Prep work

SO… a bit ago I mentioned that for my new year’s resolution, because we Americans are good at setting goals and then ignoring them, I was going to aim to work on a web comic. I started a WordPress site ages ago for the exact purpose of using it for a comic and never did anything with it. Like I said, we Americans are good at being lazy.

The reason behind the comic is not that I have an idea, necessarily, but that I often dream of illustrating for children’s books and/or magazines. The problem with going full steam ahead with this is that though I can do portraits, I struggle with character design. I can make a drawing and it’ll be cute and stuff, but giving it a personality that is easily understood, giving it emotions and different expressions, is something I often struggle with. In a portrait, people smile and sit still, mostly, so different expressions aren’t a key point. I have practiced with the idea before.

Image

An older expression practice I did in 2010.

I still have a long way to go on this and I’ve seen how web comic artists grow when working on their comics. They may start out with an idea but the artwork is simplistic or minimal but as it progresses their art and story grow. It’s pretty amazing to watch. I feel like I grow with them in a way, though I’m not doing anything but sitting by watching.

By now you get what I mean. The idea of the comic is to practice character design and giving characters real depth in order to, hopefully, one day illustrate for kids. I got Tom Bancroft’s book on Creating Characters when I ordered yarn a while back, and thanks to my brother-in-law I also have both of Mark Crilley’s Mastering Manga books. I just don’t feel like it’s enough to want it, to practice with books on how to do it, but to take it a step further. What about Will Terry and Shane Lewis in School of Visual Storytelling? Not that I’m being cheap, but the starter class is only $20 and is about Character Design, which is what I’m aiming for here. It’s the start that I need, right? It’s an option.

Gosh, I can’t believe it’s almost 2014 already.

Character Design from School of Visual Storytelling

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