Wednesday, May 25, 2011


You are only as good as your reference and research (Well, that's at least what I say).
This post is specifically for: Paul, Kevin, Megan, Britta, Adam, Chad, Christina & Aileen. After talking with you, I think these will be helpful.

First, Paul. Your designs look like it would compliment this type of background design. You'll have to play around with the specifics - do what is most appealing, I think. (art by Jiro Matsumoto)

This is for Kevin. Your landscape and character came off more Chinese than Japanese. Use these photos, it will help support your story so you can focus on the cool stuff. (Old photos of Japan link)

Megan, you have such great potential for interesting backgrounds, I thought these images would inspire you to try for that. Plus these are good references for proper use of value, which your current panels struggle with. Keep on truckin! Iterations! Iterations! (art by Nihei Tsutomu)
Britta, this is the Nausicaa line work i was talking about. You are playing with the idea of using a manga-style line work. I think this style will add that extra sense of sophistication you are looking for, but is loose enough of a penmanship for you to adapt to your existing character designs. Fill in a lot of what would be blank areas in your drawings with lots of meticulous and consistent pattern marks! (art by Miyazaki)

Adam, yo. These were done on watercolor paper. The entire book is filled with such a variety of composition you never get enough of looking at buildings. He also chose to do it in sepia inks, although there are some spots of saturated colors in some other compositions. You can be a pen and watercolor version of Hitch or Cassaday!
(Art by Paul Madonna)

Chad, I'm not saying you should take it to this extreme - but at least point in this direction and take a few steps forward. Like your panels, these utilize landscape (but with a sense of reference), people and vehicles drawn afar and with slight cartoony application in character and prop design. Also, look how the camera angles are always slightly shifted. I think with some slight adjustments to your draftsmanship approach, you can make great leaps in storytelling! (art by Paul Pope)

Christina. Check out the backgrounds in these. The color treatment is different than yours, but the approach in line work is the same as yours. I know you can do this - so do it. (art by Kent Williams)

This is for Aileen. I think you should avoid complete character silhouettes. Like this animation shows, you can create simple character designs and still keep that camera at a distance/ silouette feeling. full silhouettes might be too uninteresting. You were still at the sketch level, can't wait to see more finished work!


  1. dang.... lots of good stuff here.
    thanks for the help Jared!!! (and now that you point it out, you're so right... my landscape is like, 100% Chinese.. haha. oops.)