Saturday, November 9, 2013


   This post is a good example of how much of a difference can be made in the compositional arrangement of elements within a simple panel for subtle improvement on "readability," or deliberately directing eyeflow, by tweaking the "visual breathing room" between things. In this specific instance compare and contrast the the pencil (posted below) and the finished piece (posted above): after inking + scanning the line art, the spacing around the speech balloon, angle and size of woman's pupils and angle and distance from raft of incoming beaver was digitally shifted around ever-so slightly. I believe that it is possible to apply terms utilized in "sequential" art (and even the definition of said medium) such as timing and pacing to design elements even within the confines of a single panel.
   As with many other aesthetic issues, all that probably doesn't really matter in the end, as the preliminary sketch went over well enough ie it "worked" without the parsing. But this is a sample of how the minutiae behind each & every little decision, even if - as it happens with enough experience - it's largely an unconscious and unbroken process of the inner process which starts in the brain and only manifest itself at the end of the pencil. For example: long before any mark was made on paper, the original thinking was for there to be a small crowd of people, many more sharks and also more beavers. Applying the maxim of "less is more" equaled an editorial instinct that took it down to what you see here. Brief thought was given to having just one figure on the raft with a thought bubble instead, but having a second person for the gaze redirect added a slight beat and subsequently empowers the viewer with knowledge that the other victim doesn't have (superiority theory of humor).
   Still, after previewing the sketch back in July, and based on its reception to the ad hoc review committee, these concerns remain behind the scenes: the only aspects that truly matter in the end is if it's funny, and if other people "get it." To those ends there is a whole host of mitigating factors and techniques which we'll be discussing in some upcoming process posts.

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