One of the reasons I haven’t been taking much freelance illustration work lately (other than having a fairly time intensive full-time job and trying to maintain some kind of quality of family life) is that I wanted to spend more time on personal projects.
I had such a fun experience working on Out of Picture 1 that I couldn’t wait to work on another story for the second book. OOP 1 was the first time I’d really sat down and tried to construct any kind of “complete” story, and even though it was short (10 pages), it was an incredibly difficult learning experience. I boarded it out quickly enough, but I must have re-laid out each spread a dozen times. I really wanted to push myself story-wise on this one, so I took a bigger chunk of pages (18 this time) and tried to come up with something.
The story I really wanted to do was too complicated to fit into a short format, so I came up with a sort of adjacent episode which tells a smaller story set in the world of the larger one. Anyone who went to school with me at Ringling might recognize some of the characters in this story (but not in these particular images) as it’s based on a concept I started to develop while still in school. It’s called Under Pressure: A Breakerboy Chronicle.
Here are a few panels…
I wound up using a very different technique this time around. Since I was doing a longer story, I thought I’d save time by doing more pencil work and keep a limited palette. Well, that worked partially… I kept a limited palette and did a ton more pencil work, but I swear it took just as long to get it done.
Live and learn, I guess. The story takes place mostly underground, so I will say that this technique did fit the mood a lot better than doing full-on paintings would have. Feels grittier, I think.
There are more previews of OOP 2 at our website here.