Jon Michael Galindo

~ writing, programming, art ~

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31 August 2015

Art: Alchemite Drawing

I recently picked up a book on comic book art. Despite dabbling in it before, I never realized how involved it could actually be. I have a new appreciation for the comic book page.

Here, catalogued in steps, I have created a comic-style panel from some images of Alchemite bouncing around in my head. This would constitute a single panel on a comic book page.

I began with a layout sketch, about 1.5x2 inches. Surprisingly, it took 9 minutes, 21 seconds. I kept rearranging and changing things. This scene was originally indoors:

Then, I drew up a detail sketch, about 3x4 inches. It took 11 minutes, 12 seconds. I used McDonald's, (please, don't sue me!), and a Walmart, because a parking lot felt right for the scene. Somehow, I left out the tall, background sign. I sketched it in blue pencil for no particular reason:

Finally, I drew out the full scene on 8.5x11" paper, sketched in blue and then pencilled in. This took a whopping hour, six minutes, and three seconds, far longer than I expected. Most of that time went into studying car undercarriages on Google images, then imagining up something passably realistic. A mechanic would definitely get a laugh out of my concoction. ;-) :

If I thought that went slowly, the next bit was a real shocker. The coloring took an hour, 58 minutes, and 24 seconds. I just scanned in the pencil drawing and colored underneath it using GIMP:

Inking is a huge part of comic-book art, but I skipped the process entirely. I don't own inking supplies, and I had already spent too long on this art. Instead, I spent 30 minutes, 53 seconds cleaning up the pencil art, and then I fixed up any problems left with the drawing to achieve this finished product:

The sky featured in the background is a public domain image from I would love to draw my own skies, but my skills are not yet sufficient to the task. One of my (semi-)life-long ambitions is to program a sky-generator; but, it may be impossible.

All told, this drawing consumed 3 hours, 55 minutes, 53 seconds. To put that in perspective, one finished comic book page might contain six panels, on average, adding up to over 23 hours for just the art, at least at this speed.

Besides this, the page must be inked, (a step I skipped to significant detriment), convey an engaging, pre-written story, and contain dialogues and narrations which must be lettered. If I were a comic book artist, it might easily take me three days to finish a single page, although I can't be sure.

I may ink and letter this panel in the future to estimate the time a little better; but, it does not appear that I am cut out for the work. Still, who knows? Perhaps fate has a comic book in store for me yet.

© Jon Michael Galindo 2015