Potential spoilers here, so don’t look closely if you’re worried you might see too much, but I thought I’d illustrate my current creative process. Admittedly, it’s something that’s under constant refinement from pretty much every aspect as I discover and experiment with different ways of doing things.
I’ll start with a scene, generally one that’s been in my head for a while, usually as a haphazard collection of images and words. I’ll work on putting them down on paper, sketching and re-sketching until it feels right. I’m spending an increasing amount of time at this stage, really trying to push myself thinking about how to break down the page, what to emphasize, how to keep it flowing and make it dynamic. I think as I practise my scenes are getting longer and longer but I sometimes wonder whether this is a good thing.
Eventually, when I settle on the final roughs, I’ll start working on the actual pages. I thought I’d try going back to the blue pencil for these pages as it scans cleaner. We’ll see how it goes this time ’round because it also makes it harder to visualise the finished product than graphite. I start with a fairly rough reinterpretation of the sketch, not so much worried about detail but composition and scale.
And, then I’ll build up the drawing and work out all the finer details and hopefully how the final page will resolve itself. When it comes to the inking part I’m a lot more comfortable if I’ve already made most of the creative decisions using something that can easily be changed.
Seeing this page now, I don’t think it’s quite right. I’m probably going to work on it a bit more and resolve some of those bits that are starting to bug me…