Backgrounds

There is always something I would rather do than draw backgrounds for my comics. There’s also always something that seems more important to get done. Except right now. Which is awesome.

I don’t have anything to sketch. So when I’m doing the things I usually do at the same time as sketching, like watching TV, or playing board games with people, I don’t have anything left to sketch except random bits of forest and other assorted backgrounds. So I’ve been doing that at those times.

The only other thing I have to do is ink my characters, and I don’t feel like doing that. So when I’m at my art computer, I’ve been inking and coloring backgrounds.

It’s cool, because I’m not feeling inspired to draw. But backgrounds are one thing that don’t require inspiration, or at least not a lot of it. I think that’s why I usually don’t like drawing them. I think of an idea, but before I draw enough of it to do it justice, I get inspired again by something else and wander off. And when I’m not feeling inspired I usually do some basic thing like lettering or panel borders. But all that stuff is done now, for the whole comic. So I’ve moved on to doing every last little thing on every page that doesn’t require much thought. Which is mostly backgrounds.

I don’t want to draw faces without being inspired. I’m afraid they’ll turn out looking like they’re made of wood, just like the walls behind them. I inked a panel with just hands in it, though. It helped that the sketch was precise and inspired.

I’ve been working my way back to a state of creativity by drawing all this stuff, but I still haven’t reached a place where I want to be inking characters. At this point it’s less about inspiration in general and more about being stuck on one page. During my last inking marathon, I actually had to skip it, and I went on to finish the two pages after it. But I am afraid of leaving it until too late, and I’d like to finish that page before I finish any others. So I’m working up to it little by little and figuring it out.

I kind of wish I’d managed to do more of this in the earlier chapters. I mean, I always do what I believe is necessary in terms of establishing scenes, but it’s the boring part of inking a page that I have to get through so I can ink more characters. So a lot of them are like side notes, and mostly they don’t continue behind the characters, so I can’t reuse them in later parts of the scene. So then I end up spending just as much time drawing backgrounds as I would have if I made them more well-thought-out. It’s another one of those things – you can know it’s efficient, but you still need prodding, and a lot of buffer, to really put it into practice. Only then do you realize how much more efficient it really is.

There’s a lot of little things like that I’ve learned from having the luxury to do the things in the comic when I feel like doing them. I’ve been inking my panel borders before I ink the stuff inside them, which I probably should have thought of before. But I’ve always just left that to the end, because if the update needs to be done tomorrow, you just do things the way you’ve always done them to avoid thinking too much. Thinking leads to delays in the short term, and efficiency in the long term.

So anyway, I’ll probably finish all the backgrounds soon, and then get to inking the characters. So the comic should be done before I fall into the lake of inaction which is summer. Updates will continue to run twice a week until around mid-December.

Meanwhile I’ll be working on this novel I’ve been writing with my sister, and possibly creating some new Dragon’s Fall updates. I have some vague plans for starting The Sun Elves, Book Two, but it will not be a priority the way LleuGarnock has been. I hope to get back into Dragon’s Fall as my primary webcomic. I know some of you are looking forward to that.

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1 Comment »

  1. Iris Lefay Longbottom said

    Thought for today: “Thinking leads to delays in the short term, and efficiency in the long term.” Well said!

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