Archive for the ‘Thumbnails’ Category

Polarized – Layouts

April 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Hey All.

We went over the magnificent Gibson Quarter’s pages for Sam Ruano’s “Polarized” in class and only small tweaks were required. But we neglected to post the digital copies!

So here they are in all their glory.

And here is a revised full layout for page seven with the savage love kiss between Elizabeth and a startled Edgar II! Gibson added some “Cat in Heat” action to the scene.

Is it getting here despite being at the frozen bottom of the Earth, or what?!

Gibson has started on pencils and they are looking lgorious. We’ll post more when they are done

But he has posted a tasty sneak preview on his website to wet our appetites!


As always, comments are encouraged.


Categories: Art, Thumbnails

Safe! – Number 2’s Private Office and Final Layouts

April 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Hey one and all. As usual I am waaaay behind with posting. But here is some tasty work for Rae Wells, who has been a designing, drawing machine lately!

First up, A smashing look at Number Two’s private office – Mission Control for Holmes Inc.

I’ve also done up a partial (ie as much of it as I need for this story) proposal for #2’s private office design for where he actually works, as opposed to the presentation office where they meet with clients (which I always thought was old Edgar’s office anyway). It just didn’t seem natural to me to have the action from this story take place in the big fancy room, and besides, #2 needs his own space.  

It’s practical, but not utilitarian because that’s the way it seems like he would roll.There’s enough empty space for him to pace when he’s anxious, because that’s definitely in the gene pool, but I figure he keeps a lid on it until he’s behind a closed door. The furniture is a blend of antiques and high-tech: antique mahogany desk, filing drawers, and bookshelfs, but super-modern ergonomic chair and a wall of monitors. The screens are for both communications for mission control for the missions that need his personal attention, and computer monitors for research.

Our illustrious writer Aaron had this high praise for the office.

The office (like quite a few of the concepts you’ve already shown me) seems like it’s exactly as I imagined it as I was writing it, and yet at the same time is ten times better. Awesome, awesome stuff. I just looked at the drawing and started nodding to myself because I wouldn’t change a thing.

Next up. Rae’s final layouts with her thoughts.

OK here are some rough layouts, with breathing space and other tweaks added as per the notes from  the thumbnails. I know I still need to fix the perspective in a bunch of places. Clean layouts with accurate perspective grids are next on my to-draw list. See y’all later.

Dat’s what I’m talking about.  These are lovely.  

Off you go, get ’em constructed.   Really push yourself to feel the 3-d of the characters when you construct, too.  Use action figures, or reference photos, and make this the best you’ve ever done.  You’re in the zone with these layouts. – Ty

In class last week, we saw some of Rae’s construction and her persepctive grids were bang on. We also discussed the two versions of Liz’s final close-up on the last page. We agreed the tearful softer one was less effective than the cold stone faced Liz cutting off her emotions to do what she needed to do!

Way to go Rachael.  Onwards and upwards! 


Categories: Art, Design, Thumbnails

Underwater – Final Thumbnails- With Notes!

April 19, 2011 Leave a comment

The plot thickens, fellow Holmesians.

And now it is time for me to officially let myself go public with the final thumbnails for Yolanda Cheung’s 5 page tale of pirates of the sea with surprising depth – Underwater!
So, here is Page 1 – pretty much as you saw in my early rough.

Page 2 – Panel on feeds into the mysterious black hole. this leads into a beauty shot of the lair as the figures swim toward the airlock.

As you can see, I added two inset panels for Edgar activating his wheelchair transformation. But I think the oddly shaped panels are too much with all the rest.

I think they’d work better stacked on top of one another with straight borders. Like the rough below.

Page 3 –  I took Ty’s notes into account to balance out everything.

I also considered slight adjustments to the panel 2 shape to contrast with panel three more and point to it better. As well, I am considering having a larger full-figure of Elizabeth stepping out of her dive gear to present a sleeker, ready for action look.  That panel would run into the bleed.

I quickly sketched below what I had in mind.

Page 4 – I toyed with a CU of Liz lifting and examining the sharp horrific instruments near the bloody dolphin and screens showing horrifying stuff. But the bubbles of body parts seemed like enough.

Liz reaches into her boot holster for a gun in the BG of Panel 5 ( I can’t believe I’m making myself draw a down shot). So we could lose the CU of her pulling the gun in Panel 6 if you think it’s not needed.  (Yup! I added more panels to spread out the action and dialogue!).

Page 5 –  In panel 1, I would probably turn Edgar to face left instead of right and make sure his wheelchair-suit wheels are on the same plane as Elizabeth’s feet.

In the right margin I sketched a potential alternate position for the dolphin in panel two.

Panel 3 may not need the dolphin fin as a pointer. The panel shape itself points to panel 4. It does add some support to Elizabeth’s decision but may be overkill.  Thoughts?

So, thumbnails done, Ty hit me with the comments. (He’s already told me he loved the first page and it was unchanged.)

Page 2 – Great instinct to solidify up those overlaid panels to the left.  They work, even with the staggered panel shapes, but they work better as a stack.  I’d probably toss a thicker outline around ’em, to really glue them together.

Another excellent page.  Don’t let it go to your head, but these are very hot layouts. (I’d be making a lot more notes if they weren’t…)

Page 3 – Though I know what you’re going for with the larger figure in panel 4 of page three in the re-draw, I’m actually leaning towards the first version (3, rather than 3-a) because you’ve got enough figure work to feel right on that page, and the slightly wider shot gives me more of a sense of the environment and where everyone is.

Page 4 – Another good page…I’m happy with the spread out dialog, but let me offer this.

You’re right, we don’t really need the close up of Liz pulling out the gun, especially if we see it in the previous panel.  But you’re right, we SHOULD get a look at Liz in close up, looking at a disemboweling knife.  Here’s a suggestion:   Move panel five over to take up the right side of that wide area, drop the image on panel six, and create a NEW panel five to the left of that area, with a close up of Liz looking at the gutting weapon. 

Here’s why…her close up is BEFORE we see the room, and we don’t get a close up of her AFTER she sees the room.  I’d rather see her reaction than her anticipation, and so would a reader.  So slide over that down shot of her pulling the gun (and push her figure a little more into the panel, so it’s not so peripheral to the action) and give me that reaction shot…perhaps with an instrument that’s still a little bloody.  THEN you’ve got something on the money.

ALSO:  If you read the pages in order, there’s no moment where Liz puts the gun away from page three…so I assumed it’s still out.  Why not simply leave it out, so that there’s that sense of minor menace from her (towards the doctor) on that page, and rather than pulling it out again, she levels it at him one more time towards the bottom of four?
And you needn’t be so coy with the damaged fish and dolphins in the shot.  We’re not DC or Marvel, and you can push the gore a wee bit more for shock effect.  Besides the fact that we live in the era of SAW IV, we’re MEANT to be shocked by this image.  Think like Wrightson, and imagine what he wouldn’t leave out…

Astoundingly good work, dude.  You’ve knocked me out, and I suspect, Yolanda as well.

And may I say… HOLY SHIT, these are great!   I’m not kidding, page 1, especially.  This is magnificent layout stuff, m’friend.   – Ty

In addition to Ty’s great suggestions and some of my own thoughts, I plan to to do the following.

Pg 2 – Panel 3 – I would move the Edgar figure and the man helping him to the right to take up more of centre frame.

Pg 4 – Thanks so much for the suggestion re. Liz’s reaction to the guts. I was missing that feeling of disgust.  I would proabbly change the down shot angle a little to show goryness around Edgar and Reggie as well.

Gore ain’t my strong suit but I’ll do my best!

I also think I may have made the bleed line my panel line on all these roughs but page five. My bad. 

Yolanda also had some very helpful notes:

This is way better than I imagined! Love it, can’t wait to see more!

Some notes (mainly for me):

There’s a bit of a jump in story between page 1 and 2, so having the pirates lower their guns in the last panel of page 1 might help. It shows they’re a little more hesitant about causing any harm. I’ll try to come up with a caption for the opening of page 2 to tie things together.

Page two is gorgeous! Old Edgar looks so badass. It might help to move the smaller side panels up a bit. For me, the panel of Edgar transforming is reading before the panel of him turning the dial.

On Page 3, the panel of Edgar gassing the pirate made me laugh out loud at work. This looks great! I’m going to try to slay some babies to give more space for art.

Page 4 will require more baby slaying on my part. The expressions are great! Thanks for making my excessive demand for panels not look cluttered.

On Page 5, I like the dolphin as you’ve drawn it in the main thumbnail, it opens up more space for Elizabeth’s expression.

That’s it from me for now, or else my boss will wonder why I have awesome comic thumbnails on my desktop instead of work.


And so, I move on to construction!

Cheers! – Pinc

Categories: Art, Thumbnails

Underwater – Rough Thumbnails – With Notes!

April 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Hello fellow Holmesians.

Though I have completed and finished my final thumbnails for Yolanda Cheung’s story Underwater, I did submit extremely rough initial thoughts to Ty last week.

And since the notes on those are valuable, I will suck up my wounded pride and share them (despite the fact that I’d prefer to only share the new versions!)

So here are my one evening thumbnails, warts and all. I did them mainly to get a sense of what all was needed on each page so I could start to find the right balance of action, emotion and setting. I didn’t make much of an effort to keep to the comic page shape as I drew and Ty dinged me for that but that’s my process!

So before I post the finished versions, here are the rough roughs!

Page one was my “IN”  to the story. I had this image in my head from the start to guide my approach. I think I may have been inspired a bit by Rain’s opening panel, along with all those Jim Aparo/Nick Cardy Aquaman comics I grew up reading!

Pg 2 and 3 – As you can see, I was more concerned with the panel tiers than page shape at first.

Partway through sketching out thoughts for page 4 I realized I had no design for the evil part of the underwater lav where they are cutting up dolphins! So I was trying to guess what it looked like and how to present it.

I had a vague wide shot in mind then tried adding in larger figures in the FG, in essence having two panels happening at once.

Epic. Fail.

And here was my final page (5).

Ty kindly weighed in on the mess above and gave me some terrific food for thought.

Thoughts and notes.

First off, I love the level of sophistication you’ve brought the page designs, Yolanda would be proud, especially the first and last ones.  She’s also someone who does playful, off beat page designs, and you’ve captured some of her energy, at least I think the energy she would have brought.

Be careful of doing tumbnails that aren’t conforming to the actual shape of a page though.  Some of your thumbs are much wider than a regular page, and it means you’d have to essentially redesign much of it when it comes time to do the actual layouts, possibly to the point that your original thumbs might not be translatable.  

Page 1)  I love it, especially the second version where the bottom panels take the rounded sweep of the water.  Nice energy, great reading and flow.  Easily my favorite page.

Page 2)  Yup, I’m with your instinct of letting the readers see the chair unfold like that.  I think I even suggested that to  Yolanda at one point, so your instincts there are correct.  Try to work that in.

Page 3) It’s difficult to see this page as it’s currently a set of panels spread across the page, some of which are a bit to scratchy to decipher (the middle two).   I don’t mind her pulling the gun here in the last panel, especially to give you more room to reveal the big reveal of the issue: the lab of dolphin torture.  That’s a good thought. 

Again, I’m not sure I love the flow of the middle section, but if you did it as cascades, it will likely all work out (as cascades, and panel exits are a saving grace for almost any panel layout). 

I think I like the roundhouse kick that I’m seeing in the panel you’ve scratched out, which shows up again in mirror image as panel three?  From a page layout POV, it probably feels better where you had it originally, as it would bring the action from the left to the right rather nicely.  As is, it’s going to lead the eye off the page in the middle.  Again, cascades will probably solve this.

Page 4)  In the middle section, they seem to be walking in front of a mural of themselves in panels 3/4, which falls into the place I’d rather see the BIG reveal of the torture room.  Also, this is another page that’s not close to the proportions of a comic page, and would require a re-design of that middle section as it will cut off the framing characters to trim the page closer to a 2×3 proportion.  I think I dig the idea of inserting a panel inside it, but they way you’ve got it, I’m not sure I understand it.

Page 5)  The other page I really like, especially the top panel (which I think is being seen through the water in one of the tanks, no?).  The rounded section in the middle has a nice energy, but I’m worried it leads the eyes away from the nice close up in panel four.  The jump from 3 to 4 requires us to jump over panel 5 to get there, and the eye is going to stop on panel 5 on the way.  Doubly so, as it contains a full figure walking away from us that mirrors a bit of the figure in the panel directly above (panel 3). 

Perhaps widen that close up in panel four so that it occupies more of the center of the page, requiring less of a jump over 5 to get there.  Also that would allow the female forms from 3 and 5 to not line up so much.

Sorry this was four days later getting to you than I intended, but as I said, my workload has become crazy this week, and I’m trying to leave TCW stuff to the days of the week I can spare.  I hope this isn’t a hardship in getting started on finished layouts.  There’s some GREAT stuff in here, and I love how ambitious it is.  Do you have your own set of layout sheets?  If not, I’m attaching some so that the proportions will be bang-on for the next draft.  In general, the basic panels are all good and tell the story well, so it shouldn’t be too much trouble to translate this all to the correct size of a comic page.  

Next time, I’ll give you notes a hell of a lot faster.

Ty the Guy.

PS:  I’ve cc’d Yolanda in case she has anything to add to all this.  Yolanda, if you’re too busy to take a look, I completely understand.  But you should still have the opportunity to nod in, should you wish.

Yolanda hadn’t seen the roughs but she did see the opening page and was inspired to change her captions to fit! 

I really love it! We could even take out the dialogue Elizabeth has at the last panel and do the entire page in captions, that way the whole page convey more of an “underwater” feeling. It seems unrealistic that she could speak underwater. The captions could be something like this:

—-Panel 1—-

Caption (Elizabeth)
The old man’s out of his mind.

—- Panel 2 —-

Caption (Elizabeth)
Taking on a case of missing divers and coral, then saying you’ll personally look into it…

 —- Panel 3 —-

Caption (Elizabeth)
 … what in god’s name are you thinking?

 —- Panel 4 —-

Caption (Elizabeth)
Screw your Holmesian pride an’ your secrecies.

—- Panel 5 —-
 Caption (Elizabeth)
Ya ‘ought to trust that ah can spot a fake when ah see one.

Panel 5 should frame Elizabeth and the pirates a little more, to suggest the pirates are fake even if she meant Old Edgar.

Please send along the rest if you have time! I’m really excited to see more!


Terrific ideas.  Yolanda’s time is limited but I am pretty jazzed to know she will be contributing her thoughts to make this a true collaboration.

And brother, she definitely weighed in on the final thumbnails, which I shall post, forthwith!

Cheers! – Pinc

Categories: Art, Thumbnails

Poker Face – Layouts

April 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Hi All,

Here are Rain’s lovely thumbnails for Poker Face.  Rain received his comments in the last class  but I thought those of you who weren’t there would enjoy them.

I do recall some basic points that came up.

There was some discussion of not overdoing the poker/gambling design elements at the expense of the emotional story (most specifically the poker chip panel frames of page three). And I believe Ty asked that we see Trey grab a croupier’s stick (which we will have to set up in a previous panel) as well as  Trey’s entire leaping figure at the bottom of page.

For myself, I love the joy, boldness and personality in the layouts. And that opening shot feels almost like a bookend to my opening page for Underwater, which I will be posting shortly, complete with comments.

Way to go, Rain! – Pinc

Categories: Art, Thumbnails

“Late” – Thumbnails – With Notes!

April 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Hey all,

Prepare to be humbled and astounded by Draake Herd’s latets thumbnails for Edgar and Elizabeth’s precog-agog adventure, “Late”!

Ty’s comments are below. – Rob

Could we get a little more movement and counter-balance from the figures that are in movement?  On page 2, the scenes of her sliding down the stairs, or hitting the door lock with her sword, are a little static for what the movement suggests it should be.  That means when you swing a sword, the body should adapt to the sudden shift in weight, and not feel like she’s standing still.

Something for all of us artists to keep in mind is to be aware of the where the full bleed vs the live art goes. On Ty’s layout pages from class the thing grey line aroudn the centre is the live art area. The dark line is the bleed.

Here are Ty’s thoughts on the thumbnails.

The layouts are all full bleed pages, with everything running off the pages.  I’m always wary of always going to a full bleed page, as it means there’s no chance to open up the page when you need to, if you’re ALWAYS at full bleed. (page two is the only one that seems to have “live art” panels, and it’s by far my favorite page).

With no backgrounds, it’s hard to judge the look of the final page. The sense of establish/close-up/figure panels is very nicely balanced, but the eye depends so much on the spotted blacks and background elements that I’m not sure how it will look finished up.

Could we get a little more movement and counter-balance from the figures that are in movement?  On page 2, the scenes of her sliding down the stairs, or hitting the door lock with her sword, are a little static for what the movement suggests it should be.  That means when you swing a sword, the body should adapt to the sudden shift in weight, and not feel like she’s standing still.

There’s a little more movement on the following two pages, but there’s still too much of a sense of the static, especially when we’re ultimately dealing with a dream sequence.  toss a few tilts to the horizon, and some up and down placement of the camera (though there’s a nice down shot on page 1, and some decent and playful angles on page five, the other pages have a standard camera set-up on almost every panel).

I’ve included page five with a couple of tweaks, just to show off how the page looks if you don’t draw EVERY panel out to the bleed, and include a little more of the background.

Draake has been hard at work adapting Ty’s notes and doing his constructions.  So I can’t wait to see where we’re at this Wednesday!

See you then, fellow Holmesians! – Pinc

Categories: Art, Thumbnails

The Family Name – Layouts/Constructions

April 14, 2011 1 comment

Okay, Daniel is a crazy man! His layout and constructions are pretty much finished and they look terrific!

You’re forcing me step up my game, Daniel!

Note that Danile also tries to lay in dailogue to be sure it will fit around the art. Now, the letterer is the one who ultimately decides where dialogue and captions go.

But this way the artists can go forward confident everything will find a place. Something for all us artists to keep in mind.

So here are the so-called roughs for The Family Name by James Cooper and Daniel Wong.


Shazam!   That is good stuff, Daniel!

Let the kudos and notes begin!



Categories: Art, pencils, Thumbnails