The mornings deliberate practice on 2/13/10;
I start with drawing at 50% to limit the amount of detail I can put in on the computer, because I’m drawing with Flash the brushes get smaller as you draw at a larger scale. So by keeping the drawing at 50% I can black in my 4 pages, then do a sequence of layers with colors fine tuning the images.
So I did 15 minutes on a page, staying focused on just this page. Realized that I think of my compositions without word balloons but if I’m doing layouts for a writer in scenes I need to leave space for them to write in and stop pushing the edge.
Always start with stick figures, it’s funny stick figures are a great way to think of your characters and let the hand draw the story, while shape is what makes the composition work. Pacing and rhythm come from sticks clicking, then shapes come in as I pick panel three to pull in even closer so I have one close up shot of faces as they talk. It’s hard to go form full figures in action to Estrada’s formula
Estrada is one of those artists I hated as a kid but kind of thought was interesting as I got older, like Toth, Grandetti and Robbins, he writes about his work , ” ..A word on technique. I’m a line and composition man and I believe in storytelling through staging. Kubert and Toth were my masters.I believe in black against white, white against black or a combination of both. My basic formula for laying out each comic page is one close up, one long shot, one down shot, one up shot, one medium shot, one panel nearly empty, one crammed with activity. The reader deserves variety.”