Wednesday, April 28, 2010

First Milestone reached!

Today I have officially reached the first milestone of the first chapter final artwork creation process. I have created (slightly over) 20% of the final art, measured by lenght. After reaching the end of a section I created this milestone plan to review my progress and to estimate the time I'll need to finish the whole thing.

I spent 24 hours on the artwork that now is implemented into the layout. However, I also spent close to 13 hours on artwork that I discarted completely. Like I've already written in an older post, I had some problems to find the visual style that I was looking for. I guess that I have overcome these problems now and that I can calculate with the 24 hours for the rest of the artwork. That would mean another 100 hours of work in front of me. Given the fact that in the first 4 months of this year I have managed to work 187 hours on my private projects, which makes 46 hours a month, I can estimate to finish the first chapter somewhere in July. I'm concentrating on the graphic novel but still have some other stuff to do so that will be end of July, perhaps August. That would be cool. After finishing the first chapter I'll also have to build the Wormworld Saga homepage, which should take a month or so, and then the adventure can begin. Well, we'll see how accurate this estimation is. Life can't be calculated and who knows all the pitfalls along the path?

Thinking in these timeframes is challenging sometimes. I often think about how fast I could be if only I could work fulltime on the project. Right at the moment I spend 10 hours a day at the job to be able to work 2 hours a day on the project. If I could spend 8 hours a day on the graphic novel I could finish the chapter in 15 days. That's three weeks with free (!) weekends. But thoughts like these lead to nowhere so I just keep on working. The milestone chart is a great motivation. I'm actually getting somewhere and I'm really looking forward to share my first chapter with all of you as soon as it is ready.

In the meantime I have some character artwork for you. Here you see Jonas' teacher Mrs. Rubens:

And of course I had to figure out how Jonas looks in everyday life when he's not wearing his adventure outfit. I had the idea to give him a Captain Orion T-Shirt. I figured out that this might be a movie in Jonas' world that boys like him would be a fan of. :)

Ok, back to work!

Monday, April 26, 2010

First "wormsealed" artwork

I'm not drawing a lot on paper. All the drawing for my artwork and the graphic novel is done in Photoshop on an Intuos4 graphic tablet from Wacom. But now and then I pick up good old Mr. Pencil and do a little sketch. This time I created a little gift for someone who ordered his second digital print from me and who had to wait over a week for his order to be processed because I overlooked a notice from Paypal. It's not always easy to do this stuff all on my own and mistakes can happen. On the other hand, that way I have the possibility to connect more closely to the people who support my artwork. I hope that he enjoys his custom drawing and that it makes up for the delay. He's the first one to receive an artwork that features the original Wormseal stamp!

I'm still busy with the graphic novel. I'll  post a milestone update this week!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Panel artwork sneak preview and Wormseal stamp

I'm back from a ZBrush workshop I gave at the Media Design Hochschule in Düsseldorf and I guess it's about time for an update. I had a real struggle with my first panel artwork. I was trying too hard to be especially smart with my painting and totally screwed up. Although I had chosen a technique that should speed things up, I was slow and although I tried to be flexible by using a lot of layers in Photoshop I never arrived at the right result. I discarted a lot of work in the last weeks and started to get really nervous. The worst thing was, that my first painting sessions wheren't fun at all. They felt like work. I tried to figure out what exactly my problem was and again tricked myself by coming up with all sorts of smart reasons why my work didn't turn out right. Before I went on my workshop, I was really lost.

It's always helpful to get out when you're stuck with a problem. The workshop lasted for three days and I lived in a hotel during that time and my daily routine was completely changed. I got distracted from all the theories about my painting problems in my head and finally had my breakthrough when I started painting without worrying too much about the result. I was in a hotel room and couldn't expect a perfect result anyway, right? I used a minimum of layers, worked completely unstructured and relied on my gut feeling. The result turned out satisfying and, most importantly, was fun. I think I'll be able to relax about the whole thing now and just paint my graphic novel. I don't know why things that should be so easy turn out to be so hard sometimes. It's all in the head. We shouldn't use our heads too much when it comes to certain things, I guess.

Here's a first sneak preview from my first panel artwork. I don't want to show too much before the first chapter is released and therefore it's only a small fragment:

And there's another thing to show you! Two weeks ago I received an item that I had ordered over the internet:

It's a stamp of the Wormseal! It is 6 centimeters in diameter and produces a very detailed, forgery-safe mark which looks especially cool in red color. I'm planning to offer a wide range of low priced digital prints of selected panel artwork from the Wormworld Saga online graphic novel as soon as the first chapter is released. Every print will be hand signed and marked with the Wormseal stamp in order to create a unique collector's item for everyone who wants to support my project. I'm really looking forward to making these available to you.