So, for this project we were asked to take an existing childrens books (the ones that have thick pages made out of cardboard), and sand off the images, gesso the pages, and then make our own story. The idea was to come up with a metaphor that is carried out throughout the pages.
Here are all the drawings and writings I did to come up with the final book. I love this stuff, others may not, but I think its interesting to see things at the inception stage compared to what they look like at the end. I like to see the process. Ill post the actual book next.
At first I was thinking about that drawing I did in the last book of the guy fighting a dragon. I thought, it would be a cool idea to make a really simple book with simple drawings, stick figure-esque, and it be something to deal with a knight and a wizard. Which of course made me think of the dark tower, and I thought I could connect my story to Kings story. The first premise was that the knight had a magic scarf, and the wizard stole it away, the journey would be him searching it out. At first I thought he would follow a thread of the scarf that had caught on a branch when the wizard took it, and the story would be an adventure story.
First drawings of main character and wizard. Things to connect it to the dark tower if only in symbols.
Here are some scenes I would draw as he followed the wizard to get his scarf back. More sketches of the man in action
I liked the pose from the previous pages so I drew a more detailed version.
With the scarf playing a bigger role I started to draw the warrior with the scarf in more detail, I started to think of it more like spawns cape, where it moved. And the story started to change as well. It was too big the way I was planning it before, lacked focus. I drew a small head and a scarf wrapping around all the characters and suddenly I had a new story....
The new story was a take more on myself when I was a kid. When I walked to school I always would day dream and play different things. Sometimes I was an army man, or a ninja, or whatever, whenever I walked to school a story was going on. So the story became more about a kid walking to school imagining things, and the scarf became the metaphor for... well story, and imagination I guess. So this was now the main character a kid walking to school...and of course in a city because, well cities seem to pop up in everything I do lately.
I thought it would be interesting to see the character slowly fall deeper into his imagination and visually the scarf would start to elongate, and eventually would even talk to him or move like a snake. So the spawn cape idea remained.
So I started planning out how the scarf could grow, what he would imagine, etc etc. I also thought a scarf was a good metaphor for story. There are threads that hold the scarf (story) together, it can be short or long, the threads weave in and out creating a cohesive unit. Also you can see that the same walking to the right pose is being revamped.
I love this little drawing, the scarf feels right, and I started to really enjoy working in pen, the way the lines seemed to convey something more than just line. There was a darkness to the pen, and a roughness that seemed graphically more interesting than pencil. You could really feel texture and movement. The tonality of the thing was more limited but the contrast was greater and more raw.I was ready to start putting scenes together. I had 26 pages to draw on, so I started to draw the different scenes I was seeing in my head.
A whole page of small thumbnail sketches of the different scenes, you can also see I am trying to write some sort of dialog to go along with the story. Dont waste your time reading it, it is not profane.
I love the alley and the scarf running down it toward a door... oh yea, thats right, I found a way to include the dark tower. Second pic is of him getting lost in day dream, the city is behind him and apparitions appear but only in his head.
A close up of his face... and I came up with the line,"I wonder what's behind the door" and suddenly the story was about day dreaming, but also about the door, and I thought, I could have the story be about imagining what was behind a door. Because a door leads to something new, and a closed door could lead anywhere. Of course it probably just leads to a building interior or exterior, but what if one of those doors actually lead to Kings dark tower. In his books the doors could be anywhere, and anyone could find them. Sort of like the chronicles of Narnia.
More imagination drawings, things the main character could think about.
Close ups of the drawings.
another closeup of the last full page.
After all that drawing I finally start planning each panel out. Some directly taken from my sketches some evolve of their own accord. Top two panels are cover ideas.
Here are the final compositions for the panels and writings. I did these in pencil so that I could erase and plot things out better. But I wanted to keep the rough style of inking for the finished project.
My only regret in this phase, is that I made the panels square, and the books panels were rectangles.