Changing Ways

A graphic novel series by Justin Randall

Changing Ways book 2 behind the scenes part 17

February21

I used to paint traditional canvases black before I would commence a painting. For me it makes more sense to darken a landscape and then add light as light sources are naturally introduced. I use this same principle for my comic pages.

All my artwork in Adobe Photoshop is grayscale to begin with. I’ll then add 2 ‘darkness’ layers, both filled with black at a 50% opacity with Layer Masks. This allows me to darken a scene and then create that ‘glow’ effect by selectively removing areas of darkness with a soft brush. Additional shadows are then added on another layer with solid black at a 10-30% fill.

After that I’ll create 3-5 different layers for lighting with most detail and attention being given to faces as these are anchor points for the human eye. Below you can see a step by step for a single panel from book 2.

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Changing Ways book 2 behind the scenes part 16

February18

For all of my vehicles I’ll take photos. The trick is to not limit yourself to the real thing. Below you can see the truck from book 1 is back and there’s a photo of the original toy that I purchased to photograph. When looking for toy vehicles to photograph, I’ll try to make sure that all the doors can be opened in case I need a shot that requires such content.

When lighting the vehicle, I’ll use desk lamps and torches to create the appropriate mood/setting.

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Changing Ways book 2 behind the scenes part 15

February16

I’ve attached a couple of maps from the archives of Book 1 but to make sure it’s not just a post about book 1, I’ve also attached a frame sample from book 2. 🙂

When I’m plotting out a scene I’ll sometimes draw quick maps to work out camera navigation and POV.The map on the left is the Barrot farm house. I needed to make sure that I had a floor plan that would meet the needs of the script. The map on the right shows the barn house where the Barrot family camped out towards the end of book 1. This was sketched out so I could keep a check of where the town was and the direction they were travelling. Take a look at the van and you may notice it’s facing a different direction in the book, and here’s why…

When writing a driving scene I’ll often imagine the protagonists travelling from left to right (a treatment often seen in films). In this case, the road bends to the left and for me, that suggests a form of backtracking (this guideline really only applies to vehicles that are being used for long distance travelling). Therefore, it helps maintain a sense of visual progression if a principle vehicle generally moves in one primary direction.

 

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Changing Ways book 2 behind the scenes part 14

February15

Only a few days to go and ALL of the artwork for book 2 will be complete!

Here come the shadows…

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Changing Ways book 2 behind the scenes part 13

February11

A looooong time ago when I was first developing Changing Ways I was still trying to stabilise my technique (that facial hair looks ridiculous). Here you can see the very first illustration of David and Jessie Barrot. Jessie reminds my of that spooky little girl in the movie Dune.

 

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