Although the organisational internet here at my studio has been fixed and upgraded, it still can be erratic. Last night I wrote a long post, about my work scheduling/workload management, and it failed to post. Weebly, the web platform I use, would normally save drafts, but didn't this time. when it was slow to post, I hit the refresh button while my draft post was open, which may have been a mistake, as I suspect that is what lost my draft. Frustrating, but lesson learned. For longer posts, I will in future do them in Pages (Apple word processing) and paste into the blog.
One of the key messages from the lost post was that I've been so focussed on establishing good routines and productivity, it's been at the expense of the blog, however I have kept working drafts of pages that I will post about at a suitable time.
I have researched and utilised a number of contemporary (C15th) images for this story, as shown below.
This portrait of Uccello, by an unknown artist, (below left), is not necessarily contemporary, but nonetheless is the most well-known image of him. I modelled my depiction on this image, even using the eye-dropper tool to capturing colours for skin and clothing. My story requires him to be younger than he appears here, so I made his hair only slightly greying, and his beard shorter.
The scene (below right) called 'The Profanation' from his Corpus Domini series, 1465-68 appears in my story, illustrating both his ability to create perspective spaces, and juxtaposing the image of people battering down the door, with his wife's suggestion that if he doesn't get an actual paid commission they will be homeless (thus the image in this context, suggests bailliffs at their door).
iUccello's contemporary, the sculptor Donatello appears in the story: I have used this portrait of him, (right) and photos of his two sculptures of David, in marble (bottom right) and bronze. In my story we see him both carving the marble sculpture (page 3), and modelling in clay the version that will be cast in bronze (page 7).
I wanted to reuse an unfinished, but promising, panel from my aborted short version of the Uccello comic from Semester 1. It had been too small in the original at approx 5 cm square, however to make it larger in my three rows/two columns page grid required it to be roughly four times the original area, and the original (Figure 1 below) was insufficient quality for that and needed to be reworked.
As it featured three figures, I decided to use Manga Studio's 3D models. As the figures in the panel were drawing on paper on the walls, a source figure called 'drawing on a blackboard' was a useful starting point. Using my original line drawing, made less opaque and coloured orange to help distinguish different components (Figure 2) as a starting point, I was able to manipulate that into two of the desired poses, using a different 3D model for the kneeling one.
Having achieved suitable poses, the next stage was to reduce the opacity of the model figures, which let me draw my character in costume over the top straight into 'ink', i.e. without any additional pencilling (Figure 3).
Finally, I created an opaque background (Figure 4) behind the figures. I find this has advantages over deleting parts of the background: it leaves them intact and able to reused, for example pasting into other panels, or using in other media. I benefitted from having done this, for example, in an earlier comic I adapted into a Madefire motion comic.
I had struggled to use the 3D modules over the earlier semesters, and was sufficiently time-pressured to decide not to pursue this at that time. I still haven't fully mastered them: there were some aspects of the posing I could not manage to control, for example, in the first figure, I was able to drag specific hands into place, but with subsequent figures whenever I tried to drag a selected hand in, it added a whole extra figure.
However, I am convinced they can be a useful tool for me, (especially on this story where I want realistic figures), and worth persevering with.
I've now scanned my page breakdowns in Manga Studio, along with some of the drawings I did for the short version (which may need some editing for the longer version; for example the large panel on page 1 was drawn to appear 50mm square, so needs some refinement to work at this much larger size.