Chrispy pointed out this morning that there were a few things off about the sketch for page sixteen. And, I'm glad he did! Not only do I get a chance to fix things before inking, I can use this as an interesting blog post. Two in one, baby. Boo-YAH!
The first thing off is an odd tangent. A tangent in art is when parts of an image touch without intersecting. This can make the drawing lose a lot of depth. The image below shows a few examples, such as the edge of the father's head touching the edge of the frame in the background, the edge of the kid's head touching the edge of the chair, and the edge of the mother's foot touching the edge of the carpet.
Tangents can also create unintentional optical illusions. Which, is what happened in page sixteen. While the panel borders break up the image and keep the lines from touching, the fact that panels one, two, and three are continuations of the same image give the impression that panel four will be a continuation as well. And while it's not, the outer lines of Max's head are on a similar curve with Part's butt. *laughs*
On top of that, Ash changed height between panels two and four. I was trying to keep both Max and Ash's faces in the panel and ended up with her head being level with Max's nose instead of his arm.
So, how to correct this? I could just eliminate panel three, but I kind of need it. I realized that I haven't shown the crowbar so far. Which, isn't good. So, panel three is me correcting that oversight. See, Greg's tying it to the saddlebag. That's the reason why I broke that into its own panel. My hope is that people will be slowed down in their reading due to the borders and notice the crowbar. In other words, panel three stays.
With that in mind, my first thought was to just shrink Max and Ash in the fourth panel. That would let me move Max away from the outer curves of Part's rump and get Ash back down to the proper height. The trouble with this idea was, while it worked, it seemed a little bland. Like the characters were too small and not very dynamic. It seemed... well... safe.
(And no, the lines connecting Max and Ash's eyes aren't eye-based laser beams - though that would be cool. They're to remind me to line their pupils up so they appear to be looking at each other. I usually erase those before showing the sketches.)
So, I decided to try something else. While I wanted to show both Max and Ash's reactions, Ash is the more important at the moment. Most readers should know by now what Max's reaction will be. But, Ash is still a little unfamiliar - we haven't seem much of her, after all. I also wanted Ash's face to show the tone of her words here. She doesn't like Max and I want that to be very clear. Add to that the fact that panels five, six, and seven are close-ups on Max's expression... and I thought bringing the "camera" in on Ash might be a better option.
Things may still be a little clunky, but I think for the most part this page should be ready to go. Hopefully the changes have made the image a little stronger. Thanks for the heads-up, Chrispy!
"In time you will cherish your mistakes, for without them you could not advance."
-- Kathi Hobbs