In which Mira learns a lesson: comments (Part 1)

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I loved the well scene so much that I added Archimedes and used it as a cover. I love the lighting and their curious looks. I’m really happy with how Drexel’s hair looks like it’s being affected by gravity. It’s another opportunity to allude to Drexel and Mira being different. As I drew, I thought of Drexel looking down with an “Oh, jeez” expression, while Mira just smiles and says “cool”

Because it was prose before a webcomic, I have to figure out how to condense multiple paragraphs of explaining time passing into a few panels with visuals.

Also, I figured out what color the sky was. I color picked a picture. It’s more turquoise than I imagined. I mean, can you swivel around a color wheel/square and select the right-ish color?

Drexel’s house’s interior was so hard to draw. First I had to use perspective rulers. Second I had to draw a stupid amount of books. Why? Drexel says it best. “I’m a hermit, what else am going to do?”

Why doesn’t Drexel have a bedroom? I think of him as very practical in that he didn’t need a large space, so why add a bedroom? I also imagined his house like a studio apartment. He’d just fill the bedroom with books instead of bed-related things anyway.

What’s on the shelf of his bookcase? A telescope. Oh, the other thing? I don’t know. Just drew some stuff, thought it looked cool. He should have more magical instruments strewn about, but that requires me inventing them.

Drexel’s hair randomly got longer for a few panels. I might have been excited?

What is he putting away and where? I don’t know. I’m so bad at food in art or writing, so nothing is anime level tasty.

Drexel’s expressions in the last two panels is great. Really, he should comment on how dragons aren’t real, but there’s wasn’t room. The last panel captures the “Seriously, Mira?” look that he wears quite often. I love pairing Mira’s almost sarcastic, excited way of speaking with Drexel’s literal interpretation and deadpan expression.

About those birds… I think it took less time to do Mira’s room than Drexel’s house, but I had gotten used to the tools. I really wish I could better express Mira’s gratitude at the gesture of creating a personalized room. I reveal her history later. There’s also a big contrast in what Mira envisioned a page or two earlier and what she gets. She would have been thrilled with a cot on the floor.

I used reference for this. In part because hands are hard, in part because it’s the ASL sign for bowl. When I was writing, I thought, “Crap, how do I write out the sign for bowl?” When I was drawing I thought, “Crap, how do I show the sign for bowl…in a webcomic that doesn’t move.”

Later they sign for “candle,” which involves a finger wiggle….not sure about that.

Also notice that Drexel is a little excited? about creating Mira’s room and pleased to show her magic. When she asks for him to teach her magic and he answers “I suppose.” I imagine it’s a fake sort of inconvenienced sound. “I suppose I could be troubled, but I’m also really glad you asked.” I gave him a little smirk. It’s a bit subtle. Later Mira tells Archimedes that Drexel likes talking about magic.

Drexel has also been alone, reading about magic for years. While some of it is practical application for himself, some of it is proper pedagogy. What should students learn first, what happens when this goes wrong? It’s something that appears later that he’s good at explaining, correcting, and modeling.

I also imagine that Drexel is very pleased to have someone who doesn’t dislike him for breathing and taking up space.

Mira almost looks smug. I can see her saying it as in, “this was what you said, please clarify” but also “you said I’m too good for that.”

I’m excited for the next segment. Mira seems to know about Drexel and mistakes it for knowing Drexel. It’s the start of really seeing their personalities clash a little.

In which Drexel Meets Mira: Comments

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Note: Most posts won’t be this long. Since I’ve already drawn and posted chapter 1, I just wanted to get it all out of the way

Ch1, pg 1

I started writing Fortune’s Fancy in September and somewhere in October, where my posts about it got little attention, someone asked if it was a webocomic.

So I drew up the first page and I really enjoyed it. I recommend drawing main characters and the first few scenes a few dozen times before actually starting a webcomic. In the first few pages, how Drexel’s hair is drawn changes a few times. Drexel and Mira’s proportions change a little as well. My overall process has developed a lot through chapter 1.

Ch 1, pg 2

So, I hate drawing backgrounds. But it would be a very boring story if everything was on gray. I used a lot of textured brushes and blur the background so the focus in on the characters yet I have interesting settings. Honestly in most scenes the background is slow to change. Most of the story takes place in Drexel’s house or in Northwick. I don’t need to draw a lot of different complex settings.

Ch 1 pg 3

I really felt clever for the fire background, but Drexel looks too old. I meant for him to look extra sad and sort of aged, not about to turn to dust.

Drexel destroyed a large portion of a very large city with a single spell. It’s discussed more in chapter 3 (In which there are thunderstorms). It is the reason he lives alone. My plan is to draw a lot of flash back scenes in that chapter to break up the dialogue.

I love Drexel’s “what?” face. It’s only going to get better. The “what” face returns many times.

There’s a weird green line that magically appeared behind Drexel. I’m too lazy to go back and fix it, but it’s one of my favorite thumbnails from the chapter.

Ch 1, pg 5

Is Drexel sad? Let’s see if there’s a close up of his eyes.. Yeah, he’s sad. I spent a long time getting Penta’s (Orterian Wine) eyebrows to look sort of angry, so drawing Drexel’s eyebrows was the opposite. But I’ve learned a lot about how to make someone look sad.

The magic is a lot of overlay layers and bright colors. Mira’s fireball was super fun to draw. I’m very excited for the fireballs in chapter two. Bigger, better, bluer?

Ch 1, pg 6

Anytime Mira mentions being free or freedom, birds appear. This alludes to chapter two (In which Mira learns a lesson), where Drexel does her room in a bird motif. Later, Drexel gives her the nickname, Little Bird.

Mira says “Resultum wasn’t your fault.” Drexel replies “Were you even born yet?” She was not. Mira is 17 at their first meeting and Resultum was 22 years ago. Don’t worry, I explain why Mira knows these things and why she sought Drexel out.

Note on page 6: Mira’s hands were easy. Drexel looking over his shoulder gave me trouble, but it’s one of my favorites.

Ch 1, pg 8

This page (page 8) was 9 panels. And they all had house backgrounds. I almost died. Most pages take around 4 to 6 hours, I think this one took over 6. However, I love the juxtaposition between Mira and Drexel entering Northwick. Drexel being nonchalant almost sad and Mira being super happy, especially since Drexel just agreed (sort of) to take her as an apprentice.

Can we agree that Rowan is adorable? I don’t know what 12 year olds look like.

ch 1 pg 9

Totally Penta and Belhear from Orterian Wine. After drawing the first panel of page nine with like 12 people in it, I ran out of faces. They would never be this mean to Drexel. Belhear doesn’t have a mean bone in is body.

On page 9, I didn’t add the ellipses until I had finished the entire page. And yes, that house took forever. I had to use some references of Victorian houses. I don’t like the idea that all fantasy is medieval. I used a brush to get the points on the fence. Probably would have been a good idea to work from back to front on the house, but I did not.

ch 1 pg 9

I could also have named this section “In which there are rats of unusual size.” There’s some big rats in there. I had a lot of fun doing the lighting in the last few pages. I started with the shadow color and added the normal base color as a highlight (usually the other way).

ch 1, pg 11

At this point, Drexel and Mira are pretty solid on appearance. I don’t think Mira evolved as much, but I haven’t noticed any derpy faces in chapter 2… yet.

The background through the Longbottom house is a lot of shapes with some quick vague shapes for paintings. Since they blur anyway, there portraits take maybe half an hour? I got those bad boys out pretty fast.

ch 1, pg 13

That water pump spout thing, right? It went pretty smooth too. I use the red in a lot of other places (the rooves, Mrs. Longbottom’s dress, everywhere). I used a low opacity brush with a light blue to make the water, then went over another time for the highlights.

If we feed Drexel pie all day, there’s no story. Technically, according to the prose, this is breakfast. Grown wizard license.

I just really loved the cherry pie closing out the chapter. Yeah, I’ll use the elliptical tool to make better plates and tables….