An Exercise in Visual Library Expansion

Otherwise known as a holiday! I’m going away to the Lake District tomorrow. The Lakes are a favourite family holiday location, but my familiarity with them seems to make them even more beautiful rather than less. I notice details there that I miss in less well-known landscapes. I can’t wait to get some sky beneath my feet, and to live for a while at the whim of the gusting wind and the sweeping clouds… With any luck, I’ll get some good reference photos from this stunning landscape to add to my growing collection, and expand my visual library with lots of mountainous inspiration!

If I have internet connection, I will try to give you at least one update while I’m away. I cannot guarantee that I will get a decent signal though. Without my scanner, I’m afraid I will not be able to update the comic until I return home, but never fear! I am taking all my drawing things away with me so I can work on it in the evenings. Once I get back, I want to try to commit to a weekly schedule of updates for both the comic and the blog, so things should settle into a routine soon =)


As promised, here are the ship studies I did in preparation for the last panel of Page 2 of ‘A Wren’s Tale’. All of these are referenced from images found in a quick Google search. I hope nobody minds my using their images for these practice sketches!

I was trying out a tip I heard from Chris Oatley – using unfamiliar tools to make quick studies, with the aim of breaking bad habits and muscle memory. Using the black Copics Sketch was so satisfying, I will definitely be doing so again! It made my penstrokes much bolder and more confident, and forced me to look at what I was drawing more carefully before making the marks. As I said on the comic post, doing these really helped me to understand the whole of the ship, allowing me to visualise it from multiple angles, and so to come up with a nonsensical design that nevertheless had resemblance to real 18th-century ships. The shapes that make up these ships are so beautiful, it was a true pleasure to draw them!



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