27th January 2012
If I were to give myself advice several years ago on how to work in sequential illustration this would be it:
Always work out the story in thumbnails first before you even consider doing a final illustration.
This seems obvious, but for me the urge to get started on a finished illustration (to show the client how good I am) can sometimes overshadow the practicality of making comics.
Thumbnails not only conserve your effort and time for the final illustrations, but especially in the case of sequential illustration they ensure the story works visually before you get started.
For me a thumbnail takes about 2 minutes whereas a final illustration can take anything from 1 – 3hrs. Therefore for the same time frame as 1 final illustration I can have 30 attempts at choosing the right layout, composition and viewpoint for a panel.
So how polished do you do your thumbnails need to be? Will a line drawing do or do I need to spend a ton of time on a thumbnail that the client may not like?
First of all the thumbnails are there to help you work out the best way of presenting the story in the least amount of time. Once you are happy with the story you can spend a bit more time on developed roughs from the thumbnails, which you can then show the client.
If possible, I’ve found that it best to go through the roughs with the client face to face, so they can get an idea of where you are coming from. In addition I’ve found spending some time developing character sketches of the main characters helps the client visualise the characters within the roughs.
Below I’ve included a few thumbnails along with their roughs and final illustrations taken from a project I’m currently working on.
6th December 2011
This Sunday (11th December) from 12 noon, I’ll be selling some of my artwork at ‘Belfast's best-loved alternative craft market’ the Xmas Black Box Bazaar.
The market will be held in the Black Box (18 - 22 Hill Street, Belfast, BT1 2LA) and is looking to be a real corker.
I’ll be selling a bunch of lovely things on the day and so To give you a feel of what you can expect I’ll be posting some photos along with prices over the next few days.
The first two items pictured below are my A7 mini comics and my ‘say what you like’ A6 greeting cards.
More to follow tomorrow, until then keep warm.
14th October 2011
I’m fascinated by the affect words have on people and how words will always transmit a message that once delivered can never be suppressed.
This series of mini comics deals with the affects words have on people and the importance to consider and craft the intended message before delivering it.
The first mini comic ‘Encourage’ considers the power of an encouraging word.
7th October 2011
Yes ‘every picture can tell a story’, but do the pictures on a Facebook profile tell you the right one?
This mini comic attempts to highlight the futility of founding your knowledge of someone upon the pictures in their profile rather than meeting them face-to-face.
9th June 2011
The 32nd edition society for news design awards were announced earlier this week and I won an ‘Award of Excellence’ for my 9-page comic and cover for The Times Election 2010 supplement!!
3rd June 2011
I’ve had this character for a few years but didn’t progress the story until I was teaching the comic book workshop for kids a few weeks ago.
A bit of background to the inspiration, I simply saw a really tall Goth at a crossing and noticed how his piers ignored him due to his height – making him invisible. This then led to the idea what if a giant lived in a city helping the smaller inhabitants but due to his height he never gets the recognition.
27th May 2011
As a freelance illustrator I find I am vulnerable to comparing my work to ‘more successful’ illustrators’ work. This in turn can result in an opinion that I am failing in some way.
25th May 2011
Last weekend I was one of the many tutors at the Family Fun Weekend at the Belfast Waterfront Hall.
15th April 2011
It is wise to get the opinions of others on your artwork, but when you start to choose their opinions over yours the critical mass of their opinions begins to form the artwork not you.
1st April 2011
This one came as more of a story in which a medieval King leads his troops through battle.
All of his troops are children who don’t have the strength to fight yet they keep on winning and enjoy the adventure. It is the King that enables them to win not the age or experience of the troops.