A cover design...

Tuesday, 22 March 2011 05:43 pm
sigune: (Prince Arthur)
Just an idea. I like it, but I am not entirely convinced :P. The image shows an essential aspect of Gawain, but I'm worried that it might give people a wrong idea of what kind of story will follow. And I don't know about you, but personally I hate deceptive covers...

So this will need more thought.

Now that I mention it: what kind of story am I writing, exactly? It's not really Sword & Sorcery, not really a romance, not really an epic, not really a comedy and not really a drama, not really a coming-of-age story, not really a fairytale... It has elements of all of these, but what is it?

Uh-oh. No label means no selling proposition. How to position and market it? If I don't know the reply to that one, it will be difficult to determine what cover I need. *grins stupidly*

Cover idea )
sigune: (Gawain)
The scariest thing about drawing definitive pages is that they're ... definitive. They have to be as good as I can get them, because they are ... it. And that is rather paralysing -_-. When I draw layouts, there are so many things I don't worry about, because "I'll sort them out later". Yeah right. "Later", I get confronted with the endless list of my limitations and as a consequence I don't get anything done because it's never good enough. *sob*

The sketches below are just as carefree as my comic layouts. That's because they were drawn with pens. No possibility to correct anything. For some reason, that's liberating and fun. So: have some all-Gawain sketches, 'unplugged' and drawn with much gusto :-).

Sketchdump 2! )
sigune: (Haughty Kundry)
In my previous entry, I mentioned that I have been doing lots of sketches lately. I thought I'd share some of them :-). This is fairly image-heavy, so I'll put the sketches below an LJ-cut. Do have a look if you want to have a preview of some characters you'll meet later in the story... Some are not fixed yet.

On a side note, I find that I really have to make character sheets, especially with costume details and possibly with colours as well. I haven't made it very far into my definitive pages yet, but I'm already noticing that I need some reference for each character that I can stick to in order to ensure consistency. I looked at my first page again and noticed, for example, that I have not given Uther a sword belt of any kind, whereas he's holding a sword in his hand. That's just stupid. And when I draw Morgana, I usually forget her crucifix, which is, like, the major element that identifies her as a nun -_-.

I need to make reference sheet for each character and each costume.

Anyway, on to the sketchies :-)... Sketchdump! )

I think I'll start posting comic pages again next weekend. I'm nine pages (or three updates) into the story; let's hope that's enough...
sigune: (Morgana with holly)
This week (having more or less recovered from my dip) I popped into one of the two art shops in my street and bought a handful of PITT pens in a variety of colours - Caput Mortuum, Warm Grey, Indian Red and Raw Umber. At first, I was a tad nervous about the fact that these colours only exist in brush pens, meaning that I haven't got a Small-size pen for details or corrections... But then I thought, what the heck, I'll just have to learn and adapt my inking to the brush like a big girl. Below is my first all-brush inked image, done with the Raw Umber pen.

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The lady in the picture, as you can tell by the caption, is Florie. She is Gawain's second wife and the daughter of the Carl of Carlisle. The text of Sir Gawain and the Carl of Carlisle doesn't give her a name, so in a previous incarnation of the character I picked a random Welsh one for her. In the meantime I have changed her name to Florie, which is a name traditionally associated with Gawain. Strictly speaking, Florie in the Gawain romances is sometimes the mother of Wigalois or Gingalain - but Gingalain is also the son of Lady Ragnell. Since Gawain's other sons are called Florens and Lovell, it seems acceptable to make Florie the mother of Florens, so that's what I decided to do. Besides, the name is a perfect fit for the character as I imagine her :).

Colour version: coming up as soon as I can paint it.

More experiments with watercolour: King Lot )

I doubt there will be an update next weekend, though you never know. Maybe if I don't get ill again, I might be able to squeeze in a drawing...

Watercolour test

Sunday, 14 November 2010 03:41 pm
sigune: (Medea)
Below is a possible idea for the back cover of The Darkest Hour. I'm just playing around while trying out my dream of a pencil/watercolour technique for the comic. Unfortunately, the one thing that is clear to me is that I have an awfully long way to go -_-.

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(No idea why the image has such a greenish hue and extra stauration - the jpg in my folder isn't that green at all! it seems that the hue is courtesy of Photobucket :(.)
ETA: fixed! It's because it was a CMYK image...

Pre-Photoshop original + sketch )
Opinions and critiques are most welcome.
sigune: (Gauvain (Kaamelott))
Meet Lady Kundry, Gawain's third (and last) wife. She first appears in Chr├ętien de Troyes' Perceval as "l'Orgueilleuse de Logres" ("the haughty lady of Logres"), a soubriquet that Wolfram von Eschenbach turns into a proper name, Orgeluse von Logrois. Another one of her epithets is "la mauvaise pucelle" or "the evil maiden". I think that explains the less-than-amiable expression I gave her :).

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Actually, Kundry is a kind of medieval female version of Snape. She is heartbroken, bitter, vindictive and has a sharp tongue. Insulting people (especially men) seems her second nature, and she makes no exception for Gawain. Of course I adore her ;).

I dressed Kundry in a 12th-century "bliaut", the kind of dress she could have worn in Chr├ętien's story, and gave her a matching hairstyle. For the twelfth century, at least, I can find a few good sources for clothing - that is less easy for the sixth. I'm not sure how likely my colour scheme is, though.

My only regret is that it's going to take a long while until we get to her part of the story :/. I'll probably draw her plenty just for fun until we make it there.
sigune: (Arthur Squeeeee!)
This time it's Arthur. I hope you like him.

Unfortunately he is not wearing a crown. It hasn't been designed yet ;-).

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I guess that traditionally, Arthur is more often depicted as blond, but in my story he has black hair as a visual link with Ygraine, Morgause and Morgana. He is also supposed to have an impish sort of quality. The character that is taking shape in my head is not entirely fixed yet, but I like what he is becoming.
sigune: (Haughty Kundry)
This is Lady Ragnell. You have already met her in another shape. She is Gawain's first wife.

I keep reaching for my colour pencils as soon as I have a moment. There are other things that need drawing, too, but I can only do small things at the moment. Eh.

Ragnell


I like Ragnell. As you will see when you meet her in the story, I guess :-).

In other news, I managed to see another episode of Merlin this week-end, and the writers REALLY need to think of new plots. Seriously - they do nothing but recycle ideas they have used in season 2. It seems like the writing is really the thing to which the least importance is given in this show. *feels frustrated*

A small colour sketch

Saturday, 9 October 2010 07:41 pm
sigune: (Gauvain (Kaamelott))
I'm swamped with work, so naturally I can't stop thinking about the comic X(... I want to DRAW! Well, I had to give in for a short while, at least, so I produced this small Gawain sketch in my brand-new pocket Moleskine.


PhotobucketPhotobucket



Guess what: I have decided that I am not happy with my inked style as used in the first finished page of TDH. From the very start, I have had doubts about what style to use, but I went ahead because - well, the project is so huge, I should get on with it. But I don't like the result. Now I'm thinking of taking some serious risks and going for pencils + light watercolour, possibly monochrome for TDH and with more colour for Gawain's story proper. Black and white just doesn't work for me here.

Of course this would mean I'd have to draw on watercolour paper, and some experiment will be necessary. I can't wait to get started - but I have no time! Argh!

Also, I think I'm going to let go of all attempts at more realism in my art for the comic. What I need is something more poetic than realistic. The sketch gives you some idea of what I have in mind.

Must be off now. I do miss posting ;_;.

*hugs flist*
sigune: (Sorry Lancelot)
Today's sketchdumps are largish - just saying :).

Goodies below, though no naked body parts this time, sorry...

Sketches )

Photobucket


This thingy is my latest cover design for The Darkest Hour. I have had to realise that I am not a cover artist born. This is so tough! If I followed my instincts (or my laziness, call it what you will), I'd end up with a large close-up of Ygraine on the cover. But when don't I do large close-ups? They are what I like best, but I need to do something else from time to time. Plus, is a character close-up the best way to kindle a potential reader's interest? There should be a story, right?

My previous design had Uther and Ygraine in it. Now it has occurred to me that it might be nice to connect TDH with Gawain, even if only on the cover, because it's supposed to be *his* comic but he doesn't even appear in the first 100+ pages...

Please let me know what you think. Comments and advice are very appreciated :).

Morgause sketch

Tuesday, 10 August 2010 08:20 pm
sigune: (The Blood of Fish)
I splashed a bit of colour onto my small Morgause sketch. Skin tones look pretty, smooth and delicate on my screen but are probably a fairly uniform, bright flesh tone on yours :/.

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What have we learnt today? That I suck at painting hair and textiles, but that I do a pretty realistic pearl and decent gold. Boy, are those pearls a mismatch with the rest XD!

Sketchdump :)

Monday, 9 August 2010 05:33 pm
sigune: (Little Gawain)
Lookie! An all-traditional sketchdump! ;)

I really need to start drawing my next TDH page pronto, but since it is always a good idea to warm up first, I have been doing quite a bit of sketching. That's good. The bad: I don't get to the page stage :/. Eh. Also, despite my intention to do my sketching in appropriate booklets instead of on random sheets of paper, one of the items below is ... an envelope. And I have recently been using loose sheets of drawing paper as well. When it comes to drawing, things rarely go as I plan them. Much like the rest of life, right?

Oh, before I forget: there are some naked bodies involved. Nothing naughty, but I guess some would say NSFW. You have been warned.

Below: pen, pencil and chalk sketches )
sigune: (Prince Arthur)
Warm hugs to [livejournal.com profile] odogoddess, [livejournal.com profile] septentrion1970, [livejournal.com profile] melusin_79 and [livejournal.com profile] blackeyedlily for sending me snowflake cookies! I love them :). *crunch*

Yesterday evening I was pottering around with my watercolours. I 'potter around' much more often than applying myself seriously - mostly because, though I love watercolour, it also makes me nervous, and I have to overcome my fear before I can paint something 'for real'. It is just so easy to ruin a picture if you have as little skill with watercolour as I have :/. And yet it's fun!

What I was actually supposed to be doing is to paint Christmas cards. Trouble is, I haven't got a design yet that I like enough and can replicate a dozen of times. So instead I started to mess around. That is when I decided to do a little try-out for Gawain. It's very frustrating: he's the hero of my comic (even though at this point in the narrative he hasn't been born yet), but I have such trouble getting him to look right. One thing that annoys the hell out of me is that I never manage to colour his hair properly. Gawain has glorious red hair, and it's sort of important. Now, I used to start from a basis of cadmium red because I reasoned that real red hair looks a bit orange-y. But it always looked awful on poor Gawain, and it was also pretty difficult to combine with greens and blues. It was garish. Now, I'm pretty sure that much of the failure is due to my own ineptitude at mixing colours. But, well, there's no one but me to do this, so... In my experiment of yesterday, I started from a basis of crimson with some raw sienna. I have never seen anyone with this hair colour, but it gets the point across and it is easy to combine. I like the result - even though there is, as usual, lots of other stuff wrong with the picture :s.

Piccie! )
sigune: (Kaamelott: Arthur)
It's been a while since I posted any paper bags! That's partly because I haven't produced any lately due to - well, circumstances beyond my control. But I did want to post a few sketches of King Lot that have been lying around here for a while. Because I like King Lot. He's almost as bad as Uther Pendragon, I guess, but I think that he has more charm, in his own way ;-).

Paper Bag Lot )
sigune: (True Love's Kiss)
Yesterday I accidentally spilt my coffee (not the cappuccino, thank goodness, but stuff from the horrid coffee machine) all over my desk. All the paper bags in my stash have coffee stains... The one I was working on escaped though :-). You can find it below.

Snapey Paper Bag )
sigune: (Morgana with holly)
Paper bags. Lots of paper bags :-). That's mostly because I have been saving a few of them up. I have a Snapey bag (just one, alas) for tomorrow, but today's batch is Gawain-themed. And has quite a few horses in it.

Horses are really important in a comic about knights. If the horses look bad, the knights look bad too. Unfortunately the critters aren't really easy to draw, and when you have to place human beings on their backs, it gets even worse. Or so I think. Moreover, Gawain's horse is special. It's famous. I know only two Arthurian horses by name: Arthur's mare Llamrei and Gawain's stallion Gringalet. The funny name is a French version of the Welsh Keincaled. In any case, Gawain's horse is quite consistently named; it's almost a character in its own right. So I'm working hard at getting it to look good. I still have a way to go, but for the first time I'm thinking that I may actually get there in the end :-).

Princes, Kings and Horsies )
sigune: (Snape does not like hats)
These were done over the weekend, when it wasn't quite so hot :-). Today I did indeed get my ten degrees less, by the way, so there will be more comic tomorrow.

Anyhow: have some Snape, Dumbledore and Avery. Please excuse the garish colours - they are what happens when I get my hands on markers :/. Clearly I have no talent for working with markers at all. I have very few colours too, which is why Dumbledore is wearing pink and lilac. Hum.

Wizards )
sigune: (Brynhild grisaille)
Today I have no limits :P.

Below are non-paper bag Snapey sketches. And some of Brynhild, because I love her, though it's probably not quite proper to say that of your own OFC. Hum.

Sketch dump )
sigune: (Half-blood Prince)
Today's edition of the Paper Bag Files is entirely Snape-centric :D. The thing is, I will be participating in [livejournal.com profile] severusbigbang, but I haven't drawn any fanart for ages. Work sucked up my life and I all but drifted away from fandom. It was high time I got my hand in again. Fortunately HBP: the Movie brought a lot of good Snapey memories back to me, and I noticed that I started doodling the Potions/DADA/Headmaster again.

I find that I have a lot of things to sort out for the Big Bang. When I had just read DH, I was so aghast that I decided to ignore canon forever and stick to my guns Snape. In the meantime that feels like cheating. If I can't come to terms with canon, can I still call myself a Snape fan? Snape is also DH-Snape. I am fine with that now. But it does demand quite a bit of story re-orientation.

My usual way of sorting out my characters and stories is by doodling. So that is what I did. On paper bags. Below are a few results.

Paper bag Snapes )
sigune: (Morgana with holly)
Gawain Project banner


Ahem.

I have come to the conclusion that I need, um, a Prologue before my Prologue. I suppose that means that the Prologue will no longer be the Prologue, and that the next part I draw will be, um, the real Prologue. You see, I started Gawain's story in the right place, but - there is an overarching story that springs from what happened to Gawain's grandmother, Ygraine. I thought I could keep it until later and bring it up at some future covenient point, but I no longer think so.

In other words, I'll be working on Ygraine's tale for the next few weeks. It's still at the development stage right now, but I expect to start drawing soon. This week's concept sketches for some of the cast are under the cut...

Character sketches )

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