Sunday, July 01, 2012

ComiCon prints!

It's been a busy year but I've I've found some time to eek out a couple prints for the SDCC this year!

Somehow I got inspired by old computers.  The early designs and layouts of all the buttons and controls.  There is an element of order and precision.  Equal spacing.  A strange balance in square shapes.  I think it was probably fun for me to entertain those OCD tendencies.  Pushing buttons around and making sure all their sizes and distances were equal to start.  Squares vs. circles.  Color limitation.  Fun stuff.

But alas, I can't really say with confidence that many people would want to buy a print of a computer - even if it did have a girl next to it - HA!  No biggie though.  It's gotta be fun for me first.  ME first!  :)

Here are some of the reference images I was looking at:

See what I mean?  Every computer in the 50s-60s also seemed to be a design challenge.  I guess like most products from decades past, things just looked cool.  Even color played an important role.  I wish I coulda incorporated some of these 60s patterns at the bottom here, but as it stood, the art was getting pretty busy.  I wanted to warp some patterns over their dresses but even subtle opacities seemed to overpower the simplicity.

And for anyone still reading, here's some development progression images.  Another part of the process for me was developing all three images simultaneously.  I wanted them all to share a common layout and color theme, but I was constantly going back and forth trying to make them all feel similar, but keep a unique balance.  I can't say that I felt I found the best solution in the end, but like I keep saying, the process was the fun part.

This was the first image I scribbled in a Caribou Coffee with my buddy Sean on a Saturday afternoon.  The blue line that in the top image that is.  I made all the flat shapes in Flash and in the beginning, it's more important for me to find those shapes with any ol' colors.  That black panel in the second image was an idea for a banner or a place to put the text I had in mind.  It ended up on the black border in the end.  Keeping the girl in frame or out was a decision that would affect all three.  In the third panel I started falling in love with some purples and greens for the girl.  I still kinda miss those colors.  But as the color experiments continued, I settled on secondary colors for the girls and a "backup" primary (of sorts) for the border and their hair mainly.  In the last image, I have spotlight of sorts on the computer.  I felt like the computers in general didn't really get the attention they deserved if these were some sort of ad pages.  The computers shoulda been front and center really.  So the spotlight sorta helped this particular image and broke up the space above the computer.  I still feel weird about it though because the other computers didn't have the room for a spotlight.  I broke consistency and stuck with it here because I think it's stronger with it on it's own.  I think that'll probably always be balancing act with art in a series.  How well do they work together versus how well they work on their own.

Right away I felt their was some major discrepancies between how I was drawing the ladies.  Understandable as I tried to pull everything together.  Shapely, impossible proportions, and sharp chins is what I tried to stick with for all three of them - ha!  In panel 2 I started messing with colors and I always try to flip my drawings to spot anything that looks weird to me.  In panel 3 I tried playing with contrast to pop the girl forward, opposed to the computer.  Nah.  Tried to live with it for a while - didn't like it.  In panel 4 you can see I was stealing some pinkish buttons and sliders from one of the other girls' computers.  And all that "flesh" for the computer.  Yuk.  But I felt confident I was headed in the right direction at least.

This one proved to be the most difficult.  You can see early on I had ideas of the girl sitting.  I thought I could allow myself SOME differences between the three images (like their poses, or "character" in the girls, or computer details, etc) but I wound up feeling like the bench she's sitting on (basically the top of some sorta square thing) and the pose itself was too much of a delineation.  In panel 2 I was trying some other arms and upright poses.  In panel 3 I wan't all that happy with another standing and presenting pose for the girl but whatever - in total they all fit together a bit more.  And her computer was driving me crazy.  After I roughed a good half of it in, I felt like it was way too crowded.  Buttons and dials were too many and too tight.  I did want this to be the biggest/most convoluted computer, but the number of things was just too much.  In panel 4 you can see I went with a film reel of sorts as the border design element.  Back in the day, computers used magnetic tape reels to store data.  Compared to hard drives of today.  The reels might not make a lot of sense to most people, and I probably should have used them on the orange girl since the reels are visible on her computer, but I liked the radial rings on her border too much.  So I continued to lump the "problems" with the purple lass.  Ah well - no matter how much you try, you can't love all your children equally!  One other big change was the color in this one.  The magentas were too close to the pinky/reds in the green girls' image.  And when I ramped the colors to more of a violet, they felt better against the golds/yellows anyway.

That's all I got!


Dr. Ew Newman said...

Bob: It was great meeting you and Dave at ComicCon. You may remember Megaman stopping by and buying a Mega-Pin. I grabbed a biz card and am following up! Really like how you build your characters. Thanks again!

boob said...

Likewise Mega Man! Drop me a line if you're ever looking for input on animation stuffs. I love seeing things with my eyeballs!

K.B. said...

Wow,..really like seeing and reading about your process.i especially like your blocking in with color shapes. I think i will try that. I have been doing my illos coloring book style, (Inks first then color,) and want to shake it up and experiment with different methods. I will hence forth steal this approach.

Keep posting, even though everyone is on Tumbler. At least i will stop by.

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