I'm back, after a bit of a vacation, and I also found my sketchbook. Yay.
This is a sketch trying to capture an image I had in my head when I started outlining the next book (working title: Shadow Remains). Probably it will end up where most of my sketches do (in the dread limbo of unfinished pictures), but it looks really quite cool in my head. Honest.
Well, last week (and the week before, actually) was quite unpleasantly busy. Almost nothing got done except "real" work, and where's the fun in that? Then I had that cold knock me down in the middle of the week. Anyway, last night I finally got a bit of doodle time in.
I'd pretty much given up on that model picture, it was just screaming FAIL at me. Still does, a bit, but I decided to play around with it a bit more. Results here. Not much difference, of course, since I didn't have much time. I think I succeeded in screwing up her hand, though.
I hope I can get back into a rhythm, because I'm falling behind on the stuff I want to do (aside from that picture-of-FAIL). Maybe tonight... (always the optimist.)
Here's the thing. Details make a picture. Details kill a picture. Too much fooling around trying to get a detail right, or too much detail in the wrong places, and you've can end up with stiff, unappealing work. Not enough detail, and you can end up with amateurish, lazy-looking work.
But I am lazy. I grow tired of the detail, exhausted with the thought of going on to finish. Still, something wants me to continue until it is. At some point my brain will say, OK, finished. But it seems a long way off, right now.
And then, paradoxically, sometimes working on a detail (especially when it turns out right) can be terrific fun.
For any slight improvement I think I'm making, there is always a greater increase in what I want to do. A year ago, or two, I probably would have been quite happy with this. Now, I'm ready to give up on it. I only continue because of a couple of bits I want to try, to see what I can learn.
I've put "NSFW" in the names of a few of the blogs I list over there. (Basically, that's the list of blogs I regularly visit.) It was a bit of a weird thing to have to do, because none of them are really about not-safe-for-work stuff, exclusively, but a few of them mention it from time to time. Also, of course, there's nothing stopping one of the other ones I haven't labeled from posting something, um, interesting. So, just a guideline.
the series, when shown on a single surface, carries with it a kind of implicit satisfaction that a series disseminated over time does not.
The first thing that struck me when I read this, after the satisfaction of, "Hmm, yes, she's right," was, "She's talking about comics." Except she isn't. She talks about Warhol, and repetition in grids, but she never mentions comics. I don't know why. It seems an obvious connection to make. Maybe it just didn't fit well into her thesis.
Why does a comic book feel different from a book with words describing the same action, but also have a different (and sometimes stronger) appeal than a moving image, animation or live action, that portrays the same scenes and images? It's the satisfaction of the series, grouped together, progression visible on the page. And it suggests why, even with animation, movies and books, there are still reasons to write and draw comics.
This one is actually turning out pretty well, I think. I particularly like how those bracelets turned out. (At least for now. We'll see how I feel in the morning.)
If I may be allowed a moment here, this is approaching, a bit, what I wanted when I started working on this. By "this" I mean digital painting. Look at those bracelets, and the hair, and her chest (no, no, really, this is Art). I think what I didn't like about a lot of digital painting was the way nobody seemed willing to stop. Those areas I pointed out are pretty chunky if you look at the larger size. Some artists would go on, smoothing things out, adding detail, but I think that deadens the thing. I want to keep those big, visible brushstrokes, because they give it vitality, and that's what I think is missing in some Photoshop Art. I may go a little further, and fix a few things with the hair, but basically I'm pretty much finished on those parts.
Maybe I'm crazy. There's still lots of room for improvement, of course, and lots of people do great digital art without overworking it. Anyway, back to the grind, after some sleep.
I can't say I blame them, but Photobucket removed one of my pics recently, because it had boobies in it. One of those rare didn't-cover-them-up moments, but it was about as titillating as a naked Barbie™ doll. Still, I'm not going to blame them. It's their policy.
The thing I wondered, though, was what triggered it. The picture itself had no keywords or title attached to it, except a number, and had been up for almost a year. Does someone have a job of going through everything for violations? Do they Google™ for pictures associated with "naked lady" served by them? Is it a random sampling thing? Do they look at every single goddamn picture eventually? Well, I hope they enjoyed some of the other ones, anyway.
Thanks again to my wonderful feedbackers. Extended discussions have lead to new insights into the main character (new for me, anyway). Suddenly, she seems more real, and a bit more frightening, actually. Hopefully it comes out in the rewrites, and makes her more interesting to the readers.
Talk of two separate problems (a slow start problem, and a problem with a certain part not being "baroque" enough) lead me into a significant rearrangement of the first part of the book, and an addition which, I think, helps a fair bit with the slow start problem while also helping with the baroqueness. At least, it does mean that somebody gets shot much earlier on. And if there's one thing that helps a book it's gratuitous shootings.
Some other bits are re-crystallizing as well, in new configurations, after being smashed to bits. It's all very exciting.
Today I got a nice chunk of feedback on my latest fictional endeavor. Very nice indeed. It was full of accurate, incisive indications of things that need fixing, and which will be, I think, hugely difficult to fix. Weeks of head-pounding revisions loom ahead. But! It also said the reader enjoyed the story. That makes everything twinkle with pink fairy lights.