I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Two weights, actually, but I think each deserves its own post so let's just focus on the one for now.
As you can tell, it's been a while since I've posted an update on the comic. The reason, as I believe I've discussed before, is that I got hung up on character designs. I had figured out the faces of the nobleman and his escort, but the nobleman's costume was completely up in the air
Now, as I mentioned last time, I had planned on skipping the model sheets and doing the design work right on the page. That seemed like a good idea at the time, and it even worked out okay for the escort's scabbard. Overall, though, it didn't work, and in hindsight, it's obvious why not: If I don't know what the clothing looks like, it doesn't matter which piece of paper I'm trying to draw it on. The only real change was that the design-on-the-page method required me to erase every approach I didn't like rather than moving to a new sheet of paper, which made it harder to iterate and ruined the tooth of the paper.
So I just sort of took a break. I was tired of having this looming over me and feeling like a traitor for drawing anything other than the comic, so I figured I'd just shelve it and then come back to it later.
And it worked! Eventually I was struck with inspiration—
Actually, let me clarify: I don't mean to say that the idea came to me like a bolt from the blue and suddenly, out of nowhere, I felt like drawing and knew exactly what to draw. Rather, I had my drawing supplies with me and decided to take another stab at the design since I no longer felt like it was a burden around my neck. So I pulled up my references—mostly the same pictures I'd been looking at all along—and something just clicked.
I now have a result that, while by no means perfect, I actually like. It looks the part, and it's not so detailed that I'll hate drawing it over and over again.
Which brings me to the other issue: The escort's gambeson. It's quilted armor. That's a lot of lines. I finally found some good reference pictures—which is to say, I found a site that sells recreations that I thought looked plausibly historical rather than just tacking the word medieval onto the name of some LARP gear to boost sales. Unfortunately, all those seams are plainly visible even in a full-body shot. I'm still working on a way to not have to draw them all in longer shots but for Panel 2 I just had to draw them all in, and there will be many more to come. They're not so bad once I get used to them, I guess.
So for all that, here's what I have to show:
I think I did okay.
So what next? Well, obviously panel 3. I need to keep working on the gambeson texture, as I mentioned before. Once I start getting the hang of everything, I'm hoping that things will start going a little faster, but I've learned the hard way not to rely on that. So I'm not making any promises, but if I'm lucky, I'm hoping that I'll have the page fully penciled by the end of the year.