Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How to Create a Bible Comic Part III- Layout

Now that the story is established, it is time to lay out the page and begin telling the story visually. Before going into the drawing in detail, it is very helpful to start with small, loose sketches, often called thumbnail sketches. Thumbnails sketches are used to compose the images (composition), to work out the movement from panel to panel (sequence), the camera angle, the perspective, basic facial expressions and gestures. You can also use the thumbnail to show lights and darks (tone), colors, and where word balloons will be. Planning at this stage, when it is fast and loose, saves a lot of time and trouble down the road.

These are my thumbnail sketches for Luke 2:41-52 (Jesus as a boy, at the temple). The sketches helped me to visualize the story, and how things would flow. Because it is small, it helps me to simplify images, and clarify parts of the story.
References: James Gurney's book "Imaginative Realism" has a good section on thumbnail sketches. (The whole book is a treasure trove of insight into illustration of every kind. I highly recommend it!)