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Looking back this year

The webcomic has been on somekind of a half-hiatus, which I apologise for.
This post is just a brief look on what I have (and what I have not) done this year for this comic project.

a drawing of a girl wearing kimono
A part of an almost-finished New Year drawing

Fails

Let’s get this out of the way first.

Maintaining a constant update schedule is vital when making a webcomic. Needless to say, the current update schedule of this comic has certainly been a no-no.

However, concentrating on things other than updates was a choice I made, since I wasn’t content with the pages I drew. I did and do like the layouts of many of them, but (1) the drawing style has been quite inconsistent (what with the look of the characters changing by each passing page), (2) the working routines were inefficient, and (3) drawing has been difficult. (More on the last point below.)

Achievements

So what have I been doing then?

Practicing. Drawing people, animals and plants. Coloring drawings digitally. And thanks to this, my skills have certainly leveled up. (In case you’re interested to see something concrete, I upload the colored drawings as well as ~ 0.5 % of the sketch practices on Twitter.)

On challenges with drawing

The main reason I found drawing so difficult at times was a combination of the following:

  1. Although I can draw okeishly from model, it becomes considerably more difficult when one has to plan everything, gather references and create a drawing of one’s own from these pieces. And drawing webcomic is nothing other than that. For both good and bad, there’s loads of freedom and an equivalent lack of guidelines: there are no instructions to follow.
  2. I want to draw pages that I’m content with. Otherwise it’s somewhat hard to keep motivated. (“I have only half-finished this page and I already hate it…”) Guess I’m setting the bar high – too high for the previous me (and partially for the current me too) at least.
  3. I hadn’t been drawing sketches and practices from model enough, and therefore didn’t know enough things by heart.

The last point made is the thing I’ve mostly been working on. Drawing becomes – has already become to some extent – a lot easier when you have a certain amount of knowledge on, say, human body structure, so you don’t have to look up every single detail from references while drawing some creative work of your own. (I used to work like that; always searching references for large amount of details when making a page, which meant that I used considerable amount of time doing something else than actually drawing. Including building 3D models. It was like there was a huge wall in front of me… or rather, many high walls one after another. In order to finish a page I had to go over these walls, one by one, and after each wall there was another. And yet the resulting page was not what I wished it to be.)

“Archives”

In tandem with practicing, I’ve also been constantly accumumulating a collection of references, mostly comprising of practices I’ve drawn: I scan drawings, name them accordingly, and sort them into folders and subfolders with descriptive names, so that I can easily find them when needed. This way works for me best – keeping things in order.

All that said, the webcomic making is still not easy (and never will be, I guess… I mean how could it be?), but it has become easier with practice. Also I really like drawing, I like this webcomic, and I’m determined to finish this project. I’ll finish it whatever may come. (I do have sequel partially written too, so even with a proper update pace this comic’s not going to end very soon.)

Lastly…

… as the year is soon drawing to a close, I’ll also announce the goal for the next year: more webcomic updates. (Considering the update pace of the current year, this admittedly isn’t very high a goal, but at least it should be achievable.)
The pace will still be slowish and updates irregular for some time, but I aim at catching up the previous pace of two pages a week at some point.

(This is the first time I write a post with the new WordPress editor, by the way. Fortunately, it’s easier to use than I expected it to be…)

On webcomic updates (June 2018)

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who has read the webcomic and been waiting for updates. I have done too little for the site recently ^_^;

What I have done, on the other hand, is… well, mainly improving my drawing skills and trying to figure out how to solve a few problems related to the website and the process of making the webcomic. (The site was repeatedly crashing, so I upgraded from shared hosting to VPS. From now on, I also try to optimize the images better, as the site has apparently been somewhat slow to load.) What probably needs improving the most is my time management skills, though.

Two of the reference pictures I drew of the characters, for myself. (There are loads of these in total… And I’m going to draw loads of more.)

I’m definitely not going to give up on this project, so if you are interested in the webcomic you might want to check this site from time to time to see whether the contents have been updated. (I can’t say any concrete dates yet, but I want and will update the comic pages in the (near) future.)

As you may have noticed…

… I changed the header!

I had also another version of the header image, but the current one won the poll I did on Twitter…
…is what I was going to say but In the end I went for both 😀

 

Below is a comparison of the alternatives as well as the result of the poll.

Remake of the previous header

Cropping changes the impression of drawings quite a bit, doesn’t it. (As a weird as this one is I rather like it.)

The result of the poll

Here’s also a link to the whole drawing (upright rather than tilted) on Twitter.

From now on

Colors!

Houseplants!

Two new pages are on the site now (line art versions, quality compromised).

Recently I have been thinking how I should work on this project and what is it that makes it stagnate… (More on this on the Finnish site.)

My new strategy is as follows: from now on there will be two different versions of the webcomic. Let’s call them “sketch” (not really) and “final version”.

Cannot quite put it into words though... (Motion? Expressions?)

There’s something here I would like to convey also on the finished version of the pages.

“Sketch”

  • A bit more polished than a storyboard (meaning it won’t be as rough as the drawing above), but still quite quickly drawn
  • Despite not being the final version, it will be easy to read (hopefully)
  • The main function of this version is to enable regular (or frequent) content updates

Final version

  • As it says on the tin
  • Updates will be irregular as hell but, well, there’s always the “sketch” version you can read…

One by one I will replace the sketch pages by the final ones.

… Any thoughts/comments on this?

On webcomic updates (May 2017)

I just dropped by to say I am still working on the webcomic.
However, I’m currently trying to change the way I draw it. (… To change it systematically rather than aimlessly – but at the same time I’d like to avoid changing the look of the comic too radically. We’ll see how well I succeed in this.)

… Because there should be a way (or many alternatives ways) to speed up the process while also improving drawing skills. (Drawing the same way I have drawn until now just won’t do.)

And – as linking to drawings has already become an established practice of a kind for me – here you are:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C_ET4YxXoAMpbe5.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C-jfW40XcAA5tlg.jpg
(A background character)

On webcomic updates (April 2017)

The updates of the webcomic have been somewhat irregular recently. My apologies for that.
The next pages will (hopefully) be here later this week.

On another note, the site has apparently got a bit prone to crashing because of the content (largish images) and the current hosting plan… I’ll see what I can do about the matter.

Meanwhile, here are a few links to images on my Twitter account:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C8geEgGWAAA5QYP.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C6s2OoTWkAERNbi.jpg
(The second one is a finished version of the drawing I previously linked to.)

On webcomic updates

I will be travelling again soon, which means there will also be a change in the updating schedule. Starting from now. (My apologies… ^_^;)

I’m currently working on the pages for the next three weeks; all at once, so it takes somewhat more time than usually. The estimated date of the next update of the webcomic is on Thursday or Saturday this week. (Most likely not on Friday. And in case the pages are not there by Sunday, that probably means I didn’t make it and the webcomic won’t be updated until January. (I’ll try to avoid that scenario though…))

So instead of new pages today, I’ll leave here a link to a drawing of the main cast of the story.

This week

… the webcomic will be updated on Wednesday instead of Tuesday.

There will also be a blog post. This time around I’ll write about the genre(s) of ”ΔS”>>. I was going to save this post for later, but being an introduction of a kind, it actually fits quite well here. (And as the plot is currently advancing relatively slowly, I’m increasingly anxious to assure the readers that there is more to the story than what meets the eye. – Though what I really should do is to draw more than two pages a week…)

On an unrelated note, I think I’m gradually getting better at coloring. Still slow, but at least I’ve managed to develop a style I like.

Only a short post this time too

As I previously mentioned, I’m planning to write two series of blog posts. They will be about

  1. characters of this webcomic (introductions of a kind; a bit more detailed than the ones on the “Characters” page)
  2. this project (webcomic) in general; background, motivation etc.

The first topic is quite straightforward. I’ll introduce one character at a time: name, character design and so on – without explaining too much about the role of the character in the story. The second one is, well, actually pretty straightforward too, now that I think about it.

I am going to write these alternately, sometimes a post about a character, sometimes about a certain aspect of the project. You can browse the posts afterwards in order by using tags, if you wish. There is now a tag cloud on the sidebar for that.

Questions, suggestions etc. are welcome.

I recently…

… tried changing the style of my drawings. (Though chances are that no one notices, as the style is constantly changing anyway.) And I’m still in the process of developing it, because I’m not yet quite content with how the drawings look like.

… updated the Characters page. (Meaning there are now a total of three character introductions…) The drawings will be monochrome until I get better at coloring.

I also changed (or rather, “updated”) the header image. You can consider it a demonstration of my current coloring skills. Finishing the drawing in question took me several hours.

***

As a side note of a side note, I’m planning to write at least two series of blog posts around particular topics. I’ll describe them in more detail during next week.

A blog post…

Taiyaki_-_blogi_-_dS_20160721

… as an excuse to upload the above drawing also onto this site.
I don’t really have anything to say about it, though.

And as I haven’t been receiving new ideas regarding topics for blog posts, I’m going to use the one I was suggested earlier during this summer: a photo of the equipment I use for drawing this webcomic.

So here you are:

pencil_-_webcomic_dS_20160822

Joking aside, I’m travelling again – meaning I don’t have light table etc. (which I admittedly should have included in that photo) with me, so the update of the webcomic will be postponed about a week or so. (Please bear with me. ^_^;)

I might write another blog post though, if I come up with a topic good enough. And in case you find reading my blog posts boring and would rather look at pictures, here are a few drawings I recently made while pracing how to draw yukata. I’m still updating this collection at the time of writing this post. There will probably be nine images in total (or more, if those RTs and likes keep increasing).

As always, comments and questions are welcome!

PS. Actually, I have a question. Which one of these would you prefer:
1) somewhat less polished look on the webcomic + more frequent updates, or
2) the way it currently is?
I’m bit on the fence about this myself, so it would be nice to hear other’s opinion too.

Snapshot

Building up this website is still very much in progress, and the final look of the site will likely differ quite a lot from the current one.

Anyway, if someone happens to find their way here already, feel free to leave comments and/or questions below.