the evil from their minds and hearts.  Transforming them into innocent festival goers. 

It's funny what are my favorite parts are, like the shading under the skeletons boot and the texture of the snails.  This was a very challenging thing for me to take on and I'm glad I did.  So far the only challenges I have set for myself were just to come up with strange characters and strain the limits of my imagination.  While this is a good thing, this was a different kind of challenge and I have already seen an improvement in the pages for vol. 2 of CPG.  I have definitely raised another bar on what I expect my work to look like.  In interviews and conversations I've always said that I do Cursed Pirate Girl for me.  And I am extremely lucky that I can afford to do it that way.  I'm also extremely lucky that there are people out there who appreciate what I create.  So thank you very very much for putting up with the slow progress of my little story and being open to something new/old. 

I have mentioned before that this piece was created as an added incentive for those who were aware of and participated with the funding of the CPG trade on Kickstarter.  And I'm really happy that all of you will be getting a copy of this for free, and I'm really happy that Tom did offer to do it.  No matter how much I have whined in the past, it came out pretty ok and it was a good lesson to have learned.  And I hope it will pay off later when you're all waiting for the next issue of the comic to come out.  ;]

Saturday, April 2, 2011

That print... part 3

Here are some shots of the previously mentioned left border figure.  These are from my phone so I know they are kinda fuzzy.  To show you a progression...

This was the first part completed.  So now you can see why I particularly liked this guy.  Some details you will not be able to see on these images include the nautical creatures on his cuffs and trim of his coat and the repeating fish pattern on his leather boots. Well you might be able to make out the latter a little bit.  I had fun doing that, it's the first time I've ever tried doing an Escheresque pattern.  And what Cursed Pirate Girl piece would be complete without a monkey.  Originally I wanted the two monkeys to be mermonkeys like in the comic and have their tales coming from out of the bottom of their ships.  That design just didn't make sense.

I have to say what really inspired this and it's opposing figure was the book Journey of the Imagination - the artwork of James Christensen, I was not familiar with Mr. Christensen until maybe a year ago.  I saw his book in Barnes and Noble and kept wanting to buy it but kept putting it off [I didn't have the $ and then when I did it was a destination too far out of the way... etc].  I'm glad I finally went out there and picked it up, it's really amazing.  Very wonderful and absurd, two qualities I hold in very high regard.  He also includes in many of his pieces floating fish.  Which is definitely something I wish I had come up with.  Anyway, you should gander at his site and search out his book, you won't regret it. Here's a couple of grabs off of the internet-

He reminds me a lot of Alan Aldridge, whom I believe you'll remember me talking about in an earlier post.

Speaking of amazing illustrators and artists of the fantastical, I don't recall if I've mentioned Kinuko Craft, who also has an art book out now Drawings and Paintings.  She is also one of my contemporary favorites.  We've picked up a couple of her illustrated story books, King Midas and Cinderella.  She's just as magical and magnificent as Aldridge, Christensen, Rackham, Dulac, Crane, Nielsen, Tenniel, and Ford.  To name a few... heh.  I hope some of these names are new to you, because then you've got plenty of exploring to do.  Here's a Kinuko Craft though, enjoy-

Friday, April 1, 2011

That print... part 2

So I'm again overdue, my apologies.  I was waiting to obtain scans of the finished product, my scanner is not that big and it's not the best for trying to get detail.  Tom has a good friend in Transmission Atelier who has an amazing scanner and it is from him I will be able to post images that will give you a decent look at what I have been up to.  He is still working on it.  I do have some of the surviving sketches I did in the creation process. So here they are-

The next couple are from the border. The first little one is a small sketch I did in one of my little sketchbooks and it turned out pretty cool so I decided to blow it up and use it as the top border that reaches from the two main figures that make up the sides of the border.  The second image is the figure that makes up the right side of the border.  The Cursed Pirate Girl on a merstag that I have posted earlier makes up the main figure on the bottom of the border.

What I could not find was the original sketch of the figure that makes up the left side of the border.  Which just happens to be one of the coolest things I've come up with thus far.  I really like him.  The figure above represents the "military might" the opposing force on the black waters of the Omertas.  At least after the first story arc of Cursed Pirate Girl.  The other figure represents the "Piratical will" on the Omertas.  The royal soldier above is capped with a giant key, I wanted that to suggest he is more of a wind up toy than he is a free willed character.

Hopefully I can get those scans soon and I will be able to show you some more.