Silly me. Haste = waste

I’m still not getting Clive’s character design right.

The week before last I went back over pages 2 and 3 to make him more consistent [he’s like Lon Chaney Sr., The Man of a Thousand Faces!]. I thought I’d managed it – well enough. But I haven’t. I posted a bit on the Facebook page ^ yesterday, and I’ll expand a little on it here.

‘Cartoony’ & Detailed/Abstraction vs Realism

I’ve also realised the problem of using a simple cartoon style and then trying to do close-ups. Surely the face should become more detailed in close-up. Otherwise, you end up with a few abstract looking lines?


Clive re-drawn VS Clive mechanically scaled-up

Above: Clive, has been drawn anew each time in closer/larger aspect. See how he changes?
Next, I crudely increased his size from the small, quickly scribbled version using Photoshop. Pretty abstract little bunch of lines – but he still looks like the same guy.


Same design, but with a bit more detail.

Above, having learnt my lesson [finally] I drew over the blown-up version on the right, adding just a bit more detail. He looks more like the same person. The lesson is so obvious that I’m probably the only person on earth who didn’t realise it – to my cost. You have to work out the design of the character in the simplest possible forms – FIRST. Basic shapes and dimensions – and stick to that no matter what size he’s drawn at and regardless of detail.

It’s all in the preparation

That’s what decorators say. The problem really, is impatience and over-confidence. I have a small part of 2 days per week when I’m off work to do the comic and I just dashed into it. I’m going to have to loop-back over the previous pages – again, fix the faces and hopefully that’ll be the end of it. But I mustn’t do it until I’ve got Clive’s design nailed-down and codified into some sort of easy to use formula. I also need to work on drawing him from every conceivable angle. In animation studios they end up with what’s called a model sheet for each character. And as I mentioned in a previous post, they often even sculpt the characters in clay so you can examine them from every angle and make sure it works.

Silly me.


  1. Lily Rosen

    Keep working at it and you will figure it out I am sure. Maybe working with a light box could help with consistency. An interesting read that I would suggest would be Scott McCloud’s, “Understanding Comics The Invisible Art”. Also you should check out the work on my blog let me know what you think and maybe follow if you like 🙂


  2. clivethedesigner

    Hi Lily,
    Thanks for dropping by and being the first person I don’t already know who’s commented!
    I’ve read McCloud’s book, which is excellent, and Will Eisner’s one. I perticularly enjoy Scott discussing how amateur comics artists tend to work just on the surface of the artform – rather than starting from the inside, the core, where the story is – and having that lead the artwork and writing.

    Thing is: I realised that all of the art books I ever read were only ever useful if I ‘had a go’ myself. You kind of can’t learn directly from them, but rather, you need to try it out yourself, fail – and then understand why based on the reading you’ve done.

    I like these pieces of yours very much, like a Klimt landscape:
    and this

    because it’s bizarre! Acid etched print?


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