Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Did you get my best side?

So I've actually started working on my comic again. Shocker, I know. What thwarted me this time was trying to draw Dionne (and, to a lesser extent, Tiffany) in profile facing left. For some reason I just couldn't get her to look right!

Flipping through my sketchbook, the vast majority of my left-looking drawings all feature a three-quarter pose at most. True profiles are few and far between. And all but one were doggy characters. (It's not surprising Bud is the exception, as he is the most drawn character and thus gets to try more poses.) Weird.

Edit: My own blog defies me, as the sketchbook page I posed a while back contains a left-looking Tiffany I missed - drawn only because she was looking left in the comic I was working out, which is the same comic I mentioned struggling with today. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy or something! Um. SO TWO KITTIES! That's it!

I guess it has to do being left handed. I naturally draw my characters looking right since the flow of drawing fits the hand position. I know back when I did the very first Precocious promo pic I drew a great Bud looking right, but Autumn was a disaster. I finally had to draw her looking right and reverse the image in Photoshop.

Reversing characters doesn't always work, either. What looks so natural can become bizarre when flipped. How irritatingly quirky.

With sketching, my tendency to draw characters facing one direction is all well and good - but the actual comic features characters, y'know, talking to each other. That means lots of folk looking left. Uh oh. Some of them are even kitties! THAT'S BAD NEWS! (My guess is that kitties have more subtle features with the curves of their heads while doggie muzzles and fluffy cheeks tend to point strait out.)

So I went through my sketchbook counting figures facing left. Most were Jacob and Suzette. Jacob, being who he is, tends to be the character reacting to the more aggressive characters, so he appears more on the right side of panels. Suzette is easy to draw. The sketchbook is littered with aborted Autumn sketches, all given up when it came to drawing her hair.

What's pictured in this post is the one left-looking Bud in the book along with the better of the two fully-drawn Autumns. To show the crazy mirror effect works both ways, I flipped the image. Autumn especially looks distorted when facing right.

Oh well. It's just another hidden obstacle that keeps me from being a real cartoonist. Now that I recognize the problem, I've got to spend time trying to correct it in my sketchbook. This will not be fun.

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