Today’s Art (19th September 2017)

Well, today’s digitally-edited “1980s horror novel cover”-style painting ended up being slightly more minimalist than I expected. This was mostly because I was feeling slightly uninspired and, after failing to make another painting, ended up making this one fairly quickly. I’m still not quite sure why the magazine is in French though – it seemed like a good idea at the time, I guess.

As usual, this painting is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

“Late Reading” By C. A. Brown

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Today’s Art ( 18th September 2017)

Well, this is the next digitally-edited painting in my “1980s Horror Novel Cover” art series. I was quite tired when I made this painting, so it probably ended up having more of a 1990s computer game kind of look to it (and, yes, I had to change the character design whilst sketching, since I realised that, in my sleep-deprived mind fog, I’d inadvertantly sketched Jill Valentine from “Resident Evil 3”).

As usual, this painting is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

"Crypt Of The Diabolical Devotees" By C. A. Brown

“Crypt Of The Diabolical Devotees” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (17th September 2017)

Well, I’m still in the mood for making “1980s horror novel cover”-style art. Originally, this digitally-edited painting was going to have rain effects, but it didn’t really work out that well – so, I went back to an earlier version that didn’t have them and did the last part of the editing on that version instead. Still, I really like how it turned out 🙂

As usual, this painting is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

"Ghost Image" By C. A. Brown

“Ghost Image” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art (16th September 2017)

Woo hoo! Unlike when I made yesterday’s painting, I actually had a good idea for a “1980s/90s horror novel cover”-style painting this time. Surprisingly, this painting ended up being set in the present day though – mostly because I wanted to include a reaction on the laptop screen.

Yes, this painting required slightly more digital editing than usual, and I’m still not sure whether this will turn into an art series or not, but I really like how this one turned out 🙂

As usual, this painting is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

"Skeleton Service" By C. A. Brown

“Skeleton Service” By C. A. Brown

Three Lazy Ways To Include Fight Scenes In Your Webcomic (If You Don’t Usually Include Them)

2017-artwork-lazy-action-scenes-article-sketch

As regular readers probably know, I’m busy with making this year’s Halloween comic at the time of writing. As such, I thought that I’d talk about making webcomics again. Today, I’ll be looking at lazy ways to include elements from the action genre in your (web)comics, if you haven’t had much practice at this.

Although action scenes in comics are designed to be read quickly, they are probably one of the most difficult things to draw well. After all, you’ve got to work out how to draw your characters standing in all sorts of dramatic-looking poses and you also have to clearly show a complex series of events using just a few panels.

Yes, technically, you should probably practice drawing anatomy. You should learn how to draw every type of perspective. You should probably carefully study lots of action scenes in other comics and learn techniques from them. But, you’re making a webcomic and you’re on a schedule. So, you could always, you know, cheat.

But, a word of warning, these “lazy” techniques will only work if you include action scenes infrequently in your comics. A small number of “lazy” action scenes, coupled with lots of funny dialogue, interesting artwork etc.. can be overlooked by readers. But, if you’re including lots of action in your comic, then you should probably study how to draw these scenes properly.

But, that said, here are some lazy ways to include action scenes in your comic:

1) Gunfights: If you are inexperienced with the action genre in comics, then you should probably try to stick to including gun-based combat in your comics if the story allows it.

Not only is it easier to learn how to draw someone holding or firing a gun (eg: a few poses, as opposed to the hundreds of possible poses needed to draw a realistic fist-fight, sword-fight etc..) but, due to the especially deadly nature of guns, it can mean that the fight scenes in your comics can plausibly be over within the space of a couple of panels at the most. In other words, there are fewer complicated combat-based panels to draw.

Of course, you shouldn’t include guns in comics where they would look somewhat out of context. So, this technique isn’t a cure-all for being inexperienced with drawing action scenes. But, if you have to include other weapons in your comic, then….

2) Posing: If you need a lazy way to give the impression that your comic contains lots of action, without actually including that much action, then one way to do this is to include as many (or more) scenes of characters holding or brandishing weapons than scenes where they actually use them. Just make sure that you only include this in contexts where your characters would realistically be expected to be brandishing weapons.

For example, my Halloween comic from last year is set during a zombie apocalypse (eg: a context where the characters should probably be armed) and it contains something like eleven or twelve panels where characters are holding or brandishing a variety of unusual weapons, but not using them. On the other hand, there are only something like five or six panels in the entire comic where the characters actually use those weapons.

In other words, although the characters are visibly armed for large parts of the comic, there are about twice as many panels showing the characters not using their weapons.

Doing this sort of thing gives the impression that the characters are in a dramatic and dangerous situation (why would they be armed if they weren’t?) whilst also allowing you to include a minimum of complex action scenes in your comic.

3) Implication: As ironic as it sounds, self-censorship can actually be your friend when it comes to drawing action scenes when you have little experience. Whilst a well-drawn action scene in a comic should show both an act of violence and it’s direct consequences (eg: someone swinging a punch and the punch connecting with whoever they are hitting), this requires a bit more planning and artistic knowledge to do well.

So, one lazy way to get around this is to use implication. For example, one panel of my upcoming Halloween comic shows the main characters being theatened. The next panel consists of nothing more than a melodramatic illustration of one of the main characters firing a machine gun (whilst saying a witty line of dialogue).

The “action” in the scene is conveyed entirely through “sound effects”, dialogue, dramatic lighting etc… But, it’s basically just a picture of the character standing still and firing a machine gun.

But, most critically, the panel after this one is just a dialogue-based panel. The “fight” is implied to be over through the more relaxed demeanour of the characters, and the more puzzling aspects of this scene (eg: where did the machine gun come from?) are addressed through dialogue.

Yes, it’s a lazy way to handle a scene like this but – because there won’t be that much violence in the comic (well, there will be more than usual, but less than in many more action-based comics) and because the comic is meant to be more of a comedy horror comic than a “serious” horror or thriller comic, then hopefully it won’t have too much of an adverse effect on the quality of the comic.

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Anyway, I hope that this was useful 🙂

Today’s Art (15th September 2017)

Well, this digitally-edited painting was kind of a strange one. Originally, I’d vaguely planned to start a series of paintings inspired by 1980s/90s horror novel covers but, when I actually started making this painting, I found that I was slightly uninspired. So, it ended up being this fairly gloomy, minimalist retro sci-fi horror painting instead.

As usual, this painting is released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence.

"Unknown" By C. A. Brown

“Unknown” By C. A. Brown