One Eye Closed

The squireIt’s time to move on from this first page of the Waterton comic, but here it is at last. I feel that I’ve overdone a scene that should have been given the lightest of touches but, having worked out the staging and the details, I can always come back to it later, when I’ve had more practice and I’ve developed a house style.

page 1I don’t think that it harms to overdo artwork occasionally, you need to feel free to experiment, so I’m glad that I’m not up against a tight deadline.

I was surprised how difficult it was to get Squire Waterton to look as if he is winking at the reader. Although I’m always thinking in terms of scenes from a movie, a single drawing represents just one moment, much as I try to relate it to the next or the previous frame.

A wink depends on the recipient of the gesture seeing the start and finish of the movement. One eye kept closed indefinitely doesn’t have the same meaning, but in a single drawing, it’s difficult not to give the impression that an action is frozen in time. A freer style might suggest the the movement was in progress.

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  1. Think about the other facial muscles that move when one winks and exaggerate them a bit. Often the mouth opens and one side of the mouth moves to the side, creating a kind of dimple near the nasolabial fold. The eyebrow of the nonwinking eye may rise slightly. The muscles above and below the winking eye contract into a kind of squint. So the whole face participates in the wink and it’s not just a matter of one closed and one open eye. I’m very impressed with your work on this.

    1. You make me want to try it again, adding all those little extra clues. It’s been an education doing this comic strip, it’s like turning my observational drawing the other way around. I have to create the subject that I’d usually observe.

  2. I can imagine… but I am, as I said, so impressed by this. It is very inspiring seeing you find your way with a whole new genre. I’m following along with great interest.

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