View this post on Instagram
Currently In the midst of rewriting book three of the Conjurers. Bit different on this one, as I have my illustration process down. While writing the first two books, the style I wanted for the drawings was elusive. I had worked through my brushes, dip pens, inks, washes, and soft lead pencils. I had tried a dozen more styles and techniques in Photoshop. Ultimately the solution was simple, efficient and directly in front of me all along. I love doodling with ballpoint pens. I love the sketchy feel, the unfinished energy and the excuse to not have to be perfect. So, duh, why not do that? So I did and I have. I doodle everything in my notebook. Small doodles which make it easier to get the perspective and proportions semi-correct. Scan it in with the phone and tighten it up a bit in Photoshop and maybe a few rounds of details and hatching. Voila. It retains the frenetic energy of the doodle and still has a finished look. More importantly, it's fun. #book #books #bookstagram #bookworm #bookish #book #bookstagram #art #literature #poetry #booknerds #writer #writerlife #writerofinstagram #yareads #yabooks
I’ll be handing over the manuscript for book three at the end of May. I won’t start on the illustrations for some time. First have to get books one and two all illustrated up. However, as I work through the prose, I take a little time here and there to whip out a speed sketch from one of the scenes. It gives me a chance to at least have drafts of the final drawings lying around. It also allows me to work out the style for the final images. Trying to keep them light and sketchy and moving.
I won’t be posting a lot of illustrations from book three as they will contain a lot of spoilers for the first two books. Never the less, there will be plenty more to post when the actual drawing begins.
Here's a quick concept sketch for the Dedites, a religious order that believes Dedi created the Conjurian. They sprang up when I worked on the origins for this world. Their counterparts would be the growing majority that Dedi merely discovered the Conjurian. However, as you'll see in the first novel, the truths behind their beliefs will play a huge part in the future of both worlds.
The monk pictured here is loosely based on another of my favorite magicians, Kenton Knepper. A brilliant thinker and a major influence on many of the effects I perform.
What? Savachia’s dad? Yep. And the nasty Shadow Conjurer’s got him. And the poor little Watcher. His old crush on Savachia’s Mom made him drop the ball, and his “redemption” will really put several trains on a collision course.
The fun bit is that I am working on the novel whilst working on this arc of the comic. So many things start to tie together. At first it seems like a jumbled mess. You just keep chiselling away and little surprises appear like diamond flecks in a rock wall.
Next week, Savachia will try and get his head to stop spinning and get some answers. Sadly, some of those answers will whip his head around faster than the teacups at Disney World.
Seems to me someone knows a lot more than they have let on. And who is this Christopher fellow? You will find out. He’s a major player in the world of magicians. Can’t give away too much. Suffice it to say, he has a large role in the novel. was happy he popped up in this comic series. Kind of a little meet and greet before the book.
Now, what about Savachia’s father? Oh my, there’s lots. You’ll see.
And wham! Something has popped out of the Conjurian. Ya, I know we’re not heading directly into the Conjurian for a good while, but I wanted elements from that world to crossover into Savachia’s story. Things are picking up some steam, and there’s more complications to come for the poor street hustler. He’s stepped into a dandy of a wasps’ nest.
Also, I have some ultra cool news coming about the webcomic’s future. Should be able to announce it very soon.
Page sixteen. Savachia’s getting the ol’ magician’s test to see if he’s serious about magic. It’s actually a fairly common practice in the real world. Most people loose interest after learning the working bits of a trick. If someone does master a trick you teach them, then there’s a chance they have the bug.
And, again, the interiors of the shop are fairly close to the store I based it on, except of course for the secret door. In the real shop, there is a door in that location that opens into a mini parlor complete with a stage. Always loved that about the shop so I took some liberties with it in the strip. And I am certainly taking liberties with the things that room contains. You’ll just have to wait a bit for that.
And now we see a bit of Tenyo’s personality. She makes a cactus feel smooth.
Oh and a note on the “Blaine Package”. I personally don’t prescribe to that way of thinking, which is that David did tricks anyone could pick up at a shop and perform. Just borrowed that sentiment for Tenyo.
Won’t bore you with a magic lecture. Suffice it to say that the methods don’t matter. The reaction and effect it has on the spectator is what counts. Posting this now before I jog off into a rant.
Late again. But I had to appease the Dog eat Doug deadline before finishing this page. The interior of the magic shop is fairly close to the actual shop it’s based on. I know, cool huh?
There’s two other intriguing aspects to the real life magic store and both will play a roll in the comic. So, as you can guess, I’m not going to tell you now.
It’s 12:51 in the morning, so technically I missed the Monday deadline. Hopefully this page is interesting enough to be a smidge late. And obviously it opens another plot line. This plot line also ties directly into the novel. And by that I mean the scarred, card manipulating dude is THEE bad guy.
Already on page eight. Just about at the end of act one, which simply means that in the coming pages the plot thickens. A lot. And, from an art perspective, I think the pages will lighten up a tad. Not sooo much heavy texture in the background.
Speaking of the art, I’ll take some pics of the process for the next page. Experimenting as I go, but I have a relatively simple process so far. It’s a messy process which is as I intended. And I need to fill out more of the site. Some pieces on magic and my research for the novel.
Any magicians reading? Bet you recognized one at least one of the names I’ve slipped in so far huh?
A day ate on this one. The holiday and my other strip slowed me down a bit. Yet here it is! Hope this page doesn’t feel too crowded. In the original scripts, this bit of exposition took up two pages. I dislike heavy exposition. Especially flashbacks. However, in this case, I felt I had to dip a bit into the past to set the emotional drive for the old couple. Tugs on the heart strings a bit? I hope.
And ever so slowly another layer is peeled back. Hope you’re still intrigued. Might run a little contest soon, before I start promoting the strip. Just a thank you for everyone who has come through the doors early and slumped down in a chair for a spell to see what this is all about. Think I’ll pull out an original drawing to put up for grabs.
Oh, and see those to gents escorting Mac in the last panel? Look familiar? Have a browse back through the archives. I’ve posted some images of them before. They come up a lot in the novel. It’s a lot of fun building something that is interwoven from one end to the other. A bit like building a puzzle from the inside out. Won’t really get to piece together the edges until the first novel comes out.
The plot thickens, which also slows down the art production. The next few pages will be interesting. A few glimpses of the shadowy side of magicians. Just a glimpse mind you.
In the meantime, if you want a complete story to read (or to read to someone), my new picture book came out last week. It’s dark too, so if you like this art I think you’ll love “The Prince’s New Pet“:
So there it is. Savachia’s reason for doing whatever it takes to make a buck. And who’s at the door? You’ll see next Monday.