Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Gimmie some space!

It's very interesting to look back on early Precocious and see how things have changed. What's on my mind at the moment is not the ever-changing character proportions or little details that come and go - it's SIZE. My characters have gotten BIG! Not fat. Not tall. Not stretched. Just drawn bigger.

I look back and I used to easily crap three characters into a tiny three-inch space. Nowadays I have to use tricks to fit more than one in there! I'm working on this Sunday's strip, and I have to fit two characters into a larger panel than normal. (Three panels per page verses four.) Add in some dynamic poses and suddenly I NEED MORE ROOM!

The more comfortable I become in drawing the characters, the larger I draw them in the sketchbook - and that sketchbook size becomes the comfort zone. There was a time I used to use sketchbook pages for tracing when I ran into complex panels. Nowadays, one sketchbook character would take up a full panel. They look great, but this practice is really throwing my comicking off. The solution? Re-learn how to draw smaller?

The thing about sketchbooks is that it's far too easy to only draw in the comfort zone. I've been working on repetition and accuracy in drawing characters - getting the details down, rather than exploring new territory - and that can hurt me. The sketchbook focus needs to change to uncomfortable things! I need to draw celebrities to practice portraits. I need to draw actions poses. I need to draw smaller! Man, this is WORK!

Edit: Yes, another solution is to buy a tablet, draw digitally in my comfort range and resize as needed, BUT I RESIST THE CALL OF TECHNOLOGY! I want to hold my nice inked originals in my hand. They will be collector's items down the road!

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