Wednesday, April 15, 2009

From 1985: Prelims for Grimwood's Daughter

I'll be talking more about Grimwood's Daughter later but for now I'll share a few preliminary sketches from the final chapter.  First, some rough thumbnail sketches.  These are tiny, four on a sheet of typing paper.  I was just trying to work out the basic compositions and see if things would fit.  Balloon placement and the flow of the story were two of the main concerns at this stage.  I also try to get a feel for the gestures and attitudes of the figures.

Next, I started working out the individual panels at a larger size.  Working at this size on a sheet of scrap paper is very liberating.  You can start over as much as you want, flop images, come back to an earlier take.  There's no rule against moving from thumbs to the finished board but I do better with several stages to refine the drawings.

I ended up using that last sketch, in the lower right corner, but I cropped in tight on the guy's head and hand.  If I had it to do over again I think I'd pull back a little and so that we see both characters a little better.  The body language is very important here and I lost some of it when I moved in closer.


  1. It is always interesting to see your older work. It seemed to have a more slender, narrow style to it. Not that it is bad, just varying slightly from your current take. Really shows a shift in your style.

    I do like the pulled back version of the lower right picture on the second page. Although I think the first prelim pages is pretty cool too. The emotion of the lower picture on the first page is very reactionary.

  2. Cool stuff. Do you just draw the final image from the roughs you've made or do you trace them off instead of trying to recapture that energy?


  3. Back in the 80's I used an Art-O-Graph projector to enlarge and trace the smaller sketches but now I'm more likely to just scan the sketch and print it out at a larger size to trace on a light table. Or I'll just print it out in light "non-photo" blue and firm up the lines as I draw in graphite over the blue image. Whatever works best.

  4. Sorry these images weren't clickable. I messed up the coding when I moved the text around.

  5. Sounds exactly like the process I go through. I sold my Art-O-Graph a couple years ago and have been scanning/printing ever since.


  6. I loved Grimwood's Daughter. I have original color pages and still cherish them. Will the Man-Thing project ever be completed?

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