Do you know what makes a drawing visually powerful? You need contrasts and remarkable shapes. Today I will share how I solved a problem on the front page of my comic book website LIVE FOREVER. You will surely learn something or inspire you to create.
It is not the same to see a drawing in close-ups as from a distance. And to make sure the image is readable you have to take some critical factors, which are sometimes difficult to solve.
Small details disappear
The first time I placed the image of Sarah, the protagonist of this comic, I noticed that she lost her eyebrows when seeing her tinier. Then I reshaped her hair and eyebrows even more, and even her eyes widened.
A problem was solved, but when I found myself working on other details my wife approached me and said: “Can I make a suggestion?” And she told me that the website looked good, but she felt Sarah’s face was getting lost in the white background.
I’m obsessed with white backgrounds and the minimalism, but upon hearing this from her, something clicked on me, and I knew I went far with the minimalist style. So I started to figure out how Sarah could look better. Here are my failed attempts:
First failed attempt
How simple is it to do things without desire, right? I thought, well, I think a black circle solves it, but… it does not look attractive, it does not tell me anything. And what a circle does that mean in this context? It emphasizes her silhouette, but it does not contribute anything to the illustration.
Second failed attempt
Then my editor made a suggestion, put the bottom of the cover of the comic but dim.
But I was not convinced.
Third failed attempt
I went back to the minimalist concept adding a black glow around Sarah. Again, I felt that I had to solve it quickly and wanted solutions that would not take long because I needed to publish the website. I was anxious!
Fourth try, the final version.
But what about that shine? Does she has an extraordinary power or what? No, she doesn’t. I was not convinced either. Even my editor suggested I do another drawing. Here is his idea in a sketch:
But I was sure there was a way to solve this without having to redraw Sarah. It was already about three in the morning, and neither my eyes nor my head gave for more. Then I went to sleep. One of the best ways to resolve something is the next day, a clear mind and fresh ideas.
I have proven that my most productive and creative time is in the mornings.
So exploring Lauren Mayberry’s gallery, I came across a pic that would solve the problem. Below is the original photo that inspired me to create Sarah’s background.
So I watched the image of Lauren and extracted the necessary elements to put them in Sarah’s background:
- The stage in black background and some smoke.
- And instruments.
No details, just silhouettes, and graphic elements. Ah, and the reflectors suggesting a letter “X”, to give more strength to Sarah’s pose.
And this is the final version.
As you can see I took elements of another image, an image that sparks me up an idea. I did not copy it but reinterpreted it; I made Sarah’s new look in its entirety. The effect of the background and how I did it, we left it for another occasion. Even I did not record the process I recorded it by doing a big scale print with better resolution, so I will edit this video and show how I did it. So stay tuned!
And thanks to my wife and publisher for their advice.
At the moment I can not give personalized advice because I am very busy. But if you’re doing a project, make sure you ask someone who has a vision, a friend, or a family member to give you an opinion. Otherwise, join a Facebook group or another community so you can have feedback. It’s crucial!
Do not hesitate to share this information on your social networks, you never know who you can help. The links are below.
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