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    JaNanamation is a shared art blog between cousins Janielyn and Christina! While both have varying tastes in art, they share a keen interest in the world of animation.
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Inktober Reflections + Onward to November!


Well, here we are at the end of this year’s Inktober and I somehow managed to create 30 comic pages (31 if you count the cover) to post every day of the month! It was fun and hectic; there were days when I’d draw 3 or 4 pages and others when I was very tempted to give up. The last week and a half was the worst…almost every page during that time was started after 9 PM and had to be finished before midnight. Now that the month is over maybe I can get to bed earlier XD

It’s been a while since I’ve really done anything with traditional media, and I’m not too experienced with using ink, so I learned a few things over the course of the month:

Paper is important! I didn’t go out and buy paper specifically for wet media, simply because I have so much unused drawing/sketching paper (I’m not supposed to buy any more sketchbooks until I finish what I have…but sometimes I do anyway haha). For this comic I used pages out of the Maruman New Soho Sketchbook I bought years ago; the front cover claims that the paper is suitable for water color, so I figured that it would work with an ink wash (it’s just watered down ink, right?). It didn’t. The pages curled with the smallest application of water. So! Next time I need to either get paper that can better handle water, or use some other method for shading (like lighter toned ink pens?).

Planning helps a lot. I decided to take on this comic project sometime in the middle of September. Around then, I started drawing thumbnails of comic pages; I did about 15 of them by the start of October. At that point I started right into drawing the actual comic pages so that I could start posting. Drawing those first pages were a breeze; I found myself drawing several pages ahead of schedule, which afforded me a bit of breathing room (keep in mind I still had real life responsibilities to deal with). However, when I finished drawing the pages that I had done thumbnails for, progress slowed significantly. Before drawing each page I had to stop and think about what was going to happen next, how I should compose the page, what the characters should say, etc…and that gets tedious. Eventually my buffer ran out and I was scrambling every night to get a page finished.

Simple is good. In the past, I’ve always thought that the panels of a comic page needed to be arranged in an “interesting” way and that no two pages should have the same panel arrangement. This sort of thinking slowed my process a lot. For the sake of speed I decided to simplify the way I drew the panels, using very basic arrangements. I came to realize that simple just works so much better overall. The purpose of a comic is to tell a story, so panels should be as easy as possible to follow along; over complicating the page just makes it confusing. Actually, I went back and looked at some of the webcomics I read and found that they use simple panel arrangements as well, which shows how much more effective it is to convey the story.

Drawing traditionally is faster. I know that there are people that can digitally draw and paint crazy fast, but for me, using traditional media is logistically faster. I think it’s because when I draw digitally, I’m confined to the small space of my tablet, and for large images that makes me especially slow. I have to zoom in and draw part of a line, then move the canvas to draw the next part of the line, and so on. With traditional media, I’m only limited to the size of the drawing itself. I can use my whole arm to draw longer lines, so I was able to finish certain parts of the drawing more quickly.

There are more things I took away from this experience, including things I didn’t particularly like, such as not being able to undo mistakes, accidentally smudging my pencil sketch (I’m a lefty), and almost ripping the paper while erasing my pencil sketch. But all-in-all, I enjoyed myself and would gladly do it again in the future!

You can read the comic from the beginning here. I know it ends kind of abruptly, but I really didn’t want to drag it out past the end of the month. Right now it reads like a prologue to a much longer story, the rest of which I might eventually draw.

Until then, The Adventures of Princess Talia is being put on the back burner because November is another marathon month: NaNoWriMo! Except instead of writing a novel, I’ll be writing a text adventure! It’ll be interactive, so I’ll share it once it reaches a point where it’s playable. GET EXCITED!

Oh, and Tam Team Adventures will resume on November 13. I’m taking a week off to reacquaint myself with digital art LOL XD

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