Thursday 19 April 2007

"There oughta be a law!"
"There already is, m'lud."

T his post relates to both the courtroom sketching I've been showing over the past ten days and my post of feb 25 about why on a comic book page the lettering should be done first. There are five stages in this sequence. I can't recall now why I would have gone to the trouble of making copies as I was going along. There must have been a presentation at the college coming up, but I don't rememeber ever using these for such a purpose. Stage one is the lettering, with just enough of a sketch to get the composition clear in my head. Click on each for a legible view.

There's a stage missing, as I have relettered the page to get a better descending rhythm to the balloons, and also altered the angle of approach slightly to make a deeper pictorial space (though you probably can't tell that from the scribble above). This was to be the first page of the final volume of Bacchus, so I was prepared to spend more time than normal to make sure it worked well. The main figures also look like they've been placed by me. I'm still happy with the composition here. Pete Mullins has gone in over my rough, added all the foreground figures and thoroughly worked out the perspective.

Next, I've pencilled and inked Bacchus and the other principal figures. There was to be a standing figure in the far corner, but I've decided to eliminate him.

Pete inked everything else

Then the page went to Anne for cleaning up, which in my studio was usually a lot of work and included such things as whiting the point on the balloon outline where the tail joins it. Since the balloons were drawn first it was usually wise to leave the tails until we knew exactly where the figure was going to be. You can follow that process above.

This appeared in Bacchus #16, which was (without checking) august 1996, before I got into the court sketching work. Perhaps Pete was already doing it and I thought it a good idea to take advantage of his experience. That would have been the reason I gave him so much to do on this page.

p.s. at the time of posting this, Blogger is having problems with pictures. I see that my photo in the sidebar has disappeared for instance, and the system won't let me upload any new pics. This one is already in the can and the pictures are working at my end. Any problems let me know. This will be a pretty pointless sort of post if the images have all gone AWOL.

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Blogger spacedlaw said...

Right now I can't see them. I can see these of previous posts, so maybe my browser is not to blame for once.
I can see the ones in your side bar, though.

I wanted to ask you. When you are doing sketching, either in the court rooms or outside, what do you use for a sketch pad (which format are you more comfortable working with, type of paper, etc.)?

19 April 2007 at 01:00:00 GMT-5  
Blogger spacedlaw said...

I've just tried to upload a picture on my blog and I had a problem loading it from my computer. However, it did load easily from the Photobucket account ...

19 April 2007 at 01:05:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Kelly Kilmer said...

Eddie, I can see the pictures fine...but blogger is not letting me post *new* pictures on my blog at the moment either. Bastards!

Can't wait to show this post to my 10 year old whom I still don't think grasps how much work goes into a graphic novel, per se...(ok ok I could NOT resist).

19 April 2007 at 01:35:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i can see the pictures great (firefox on a mac, if it matters).

i can also see that the speech balloons are not perfect ellipses. & they look more integrated than they would if they were perfect ellipses. i think that's your easiest rule (for me) to follow, as i don't think i'll be doing my lettering first anytime soon (i've only started handlettering, & the only way i can do it is by tracing my computer lettering. but i do write my script first, & put balloons of the approximate sizes in the approximate places in my thumbnails).

19 April 2007 at 01:39:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

my piccies have come right.

Thanks to Boots the cat for standing in for me in the author photo position in the sidebar for the last hour. She's back in her usual position now.

I've fretted enough to be going trying uploading stuff today. I'll check tomorrow. I wonder what happened? I sometimes have bad dreams about the whole thing just disappearing. gone. nothing to be done about it. Against that day I still print everything out and keep an archive file on my computer.

19 April 2007 at 01:41:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...


For sketching with the markers I always found plain typing paper ideal, but big A3 size pages. Cartridge or watercolor paper would have been to dry and rough. In fact, If i was doing it again i'd find something even slicker perhaps.

(if you look at my villain in part 4 you can see that there is no texture at all in the paper)

for other kinds of outdoor sketching i have no plan... beermats usually. it's all a muddle .



19 April 2007 at 01:51:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

my balloons above are actually pretty close to Ellipse shape. I just feel that if it's computer-tooled it tends to look like a die-cut hole in the art, a window through to somewhere else that's not part of the art. If the same hand that draws the art also draws the balloons, you have a better chance marrying the elements together successfully. Same with the lettering. I like it to have a signature look, and for the art to have the same signature. then it feels like the person from whom the balloon is coming is indeed speaking the words.

19 April 2007 at 02:46:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just wondering, do you ever draw anything for pleasure these days, or is everything done with an eye to some commercial application (not to suggest that you don't enjoy the commercial, I'm not expressing myself too well here, but hope you know what I mean)

19 April 2007 at 08:16:00 GMT-5  
Blogger James Robert Smith said...


Amazing post. Thanks for showing that stuff.

(Off to the Keys for two weeks. Online silence from this computer for half a month.)

19 April 2007 at 12:08:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sometimes have bad dreams about the whole thing just disappearing. gone. nothing to be done about it.

Does Blogger not allow you to make backups? WordPress has this feature built-in but then it's more suited to those of a geekier disposition (ie: me) than people who just want to set things up quickly and without trouble.

19 April 2007 at 23:08:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

"quickly and without trouble"

you didn't write that accusingly, but I'm accusing myself anyhoo
yup. that's me.


20 April 2007 at 01:36:00 GMT-5  
Blogger spacedlaw said...

Just another question (triggered by the title of your post):
Are judges in Australia professionaly trained (in law that is) for the task ?

20 April 2007 at 02:27:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

i'd have to ask my pal best who is a lawyer, but my undserstanding is that one is invited to become a judge after much experience at the bar. Not the bar I was just at, of course.


20 April 2007 at 02:33:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've mentioned touch up with white paint in several posts. Are you working on something thicker than the traditional bristol board when you do this? What kind of paint are you using? I'm finding that paint and bristol tend to make my work curl up.

20 April 2007 at 06:58:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

on black line art I would always use liquid paper or tippex (and i always drew on smooth ivory board). the liquid stuff is harder to get these days. i've started using the stuff that comes on a tape. for corrections on top of other corrections, it's time to glue on a new surface and redraw the detail. If the paste on is to be more than a couple of panels, i'm close to starting the whole page over, or at least cutting out the part worth keeping and gluing that to new page. I use stick glue unless the area is larger than my hand in which case i'll spray it, though i don't trust the chemical properties of craft spray adhesive. The old style cement gums have tended to turn brown with time. Since the lettering is the thing that mostly gets re-thinked, that's another reason for doing that first.

With full color art I use a fairly ligtweight watercolor paper, but I always stretch it first by soaking in the bath and taping the edges down on the wooden board with that brown tape you can get in art stores specially for the job.

just remembered I used to take the liquid paper to the court sketching jobs. You can see me hatching a highlight across the bulletproof glass on the close up of the villain on my 17 april post.


20 April 2007 at 20:16:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Eddie Campbell said...

the other question up there...

No, I never do any drawing that isn't directed to a specific purpose. If I'm going to draw, there is always a specific page awaiting my attention, and a clock ticking.
Not to mention other demands on my attention.


22 April 2007 at 16:11:00 GMT-5  

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