I’ve been working on a story idea for over a year, but have found other ways of not getting the bits down on paper. Thanks to a massive re-prioritization effort on my part, I find myself with a few extra free hours a week. During which, I’ve decided to get back to basics and start relearning how to draw.
It’s important to note here that I haven’t worked on a graphic novel in this century. My last effort, Parker & Cole, remained a favorite among family and friends but it never occurred to me to actually try and do anything with the work. Prior to Parker & Cole, my impoverished, bohemian adventures in Seattle during the early 90s led to a series of strips featuring a writer named Arukas Sap (this was the brand name of pastels I used at the time, only spelled backwards). Sap, whose socially inept attempts at making his way through life made me feel better about not having any money, or social skills, was short-lived as were my bohemian days on Lower Queen Anne.
Since getting drawn (happily) into the tech industry, I’ve found myself with dwindling amounts of time in which to nurture my right brain. There have been plenty of one-offs, including a series of strips about an elderly woman and her cat, but nothing substantial. In order to get myself back up to speed, I want to teach myself to embrace and work with digital tools. While I prefer cocktail napkins and lined notebook paper to a Wacom tablet, I’ve given myself the freedom to start exploring some digital tools.
So, the “Getting Back to Drawing Experiment” series is born. The goal? Create a series of six, digitally produced panels using a wide range of software and hardware tools. The deadline? Each panel should take no longer than a single afternoon to produce, from concept to rough finish.
Below, is the first experiment, “The Young Man” – composed from rendering a 3D model in Poser and then sketching the figure and environment with the tablet using Illustrator and Manga Studio EX 4. Not my usual style, but I find the ease of making revisions, corrections on the fly beats rubber gum eraser jujitsu any day.