and I like to learn by doing. So, after going through Mark Kistler’s 30 day drawing course, I decided a full-blown illustration project was the best way to continue my studies.
Project: Fat Fred and the Case of the Multiplying Candy Tickets
My goal is to tell an awesome story using mostly pictures. I’ll reveal more about the storyline in future posts, but I’d like to give a quick update here on the illustration front.
Page 1, which you see above, is the culmination of 2 weeks of struggling to find a groove that worked for me. To be quite honest, the first 12 days were rather depressing. I started by gathering master illustrations and scattering them across my desktop to inspire my own craft, but the result was paralyzing frustration for how badly my imitations compared.
Trying to do it like the masters was setting myself up for failure. I had to go simple or go crazy. I decided I would discover a few simple Photoshop tools to quickly give some interest and polish to my drawings, without having to master advanced illustration techniques on the spot. I tinkered around for a few days with different techniques and tools and I’m happy to report that I think I’ve found a workable stride.
Here’s what I’m doing:
- I draw one element at a time, as a separate group. Tackling the page piecewise like this gives me small victories and protects against overwhelmed freeze fits.
- I’m sticking with simple shapes, especially for the characters. Fantastic character design will have to wait for another project. I need quick progress here.
- I’m using simple brushes, but with one lovely tweak: color dynamics. This adds a much needed depth to my simple drawings, all without much additional effort. See how much richer the blended result is than the plain, flat, lifeless blue? And Photoshop practically does it for me.
Now that I’ve finally found what I think is a workable stride, I’ll be going full speed crafting some Fat Fred pages. If you’d like to follow along, sign up for our free email list to get our weekly behind-the-scenes updates!