Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Perspective Notes on Marilyn's Panel

You may remember this panel from Marilyn in our last class....

Well I think I dropped the ball in not going through this one, but in my defense I was waiting to hear if the path the second character was walking on were steps or a slanted path-- because it makes  a difference.

Well, Marilyn clarified that it's a slanted path so let's walk through how to put this in perspective.  Overall I think it's a successful illustration and honestly you could get by with this even though some of the perspective is faked.  It looks good, but let's see how we'd make it comply with perspective.

1- Establish the vanishing point-- in this case I took the road and drew the lines (blue) back and where they intersected (black X) becomes our vanishing point.  I draw the horizon line (red) across the page.  You don't need it, but I put it there because it helps me to "see things" correctly.

2- This illo is a 1 pt perspective piece because we are up against the paneled wall.  That means the ONLY things that would go to a vanishing point are those houses down on the road, the road and the planks of the slanted hill character #2 is walking down.

3- I finish out the perspective for the houses simply by tracing more VP lines (blue) at the top of the first doorway and at the roof peak.  If all your houses are the same, like track housing, they would all follow this blue line.

4- For the planks, or path-- there is NO vanishing point for the ANGLE of the slant.   That is completely up to the creator (you) so I followed the line you established for the angle (green). 

5- To establish the width of each plank I went on that green line and I evenly spaced black hash marks (you might have to look closely to see them).  They need to be on this OUTSIDE line of the path (where I drew the green line), and as I said they should be EVENLY spaced apart. 

6- From each black hash mark I trace a VP line (purple) back to the established vanishing point.  They will naturally get more narrow as you go from the line of the path closest to us to the far line.

And there you have it-- email me if you don't get this completely and I'll clarify.
It's actually fairly simple.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Perspective lines--Mike

I did this drawing a year or so ago for the cover for Cry of the Snow Leopard, and I wanted to check out how well I did with the perspective.  This is a dramatic scene where Prof. Brewster is being attacked by wild dogs and is saved by the appearance of a snow leopard.

The red line at the top is what I think the horizon line is.  My intention was to have the viewer looking down on Brewster and the dogs, and also down on the snow leopard.

I've drawn in the lines, and I clearly messed up in several places, although I did a few of them correctly.  I'm not sure about the line I drew on the SL's ears.  

Buddy Bites

2-pt Perspective

Tried 2-pt perspective. Story takes place at a college, so here's the school library.

Library Scene

Perspective panel - Jim Riel

A panel from my next Analysis of Evil page

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

perspective and sequence practice

I have three rough drawings of a section of my story. Perspective has me somewhat baffled, but I'm wondering if the flow of sequence makes sense, goes to fast, or what....

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Keeping it in perspective and cheating on my homework

Perspective confounds me.  I mean I get it practically (most of the time), but academically I'm lost.

I am short on time and lacking in creativity this week so I decided I would just snap a quick picture before nap time and use it as my panel. So yeah, the perspective is on point (because when you can't draw for beans reference saves the day)... just don't ask me why.  

I dropped in the neck (pink), head (blue), and foot (green) lines as we were shown.  That puts the vanishing point not only in the panel, but also behind the far character's head.  Maybe that's right and I'm just a rebel, breaking all the rules with my unapologetic in-frame vanishing point. Or maybe this isn't even a one point perspective shot. How should I know? When it comes to understanding perspective... I don't.

What do you expect from a hack that cheats on her homework? The babies are cute though. I demand full marks for that.

Thursday, November 2, 2017


Storytelling is the single most important element of comic art and it's also the hardest.   A complaint I've heard many times over from editors is that new artists they discover can draw really well but they can't tell stories.

That's what this class will focus soley on.

Above is a page of sequentials from Sally Scott.  Click on it to give it a "read" -- and remember most storytelling should be clear even without words.

While there's no arguing that this is drawn well the storytelling is faulty because we go from seeing two characters walking on what looks to be a very tall bridge suddenly in the air or jumping (up or off) and then a shocking surprise with a white background.

So how does this read?

To me I read it as they jumped off the bridge and they are now dead and we're seeing them as they come to the realization that jumping off said bridge was probably a bad idea.

Panels have to flow into each other and then those panels have to flow into a page and those pages into a story.

As creators with EVERY panel we need to make some choices;
1- Choice of angle-- what is the best shot-- what adds drama?  What makes sure we get the information to our reader?
2- Choice of content-- what needs to be in said panel?   What elements are critical, what elements are ornamental and what can be eliminated to make the story clearer?
3- Choice of body language & expressions-- what are the characters feeling?  How are they reacting to the actions or dialogue in the panel?
4- Choice of moment-- which MOMENT should we capture to carry the story.   If you picture your panels as connected frames of a film it usually leads to successful storytelling.

So in this case here we have a long shot of two characters walking on a bridge in the first camera setup, then a medium shot of the two characters either leaping or falling followed by a medium tight shot of them reacting to something.   It's awkward.

So Sally gave it another shot...

Now she has the two characters on the ground with bushes and a bridge behind them.  She caught the sequence at the point in which they've landed.  Still doesn't work for two reasons-- the pose, although accurate, looks silly and second because she has that black bush behind them and the bridge is so far behind we don't get the sense that they've only jumped a few feet-- it's almost a superhuman leap if the bridge is that small in panel 2.

Let's consider the actions these characters are taking;

STEP 1- They're up on the bridge.
STEP 2- They're in midair.
STEP 3- They've landed.
STEP 4- We zoom in closer as they react to something.

Sally has to show four actions in three panels which is why she's having hiccups in the visual narrative.

It's not a bad idea to do it this way, because STEP 3 is a very odd pose, almost like they are looking for a bathroom in the woods, so eliminating that isn't a terrible idea and you can do that by showing them coming down through the air closer to the ground.

So I would go with something like this-- which now shows the speed line indicating they're coming from the bridge (even though the bridge is still too far away) and they are just now touching the ground gives them a more dignified pose by choosing this shot.

THIS class will be all about nitpicking storytelling-- you'll be making sure your work is clear in its storytelling from panel to panel and then page to page.  It's the most crucial part of the whole creative process.

Expect to draw and redraw panels and pages to ensure that you are delivering clear and concise storytelling.


Online course, Eight-session course, $348.00
Wednesdays: 11/29/17 - 01/31/18, 6:30PM - 9:00PM  (NO Class on Xmas and New Years Weeks)

  • Wed Nov 29

  • Wed Dec 6

  • Wed Dec 13

  • Wed Dec 20

  • Wed Jan 10

  • Wed Jan 17

  • Wed Jan 24

  • Wed Jan 31

This class is a video SKYPE style class which will be recorded each week and available to registered students for a limited amount of time so that if you have to miss a class you will be able to follow along.

This class will encompass a variety of topics to build your comic book art abilities covering writing techniques designed to help you jump start an idea, to anatomy and figure drawing lessons and into at least two full weeks of (drum roll please)... PERSPECTIVE.

The focus of the materials produced in this class will be writing and pencil art.  Not getting your pencils fully rendered and "figured out" before you go to ink is one of the biggest mistakes new comic artists make.  We'll crush pencil art in this one.

OR PAY IN INSTALLMENTS 4 payments of $87.00 over the 7 week course.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

CLASS CALENDAR for the next session

With one class left here is the proposal for the next session which is all about STORYTELLING.
Let me know if you have an interest or availability for this schedule.

  I did some new 40s clothes for Janice (Dr. Brewster's secretary) and some passersby:

Character Faces

This week I worked on different expressions, and made the characters more distinct. Tess has a more oval face-shape, and her teeth usually show. Emily has different glasses now, and her face is more rounded. For Ben, I worked on drawing his face first before adding the beard.
Top: Tess ; Bottom: Emily