A week ago I “ended the night with a little trolling…” in this post. It was a quick screen capture to SteepShot including a work in progress character design of one of the first baddies of my comic in development, “I Thought It Would Be Zombies…”
And well… here’s the finished result in some fairly glorious color! (For my skills at least!)
Trolls are people too, unless they’re trolls…
Color work is not something that I am comfortable with or have felt skilled at. I do believe that this is my most accomplished bit of color practice to date, and it gives me that little inkling that maybe, just maybe, I can actually pull this off!
It’s always a good feeling when you get the sense that a project you’re working on is in fact doable, and you have the means at your disposal to see it to fruition. Whether that be the skills, the tools, the time, the finances, all of the above… it’s extra motivational to visualize a path to completion when before it may have only looked like a lot of question marks and roadblocks. I don’t see a totally clear path yet, don’t get me wrong. Let’s just say on this illustration the breeze blew the right way and as the trees shifted I saw a hint of my destination!
I want to extend a big thanks to @ladymaharet. I was really digging her work, particularly some of the colors that I saw on her illustrations. She recently shared some glimpses of her preferred tools and techniques in posts like this and this. Studying her work and accompanying descriptions gave me a solid jumping off point to explore some methods and tools that I’ve never tried before, and I really enjoyed them! I might not actually dread coloring my work the next time around! @ladymaharet also uses the Clip Studio software which I love, and it was a pleasure to learn a bit from her and I’ll keep an eye out to swipe more techniques and knowledge in the future! Thanks so much @ladymaharet!
So who is this freakin’ troll?
I’m still fleshing out his story, but it’s just good that he has one! “I Thought It Would Be Zombies…” is a post apocalyptic action/comedy/horror/fantasy romp. Imagine a mashup of Shaun of the Dead and Lord of the Rings and you might get kinda close.
I was previously planning out one of the first big action sequences. Perhaps you can guess who the big guy administering the beating is…
pre visualizing the page with 3d Models in Clip Studio
As I began to work on the pencils for this page, I realized I was being lazy! I was about to just start designing this character on the page itself… although I already had an idea that I’d want to see him again in the narrative, perhaps quite a bit more. If he wasn’t some throwaway background character, designing his looks “on the fly” was just plain lazy and stupid. So I took a deep breath and put down my Apple Pencil from doing this…
creating rough pencil breakdowns based on the models
and switched to working on this instead…
an early stage of the finished piece
… and I’m sure glad I did. I wouldn’t have come up with as fun a character and spent the hours it took to put this illustration together mulling over his backstory and personality. Ultimately, it’ll lead to a better finished product by far. Sometimes planning is procrastination, but oftentimes it’s necessary. And of course sometimes it’s a little bit of both! If I hadn’t stepped back from trying to get a page done, I’d have missed out on a more fully realized character and beginning to tackle my color inadequacies! But damn, I still gotta get cracking on some actual pages!
Overall I’m quite happy with how the big, as yet unnamed, bruiser turned out. That’s rare for me… I fall more often into the “self-hating artist” category. I hope you enjoyed the sneak peek and glimpse at the creative process. I’d love to have you follow along for some more, and give @ladymaharet a follow too for some great artwork and good company! If this page in progress teaches anything, I hope it teaches you to find inspiration and knowledge in your community, and that massive internal bleeding is bad… so don’t mess with Trolls!
-Bryan “the Imp” Imhoff