The Art of Invisible Bread – Part 2on May 22, 2011 at 12:17 pm
Welcome back to my series of blogs about the art of Invisible Bread! In part 1, I talked a little bit about how important art is to a comic on these here internets and posted three test comics that I drew to figure out the Invisible Bread art.
So hey, let’s check out some more of my test comics!
Here is test comic #4
This one is getting pretty close to what the art is now, but it’s not quite there yet. I was still sticking with the grey background, so #4 was testing out my idea of how I would draw word bubbles in the Invisible Bread world. I’ve never used word bubbles, so this comic was definitely testing the waters. I didn’t like the waters though. There was something about the word bubbles that didn’t feel natural to me. This test comic was enough for me to decide that I wasn’t going to use word bubbles.
With the next step, I was going to try and clean up the art. I was going to move into vector art with fixed line widths and see how that was going to work out. I made a couple test comics that led up to the one I’m about to show you, but they all used the same lines. The only changes that I made were tweaks to the width of the lines and the shading.
Here it is:
By this point, I was getting pretty excited about how clean the art looked. LHT has made me yearn for clean lines and crisp edges. This test comic actually had me feeling like I was really close to figuring out the art. I liked the combination of the grey background and the white text and the characters looked nice and crisp. But they did look a little too crisp and a little too perfect. Having the width of a line stay the same for the whole character felt unnatural and made it feel a little sterile.
Another problem with this art iteration is that it, well, looked very similar art-wise to Cyanide and Happiness. They use uniform line widths, stick figures and simple colors and it felt a little too similar, almost as if it were intentional.
To try and stop looking like C&H and maybe make the comic look a little less sterile, I drew up this test comic:
This comic brought up a ton of random feelings. I could look at it and could see it being a comic on the internet. It had a clean style to it and was a big step up from black and white lefty art on LHT. But at the same time, it didn’t feel right, but I didn’t really know what it was.
I showed this test comic along with the others to Mike over at Lead Paint Comics and he made me realize what was wrong. He said that the characters and the drawings lost their charm once I went with the super clean look, and he was right. Somewhere in the process of trying to improve my art, I lost what made my art look like my art in the first place!
My art has never been about drawing a perfect circle for a head or having everything be near perfect. I think it’s always been about the small imperfections. It turns the characters into more than just a circle, some different shaped dots and a couple lines. And even though my art is simple, I believe that it is still identifiable as my art and not anyone else’s.
So after cleaning up the art so much that it stopped looking like my art, I went back to the basics.
And then a test for the color (I really wanted the color outside of the lines thing to work, but it never looked good).
And then the last test art I ever drew.
What a journey! Started off with a totally different art style with the first test comics, then to the clean vector-art in the middle test comics only to discover that I should have kept it simple. When I drew the last test comic, I felt all that “charm”, that stuff that makes my comics look like my comics, come back to the drawings. The other stuff, such as the light grey floors and the light blue background all came with the drawing of the very first Invisible Bread.
Hope you enjoyed the read everyone!