The campaign ends June 19th 2013. If you are interested in this kind of game or know people who are then please share it around, the more backing we get the better the game will become. the more art I will get to draw, and so on and so on :)
Some of the higher Pledge tiers offer original sketches and signed art prints too. There are limmited numbers of these and I'll be making sure the results for any original art is of high quality.
Anyway.... here is some art I have done for the pitch so far:
Did this last last year as a painting exercise; focusing on using a flat brush without opacity and putting in values directly.
Doing all the backgrounds on Ara really let me get some painting mileage. I find the more I learn to create form without lines the more it actually helps my ability to represent things in line when I need to.
Here are a few more pages from Ara Tome 1. Mostly from later in the book where I felt the art was starting to come together more.
Regarding an English version, as you can see I have the whole book in English ready to go and I'm working on how best to go about a western version. I suspect it will end up being distributed digitally instead of in print to start with, thus an English print edition will be a long way off. If you want to grab a physical copy in French but also want the English translation; send me an email (with some proof/claim, that you have the French edition) and I'll hook you up.
I think it is fair enough to admit defeat against this blog after 3 years between updates...but I'm going to give it another try :)
So...I have been working on this fantasy book over the last few years, and have had many adventures that may be cause for an excuse to not blog. But mostly I probably have a tendency to avoid, for lack of a better word, jinxing projects by talking about them endlessly ( or in this case, at all) before they are finished.
The book in question that has consumed me for the last 2 years is Ara.
The first book Ara Tome 1: Le Cercle de Pierre ‘A Circle of Stone’ is due out today (August 25th) in France. Published by Ankama Editions.
I'm asked a lot if there will be an English version. Eventually I’m sure there will be. It was written in English and I have the pages ready to go. It remains to convince publishers to let it be so. I am keen to put it out digitally if I can, but that's another story altogether.
There is a 28 page preview in French and English up on this site, for those who wish to at least get a taste of the story. It is 102 pages all up.
Most of the concept art I did for the book (which is included at the end in an 8 page sketchbook) is already up online in my gallery. I'll post the rest soon. as well as some more development and process work. If anyone has a question about the process or development let me know and I'll do my best to answer on here.
If anyone living outside of France wants to get a copy I can recommend Amazon France. I have bought plenty of stuff from there in the past. I think you can maybe log in with your amazon.com username too (?). If you order a few items the shipping ends up pretty reasonable (which with the huge range of great French comics out there won't be hard once you get looking!)
Many thanks to my good friend David Chauvel who helped out with the project a lot. He Translated and adapted the book into French and helped greatly (even greatly is a huge understatement) finding a publisher.
I'm very happy with the job Ankama Editions has done. The book printed nicely and has a good finish. I especially like the paper they use (very geeky I know...but the paper matters to me).
Obviously the book is my first experience as a writer, and only my second as an artist; so there were many things to learn along the way. But I feel good about the final result.
Many apologies to all my readers in France, my French is not good enough yet to make much sense. I hope you can navigate this site ok.
Here are a few more things I did last year while developing the comic pitch.
The inking on this was inspired by John Buscema. done with a round brush in phothshop with some size pressure sensitivity.
This was one of my first attempts to get more into painting as opposed to line and colour.
The book ended up being planned as painted backgrounds with line art for the characters, but I prefer to concept with a looser process.
So, as I have been typing about here for the last year or two; I have been working on a comic project all of my own. Writing a fantasy story, as has been my want since I first started to read...even before I started to draw in fact. I spent some of last year concepting out everything I wanted to put in, and the style I wanted to use. But mostly, I was engrossed in learning how to translate story ideas into finished pages.
The proposed project is a series of self contained books. I wrote quite a few drafts of stories that weren't quite right for the first book, but in the end (with the help my my editor David Chauvel) I found something that worked. It is currently in the contract wrangling phase at a French publisher.
So fingers crossed.
Here are some of the pitch materials:
I re-drew this guy out of curiosity, to see how much my rendering has improved. The original is still one of my favourite designs.
A rough painting of This sketch which was done many many years ago.
Focusing on painting without line.
Similar to the Blue Petal image posted below, this is a style test using line and colour with a painted background. 100% photoshop.
Drawing linework in Photoshop is starting to grow on me
I picked up a copy of John Buscema ‘A life in sketches’ and was musing on how fast this guy managed to be while keeping on-top of quality (especially when he inked his own stuff). His sketches are stunning. And watching the buildup of lines got me thinking that I need to do something similar in the digital realm.
The problem for me drawing in Photoshop has always been that lines get lost when you zoom out. It’s hard to see what you are doing, Hard to get a nice line, and I would always end up with a constrained feeling. Like it’s not possible to see the whole image properly at once, as on a real bit of paper.
Corel Painter is better at this, even when zoomed out you get a fairly decent line, it seems to average the stroke a bit better and smooth things out. but...I just find other aspects of the app to be too painful.
But looking at the broad strokes Buscema sketched with to put his first rough layout down (I think he would do his ‘thumbnails’ at full size, just straight on the board) I figured I could probably ‘sketch’ with something much larger and looser in Photoshop, and then zoom up for the final lines...filling in the details as I go...as you should when inking your own work really. (ok so maybe this is pretty obvious...but for some reason I would always try to draw like I do on paper...with a thin line for sketching)
So I gave this a go, and it actually seems to be working so far. The lines in the above image are all digital, and I think they are probably as good as my pencil stuff. Plus it feels pretty good on the line by line fun-factor basis.
I did this one a few weeks ago, and now I am running into some issues with how to do larger more complex images in this style (lines with painted background) but that has more to do with the painting than the lines. So all good.
I have also been keeping a journal of screenshots each day which I will start posting now and then.
(In lieu of actual tutorials :x)