[Please drop by on Friday of this week when I am beginning a discussion about Patreon, the latest in a series of important crowdfunding opportunities for those of us who give our graphic novels, stories, art, music, etc, away for free on a weekly or monthly basis. There are a number of aspects that, as a Creator, give me pause as to how to proceed. I hope you will help me figure out the best way to provide value for the reader and perhaps pay some of the bills. Or even whether to proceed with Patreon at all. Today, though, I’m going to share a part of my process of creating an online graphic novel.]
Note: If you would like to see the images below in the sizes I uploaded them (larger) please feel free to click on them to open in a separate tab. (if that isn’t working for you please let me know)
Aedre’s Firefly Character Design: Skin Tone Studies with Watercolour
Black and White, Greyscale, or Colour? Y/N?
Although most of the Aedre’s Firefly graphic novel webcomic will be in greyscale with occasional colour highlights, the Chapter Covers, Book Covers and Art Posters will be in colour. Also, if all goes well, there may be a colour version of the series. This means, of course that when wearing my “Colorist Hat”, I need to be consistent in how the green spotted skin on the frog characters is portrayed in sun and shadow, daytime and nighttime, and the same goes for Aedre’s rather unfortunate pink skin. And then there are the many other characters and races of individuals, each of whom have their own range of skin coloration.
Experiments in Colouring Skin Tones
With that in mind I’ve begun a series of studies of skin tones in watercolour. The forms are not as important here, rather finding a way to make the skin tones more “alive”. Also, though my first attempt (image on the left –The storyteller in me couldn’t help turning it into a scene!) is on Arches 140 lb. watercolour paper, I’m also experimenting on Strathmore Bristol board to begin with until I refine the process.
Since I’m also working on character design for the second book while I finish up the first book, I’ve also been making these kinds of decisions about future characters in Aedre’s story. (Keep in mind that the characters shown on this page may or may not be in the final version of Aedre’s story.) Having colour images of the characters also helps with the storytelling. Sorry about the quality of the following photos. Many of these skin tone experiment doodles are fuzzy due to the smallness of the doodles and that they were taken with my iPod. But since it is the colour that this blog post is about, I hope you will forgive that.
Some of My Skin Tone Doodle iPod Photos
You can probably tell by the weird splashes of grey, black and opera rose pink, that these small doodle experiments were carried out on scrap Bristol. I never remember that I may need to photograph them for the purposes of detailing and sharing my process. ‘:`}
So, that’s what I’ve been slaving over the last few weeks. :`) It’s pretty useful to me to write it all down and I hope it is or will someday be useful to you, as well. Let me know. I’d appreciate it.
In the meantime, Keep on creating!