Today’s Art (22nd April 2017)

Well, I was a bit more inspired (and awake) than I was when I made yesterday’s painting.

The interesting thing about this digitally-edited painting was that it was originally going to be either a film noir or a cyberpunk painting, but it ended up turning into more of a 1970s/1980s sci-fi painting for some reason (my decision to use a blue and brown colour scheme probably had something to do with it). Plus, for compositional reasons, I ended up cropping this picture to a slightly smaller size than usual whilst editing it.

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

"Archive Corner" By C. A. Brown

“Archive Corner” By C. A. Brown

Two Very Basic Ways To Give Your Webcomic A Consistent Look (Without Being Boring)

2017 Artwork Webcomics consistency article sketch

Generally, many great webcomics can be recognised instantly at a glance. Even though the comic updates may include a variety of different locations and characters, they are always instantly recognisable as being part of one particular webcomic.

However, the look of your webcomic will always change over time. This is because, by it’s very nature, making a webcomic involves lots of regular drawing practice. As you improve, so will the look of your art. If you don’t believe me, then just find a famous long-running webcomic and compare the most recent update to the very first update. They will look different, and this is good.

But, this aside, how can you make your own webcomic look as consistent as possible? Here are two very basic ways:

1) Art style: This is the obvious one. If you take the time to develop your own unique art style, then your webcomic will instantly stand out as something unique. However, if you just use commonly-used art styles (eg: manga, American comic book art etc..), then your webcomic won’t be quite as distinctive.

But, how do you come up with your own art style? I’ve written about this many times before, but it basically just involves finding other art styles that you like and borrowing techniques from them. It also involves a lot of regular drawing practice too. If your art style looks simplistic or childish, then all that means is that you need more practice.

But, even if your own art style looks fairly simplistic or is obviously influenced by another style, the fact that you’ve put the effort into using an original style (rather than a commonly-used one) will make your webcomic stand out from the crowd a bit, whilst also giving it a consistent look.

2) Location design: If you have consistent principles for your location design, then your webcomic will also have a consistent look.

This includes things like using similar colour schemes, using similar types of lighting, using similar types of weather and having a common set of inspirations for your location designs. Basically, if you have a set of principles that you can apply to most of the locations in your webcomics, then your comic will have a consistent look to it even if it includes a lot of different settings.

To use an example from my webcomics that have been posted here this year and will be posted here in the next couple of months, many of them use some variant on a blue/orange/green/purple colour scheme. Likewise, many of them feature gloomy lighting, dramatic sunsets and/or rainy weather. Likewise, the location design is sometimes inspired by films like “Blade Runner” and old computer games too.

Although I haven’t been able to do this in all of my comics (eg: it wasn’t possible in “Damania Requisitioned” or “Damania Renaissance“), here’s a chart showing how this has given some of comics (including a few that haven’t appeared here yet) a distinctive look, despite the fact that they’re set in wildly different locations. If you want to read the comic found in the bottom right corner of the chart, it can be read here.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] - As you can see, the locations are all different from each other, yet they all look similar at the same time because I've followed a consistent set of design principles.

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] – As you can see, the locations are all different from each other, yet they all look similar at the same time because I’ve followed a consistent set of design principles.

So, yes, work out a set of design principles and your locations will look fairly consistent.

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Sorry for such a short and basic article, but I hope it was useful 🙂

Today’s Art (21st April 2017)

Yes, today’s digitally-edited drawing is yet another remake (of this drawing from 2014) – but I have an excuse. Basically, my sleeping patterns were being stupid the night before I made this drawing, which resulted in me being extremely tired when it came to making the art for today.

I tried sketching out ideas for a few new pictures, but they failed very quickly. Realising that I was barely awake, but had to draw something, I decided to remake an old B&W drawing of mine (because it’s quicker than a full-colour painting). Although the drawn parts of the remake don’t look as great as I’d hoped, for something I drew when I had literally started micro-sleeping whilst in the middle of drawing, it isn’t that bad I guess. It’s still better than what I could draw on a good day in 2014. Yay! Practice!

Thankfully, a second wind kicked in just before I was about to digitally edit this picture – which is why it contains lots of detailed rain etc….

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

"City Rain (II)" By C. A. Brown

“City Rain (II)” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art ( 20th April 2017)

Well, despite a ludicrous amount of digital editing, today’s painting didn’t really turn out as well as I’d hoped. Originally, it was going to be a 1990s-style painting, and then it turned into a painting of a large outdoor area – but the background really didn’t look that great, so I had to reduce it sigificantly before adding paint. Even after that, this picture still required a lot of extra digital editing.

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

"Garden" By C. A. Brown

“Garden” By C. A. Brown

Today’s Art ( 19th April 2017)

Well, although I was still feeling uninspired, I was able to get around it by making a new version of one of my old horror-themed paintings (called “Late Return) that was originally posted here early last year.

When I made the old version of this painting, I was just beginning my “limited palette” phase -and, although I’m glad of all I learnt during this phase, this particular painting certainly works well with a slightly more expanded palette. Likewise, I’ve also learnt a few new digital editing techniques that I didn’t quite know when I was editing the original painting.

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

"Late Return (II)" By C. A. Brown

“Late Return (II)” By C. A. Brown

Editorial Cartoon: It’s Election Season… Again

Well, after the Prime Minister’s shock announcement yesterday, I just had to make a political cartoon about the fact that there’s going to be yet another spring/summer election this year (there was the Scottish referendum in 2014, the general election in 2015 and the EU referendum last year). It almost seems to be becoming an annual event!

Unfortunately, I didn’t have room to include the Greens or the SNP in this cartoon. But, to be honest, neither of them have a vague chance of winning the election (yes, the SNP might win almost all of the seats in Scotland again, but they’ll never get an overall majority, given their limited focus on just one country of the UK).

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Editorial Cartoon – It’s Election Season… Again” By C. A. Brown