View Full Version : Uncomfortable conversation anyone?
07-05-2003, 12:02 AM
This is the first page of my online comic Aequitas. I know it is rough looking and not finished, but this is what I have so far. I am not wanting to make a profit off of this, I just want to tell a story and draw.... Anyway I could really use some C&C on this pic. I know it's smudge and not finished but I need some help before I move on. Some of the dialogue seems corny, but it's what they(my beloved characters) would say. So please C&C :)
*The story begins in the middle of a conversation. The woman, Ayame, has just told her lover, Makani, That she had been a Spy for the CIA. I think it's obvious what's going on but in case no one else does.... there is the explanation :)
07-05-2003, 07:42 AM
The characters look very Asian, which is really cool, considering how simplistic the artwork is. The neck on that chick on the third panel is pretty far off, thats the big one that sticks to my eye upon looking at the page.
i can assume they are at the beach, because of the first and third panels, which is cool, because you are already working on backgrounds, which alot of people are scared of.
One biggie to watch out for though. Dont put your thought and word bubbles into later. They completely kill the drawing. It took me an entire issue (yes, 25 pages) to realize that I should leave this up to the pros.
Youre pointed in the right direction, my friend. Just keep on that path, take the advice of others that have walked the path, and you will be improving daily.
Hope this helps!
07-05-2003, 08:30 AM
Wow this sure does help, I didn't know you weren't suppose to put in the dialogue bubbles until after you are done haha. Thanks for the very important tip :) Yeah I know the neck is weird but I have been a hell of a tough time trying to find some reference photos but alas not yet. Anyway thanks for the C&C. And I am glad that you like that the characters were asian. I was mildly afraid that people wouldn't be able to attach to the main character Ayame, because she isn't some stereotype, she is a real person. And sometimes people have trouble getting attached to Asian lead characters if they aren't a certain type of girl. :) So thanks again so much for the critiques and the encouragement.
07-05-2003, 08:31 PM
well, i usually sketch in word bubbles as i am drawing the page. they will be a final aspect of the composition and should probably be considered as much as possible. but they dont last beyond the sketch phase usually. i guess i put them in at first to act as spacers so that i know where they will go and that there is an appropriate amount of space for them and the artwork in a given panel. but yeah, you really dont draw them in.
on to the art of sequentials. you need gutters (the spaces in between the panels). see, gutters help show a transition in time. if there is a large gutter in between two panels, then the transition in time takes awhile, if there are no gutters, then the moment exists almost outside of time or is lent a sense of timelessness, if there are no gutters then the eye has no break between images. they bleed together and feel very frantic and fast paced. here you have no gutters and therefore there is no break for the eye in which the mind fills in the action. it is ok to not use gutters at times, but you need to do this at the right times.
also, you need to think about shot diversity. another reason this is unfriendly to the eye is because all the shots you have chosen are close ups and mid close shots. all of your figures are up against or cropped by the borders. i have learned that a big part of drawing sequentials is learning to draw smaller. see, when you (all the yous i am using are a general you, as in we all)draw pinups you have a tendency to fill the picture plane. in drawing sequentials you have a bunch of picture planes that are smaller than you are used to all lined up against each other. suddenly you realize two things. first you dont have the room you are used to so you try to zoom in as close as possible while still showing what needs to be shown so that you are working at a more familiar drawing size. the second is that one picture effects how we see the ones next to it. having them all too similar becomes monotonous and no positive sense of rhythm can be attained. the page neds to be considered as a whole. you probably shouldnt have 4 finished panels and 2 completely empty ones. it is a good way to paint yourself into a corner.
what i do, is i have 8.5x11 sheets with comic pags actual size xeroxed onto them. basically a rectangle the size of a comic, with a smaller rectangle showing the borders at the edges of the page. i lay out my page as loosely and quickly as possible actual size on these. since they are xerox and are there fore disposable, you can sketch a page out as a whole, see what is working and what isnt, and toss the whole idea if you realize that your page layout is tragically flawed. if the sketch works and has rythm at that size and level of sketchiness, then you can transfer that layout to your 11x17 bristol quickly and refine the drawings knowing that your page works as a whole.
as to how this all specifically pertains to this page is hard to say since i dont know what the last two panels are to depict, or what the previous page gave us. but here goes.
first of all, add gutters.
-panel 1- i would bring his right hand up onto his hip so that you arent cropping him at the wrist and i would angle his left arm at us more so tha you arent cropping off his elbow. you also dont want them to kiss right up to the border either. give them some space.
-panel 2&3- i really like these. i wouldnt change anything. and this actually may be a place where no gutter works well. it could make it feel like he is so eager to get his excuse out that he almost talks over her.
-panel 4- i would definitely zoom this out to a full body shot. as in their whole bodies sould be no taller that just his torso in panel one. and give us some bg and maybe some diagonal lines in the bg to offset how straight on everything has been up until now. especially since you used the same quick sunset in panel one. only use that once.
-panel 5&6- you need to consider the story. do they end in an embrace? if so maybe one last extreme closeup of her head on his chest. does she storm off and leave him? maybe a low camera angle close up of her from the hips down walking up the beach with a tiny him getting smaller in the bg. do you want to mirror the first panel for the sake of rythm and cohesion, or do you want to shatter it by doing something off the wall and throwing us a compositional curve ball? it is up to you. these are all things that are a part of considering the page as a whole, and how you want to tell the story. and all these questions affect your sequential work from beginning to end.
*whew* that was some typin. hope it helps :D
ps. here are some links to this very site that give insight into storytelling and panel composition that are kinda neeto. i am sure there is oodles more where these came from, but these will do for now.
pps. sometimes, when you are gonna crop a figure, the cropping throws off your sense of anatomy, ie the guys neck. you try to cram in what would be off paper or vice versa. what can help you is to draw the figure how you want it on a seperate sheet of paper without cropping. just the whole unemcumbered figure in the middle of the page. then get out some pieces of paper with lines darkening the edges , and use those to cover up the previously uncropped drawing, and move them around to see how best to crop the image. it will help you to avoid distorting the figure because of the cropping, and will give you greater freedom in seeing how best to crop it. you can experiment without destroying the drawing.
ppps. draw little people as a exercise. see how many full figures you can fit on 8.5x11 piece of paper. draw a figure the size of your thumb and still give it life. they can be quick, but you need to get used to drawing smaller than pin up size.
end transmission ;cap;
07-05-2003, 10:40 PM
Wow Vinnlander! You are so helpful! Any improvement I have made in the past weeks can literally be attributed to you. I really am greatful for your encouragement and critques. I am glad that someone is taking the time to help me so much.
There was a lot to take in, but I think I can apply it all to my panels. There is a reason for all of the shots being so tight and croppish though. I actually wrote this comic as a short story first, so I have a clear idea of what is happening, but i don't know how to convey it through drawing. This particular scene is supposed to relay that Ayame feels apprehensive and trapped. Like she can't get away fro the situation. So I thought if the panel felt claustrophobic then so would the reader. Does that make sense? Everything is kind of confining and tight looking.
The next two panels: One was going to of Ayame and Makani sitting on the beach facing the water, so we see the peir and various things going on behind them. I was going to make it slanted like. Like a diagonal vanishing type thing. I don't have the art vocab to describe it ..... Like Ayame would be in the far left side, sitting a full body shot with space above and around her. And next to her, but diagonal due to the "camera angle" is makani, and you can see all the way down the peir.
For the last Panel I thought I would have a very close up shot of Ayame to express her emotion more. But i don't know If I should now, what do you suggest?
07-05-2003, 11:53 PM
is this what you mean?something like this could work. i screwed up the bg in the second to last panel, but other than that is it close to what you were talkin about? vary the last two shots, add some gutters, and flip the fourth panel so that the characters stay on their respective sides. what do youthink?
07-06-2003, 08:31 AM
Holy crap Vinnlander, that looks great! It makes me want to pay you to draw it for me lol. That's exactly the set up I wanted. And the reversed panel looks better that way. I wish I could just start drawing it all right now, but I have to go out :( But you can expect something from later tonight. Thanks again for your help :) You know, you are like yoda.
07-06-2003, 10:19 PM
Ok I added the last two panels. They are just quick sketches, but I wanted to know if everyone like the panel as is so I can really polish it up and ink it. Um I know that the Profile panel has some anatomy issues, but I am not sure what to do about Ayame. She looks odd. I can't really see a solution to it though, any suggestions?
07-06-2003, 11:47 PM
hello again. those last two panels work. it is good that you changed it up a bit. i drew over ayame some. in your other thread you mentioned wishin you could see the stuff that i see. the secret is to learn from the inside out. know the skeleton, then the rest will follow. try drawin the spinal line as a gesture first. it will help the rest of the anatomy fall right into place. ;)
07-07-2003, 12:21 AM
Thanks Vinnlander, once again :) So do you think I should polish it up for inking? I still am not happy with Ayame's profile but i can live with it.
I will take your advice about the skeleton. I need to study some anatomy books most likely.
07-07-2003, 02:40 AM
I've wanted to see this two days in a row, but the link doesn't work for me...is anyone else having a problem? is there another link for it?
07-07-2003, 12:17 PM
Sorry Brendon, but Geocities is kind of screwy. They alocate bandwidth on an hourly basis, so if too many people look at the website in one hour, then it goes down.
www.geocities.com/senshinoame/seq1add this link works, but it is all dependent on the bandwidth. I hope you like it if you get to see it.
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