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.
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.)
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
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.)
… 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…)