I had completed, a week or so ago, the two-page spread that makes up pages 20 and 21 (below). However after doing that i decided that the last panel made more sense over on the 22nd, and final page, which then is able to feature the protagonist having a concluding engagement with each group of supporting characters.
That left me a panel to fill on page 21, and I thought a (possibly) silent moment of Salimbini (the patron) assessing the progress (he's expecting to see painting on the walls, but there's only a drawing. Before I arrived at the final version of panel 3, I had tried a few poses for Uccello waking/getting up. so one of them might be right for the new panel. As it happens I also drew a panel yesterday (for page 15 - see post immediately below), with a similar pose to what is required here - Sailbini with his hand to his chin. This took a significant length of time to wrangle the 3D model into such a specific pose - getting the hand moved into the pose is one thing, but connecting that with the chin is quite another, I kept ending up with the hand behind or in the middle of the head. I think it will be good to adapt that pose for this panel, not just because I have little time left, but also because i think is good to reprise visual details - the things which are similar hopefully emphasise the differences. In the case of this scene, I hope it will (consciously or sub-consciously0 remind readers of the earlier, similar scene, and so the escalation of the situation. That would be helpful here, at this climactic, 'how will end' moment.
This panel probably should be zoomed in, so that it shows a closer up view of the finished drawing.
I copied the background from the existing version into a fresh Manga Studio page, and increased the size of this within the panel border to maximise the amount of the drawing shown, but also to include just enough of the surrounding wall and woodwork just to make it clear that this is a zoom into the same scene, and also to provide an aesthetic composition within the panel border. After cropping my source scene, I realised I needed a copy showing the wider room and tile pattern to help position the figures correctly in perspective space, so I pasted one in and reduced the opacity, so I could refer to it without it distracting from the drawing in progress.
Next I found and copied in the chosen 3D models (I now always keep the ones I have used in hidden layers within each page) - Salimbini from page 15, and Uccello from page 20, panel 1 (above - lower left panel). I then amended these - for Salimbini, just rotating it slightly, to match the angle we'll see in the panel on the next page, and for Uccello, trying various adjustments to the sleeping pose to suggest various moments within the process. In working out the poses, I did revisit and tweak the cropping of the zoomed in room view to crop the figures aesthetically. This was easy for the standing Salimbini, but harder for the recumbent Uccello, some options showed, for example, a bit of his head, which looked slightly silly and confusing. In the end just showing Uccello's arm stretching up and out from his position on the floor, seemed a visually appealing, and, i thought, witty solution. In theory I could have just drawn the arm without the bother of using 3D models, but I wanted to have the placement accurate in terms of continuity, and realistic in terms of bodily movement. I was also careful to check, e.g. that the figure was correctly placed on the floor, using the floor tiles, (outside the frame in this shot), as a guide. Finally, I took some care to place Uccello's hand to get the best placement, in terms of avoiding tangents with the horizontals lines of the paper and woodwork.
Below is the inked version. I'll add some balloons for Uccello with 'ZZZ's and then a waking up grunt, just to make it clear what is happening.
tI also pasted into my new document the Colour flats layer, to let me save a bit of time and have it fully ready paste in. I just selected the areas with the old figures and dragged them out the panel, which means I can conveniently eyedropper the relevant colours, and so flat this (admittedly simple) panel in a few short minutes.
I've now added text and balloons. The next step is to paste in my already created drawing of Uccello's painting, which I used in the imagined battle scene (Page 19), when Uccello is wearing the helmet, and Rocco is 'helping' him imagine the battle. This drawing is a later (within the story) and so more finished version than that in the main panel of pages 20 and 21, (as at top of this post). I'll likely need to finesse the positioning of the balloons, in relation to the pasted in drawing.
Also, in this case I have kept Uccello's sleeping noise balloons low in the panel, to reflect his physical position, and Salimbini's high in the panel. I did indeed have to rearrange the lettering, considerably in relation to the pasted in drawing (below). I still have to add the tail between the 'zzz' and 'grunt!' balloons. The other two balloons are Salimbini's thoughts, perhaps unstated. I previously tried using a set of little bubbles, in lieu of a tail, to indicate thinks bubbles, but it just didn't look good. Where I've used it, it's usually fairly obvious from the image whose thoughts it is. I'll leave this until later and see if I need to put a tail between them this two ballots/bubbles.
In retrospect, I would also have ben better to have pasted the drawing in first so I could finesse the positioning of the figures in relation to it. It's fine, as it is, but i could have got it subtly but significantly better. Still, it's pretty good, I doubt anyone else will see anything wrong with it in that respect! The 'drawing' looks a bit pixellated in this 150dpi version - it looks much better in the original doc, and I trust it will in print. Despite my comments above, about wanting to get Uccello's reaching up arm positioned correctly, I am tempted to move it over to the left 1cm into that blank space.
All original Images copyright Graham Johnstone, or, where applicable, their respective creators.