Patreon Sketch to Finish, Art card 3, part one

As I prepare to launch my first-ever Kickstarter, a shortlist of support items that add value and flavor to the main reward are necessary. Part of my campaign rewards are art cards, and while I will share more details later, the skinny for now is I am creating five cards.

I have posted some of the artwork from the other cards here in Patreon, and I am starting to get a feel for what value my commentary on my process can add.

This artwork for card three has been extremely challenging for a couple of reasons. I am out of practice finishing artwork for this series. Yeah, I draw every day, but finishing artwork is a different task. I have not inked anything for this project in forever, and as you will see from my posted files, it was a struggle. That is a good thing! I am retraining my drafting muscles, and while it hurts, I am finally coming around. This the process thus far on the Art Card 3! There are going to be five total in the series, and they will be part of the backer offerings for my Kickstarter the first of the year!

The goal of each card is to enhance the story in the comic-novel, and this one is no different. This scene takes place in book two; I will explain in another post, promise! There were several things as a storyteller I needed to convey — determination in the face of hopelessness, and isolation.

I have attached a PDF with the steps and notes detailing the process of completing the artwork to this point.

So, the first image is the culmination of hours of work, and I hated it. So much so that I completed another thumbnail sketch at lunch the following day and tried a different approach. One of the critical elements in the composition is the dragon hidden in the trees above the impending conflict. I wanted it to be subtle, so the viewer has to do a double-take. The vantage point of this drawing made that problematic.

So, my new thumbnail is from a higher vantage, above the trees and we are peering down on the scene. I liked the dark shapes of the wolves(let’s call them that for now) coming into the clearing.

I scanned the thumbnail I created at lunch that evening and imported it into CSP (Clip Studio Paint). Scaled it up to the size of the artboard and used it as the rough for me to digitally draw over.

I needed some visual reference for forest details to enhance my art. Using my Pinterest account, I found some lovely images with more information like leaves, and how the tree roots fan out an interact with the ground. I don’t use the reference to “copy” a scene. It is mostly to “inform” the scene I am creating. This concept is essential to note. If as a creative, you always need an exact composition to render in your style, you are limited in what you can create by the source material. However, if you use it as a reference to ground your creation, then you are only limited by your imagination.

Please read the PDF, and hopefully, you will get some inspirational tidbits from it. This piece is about 10 hours in so far; I am rusty at finishing things for this book. Part of the process was reminding myself how I did stuff and getting the feel back for drawing these characters and settings. I hope you enjoy it!

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