Storytelling 101j

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

One of the great things about creating comics for the web is that the artist has the opportunity to do everything (writing, penciling, inking, coloring, etc.) if they want to. By doing everything, I’m learning how to think my artwork through to the finished product and therefore becoming a better artist. This page is a good example. When I first drew the fourth and fifth panels on this, I was thinking of how it would look in black and white because that’s what I was drawing, but not thinking as much of it as it would finally appear in color as I should have. Here’s a sample of the original inked panels in black and white:

Sample Black and White

I was pretty happy with them. The solid lettering for the sound effects stood out nice and strong the way I’d intended. From here I planned to color the letters to have them stand out from the background the way they needed to. Unfortunately, the placement of those sound effects isn’t over a solid area that would provide enough contrast to have them stand out. Here is a sample of the initial attempt at coloring these panels:

Sample Bad Color

As you can see, especially with the “Tap! Tap!” effects in panel five, the letters sit on top of areas of completely different value in the brown of the kayak and the off-white color of the clouds. There wasn’t any color I could use for the sound effects which would contrast both of those values. The solution I was left with was to redraw those effects and the area behind them which you can see in the finished page.

In this case it wasn’t a huge problem to fix, but it’s something I’ll be thinking about all the time from here on out. The more I can envision my work in my head before I even start drawing, the better I think my artwork will be AND the faster I’ll be able to do things which I think is really important for a webcartoonist.