I’ve been working for a while—where I can find the time—on a series of comics based on the poetry form called the pantoum. You can read about the form and see an example I did using a comic by Tom Hart here.
Since this is a short comic (although it’s four pages long, because of the rules of the pantoum it is actually only two pages which I will trace and ink two times) it seems a good opportunity to refine some aspects of my drawing for comics. Mainly I am always looking to simplify, stylize, and use more solid blacks. I rediscovered Felix Vallotton’s woodcuts recently and have been using him as one of my models. (See Derik Badman’s illustrated appreciations here and here.) His very black compositions are what first attracted me but I also like his dynamic composition and his detailed but flattened spaces as you can see in this copy I drew of his print “L’Assassinat” (see the original here):
Here’s the next sketch, traced (somewhat awkwardly) from my (still loose) pencils into my sketchbook:
Here’s her apartment, based on memories of my two grandmothers’ apartments in the 80s. Traced quickly in pencil and inked entirely with brush. I drew this before the Vallotton image above but I think you can see what I would like about his somewhat off-kilter, flattened perspective. I might push the angles a bit more into Cézanne territory.
Although the individual images were coming together, I still didn’t have a sense for how this will fit together as a page, so I layed a piece of tracing paper over my pencils and did this very quick (about 15-20 minutes) study all in brush:
It’s coming along, but I’m still not confident about it. I’m going to tighten up the pencils, keep working on grandma, and try a few more studies. I’ve been looking at ways which artists draw old people (mostly, they don’t).