This storyline starts way back here.
Looks like it will be time for Nerd Girl to spring into action soon enough…
Have a good week, guys!
Guys, I made a little Avengers spoof featuring unicorns! ^^ Couldn’t resist. Here you can download them as a wallpaper!
What happened? Hey guys, don’t worry, there will be a brand new strip here later this week!
Sarah is on an excursion to Romania this week so we feature guest comics at the moment. I just got the latest guest comic from the brilliant and talented David Füleki, so please bear with me while I have to clean, translate AND letter this one. You can already see it on the German page if you want.
Enjoy and please come back here later this week to see the translated strip. Sorry for the delay, folks!
Thanks for your patience, Joerg
Hello dear and patient Ponyfarm readers,
right now Sarah’s working on page 31 of 40 for Astrum Noctis (I hear she’s on page 32 already while I’m typing this), which means in turn the END IS NEAR. Figuratively speaking of course. So today you get to see two finished pages from the project. First here are the sketched versions of the pages. The pages are not really next to each other in the finished book; they are shown out of context here:
The final pages now look like this:
As you can see, one page was inked, while the other one was just pencilled. This is because Florence, our protagonist has strange visions from time to time. To point out that we are not dealing with the character’s reality here, the author and Sarah agreed to leave the “visions” pages in a pencilled state. It gives the page a very different look and it certainly took longer than inking them.
To ink a page, Sarah uses her beloved Winsor&Newton Series 7 brush she also uses on the Ponyfarm. The brushes are quite expensive, but she tells me that they do the work almost by themselves. The backgrounds are usually being penciled with fineliners (Deleter-series). On the first page above, Sarah uses the “dry brush”-effect. Which literally means the almost dry brush is used to create this effect, with only very little ink. She likes to use this look on rougher paper.
A master in regards to the use of black space, Sarah looked at during her research for Astrum Noctis is Bernie Wrightson (Swamp Thing, Frankenstein, The Black Cat etc). If you don’t know his work, expect to be floored by the sheer brilliance of his designs.
A real challenge was the optical illusion that shows up more than once during the story. Even tracing wasn’t an option here. An optical illusion has to be logical within itself…
Some of you might say: I like the pencilled page better than the inked one. Others will prefer the inked page. What do you think, dear reader?
Hope you enjoyed another glimpse into Sarah’s continuing quest of finishing this comic.
Have a good week-end and hope you will be back on Monday for more Ponyfarm goodness!
Hello dear readers!
First of all let me say I’m sorry that I did not have the time to write a blog update last week Thursday as Sarah did on the German page. I don’t like to do this but it could not be avoided this time. Therefore you get a translation of last week’s blogpost today and I will try to make it up to you faithful readers out there!
So here we go with the second part of an insight into Sarah’s current other project, Astrum Noctis (aka the reason the ponyfarm only gets a new comic on Monday’s at the moment).
This time it’s all about layout. Let me explain to you what Sarah does with the script, let’s call it the visual translation, by looking at one panel as an example.
1. Read panel description and analyze.
Lisa closes the door to her room. There are posters of old films on the wall. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Rear Window starring Grace Kelly. There is a computer on her desk. On the keyboard there is a small package and a rose on top of it.
What is important in this panel?
1. The surroundings in this panel, Lisas room, should say something about who she is. In the completed script it’s made clear that she loves elegance and beauty. She is quite full of herself and acts smug towards Florence and dreams of being called to a higher cause. This will be important later on in the story.
2. The package. Who sent it, what does it contain? Tantalizing! The reader’s viewing direction should be pointed towards the package.
The story takes place in an elite boarding school, so typical boarding school room pictures are needed. In this case the author had sent numerous photographs as reference. Naturally she can combine elements she likes.
3. Compositional sketch
With this thumbnail sketch, about 2 1/2 inches wide, Sarah wants to nail down the compositional arrangement. The reader should get a grasp where he is and what Lisa is up to. For this purpose a lot of the room is shown. Nevertheless the focus lies on the package. Therefore Lisa is looking towards the desk, the rooms diagonals lead towards it and the box is situated in the foreground. This way the readers attention is on the box with the rose.
Since this project has a more realistic style, Sarah has to construe the background with a realistic perspective. She takes a lot of advice from books such as Manga aus der richtigen Perspektive. It contains quite a few pro tips as well as basics. Also suitable for non-manga-ka.
Back to the picture. Horizon-line on the rose. Let me take a short-cut here and just say that Sarah got tired of drawing help-lines onto her page, so she positioned in some help-lines and vanishing points with Photoshop tools.
Veeerrry helpful indeed.
This helps to construe the diagonals. Don’t forget a few organic elements, to make the picture more lively. On to pencilling the page…
5. Final artwork
Whoops, the pencilled page is gone, because she inked it already. This is the final version. A few changes were done. Lisa is a Twilight-Fan now, which matches with her dreams of being special and her fondness for grace (blecch). Also it’s more timely than the vintage film posters. Elements in the foreground are inked with thicker lines than things that are farther away. Line variation is important because it adds to the sense of perspective. By now I guess you want to know what is inside the box, don’t you? DON’T YOU?
Whew, I hope I could explain a little bit of the process that goes into planning a panel. If you have any questions, just shoot and we’ll try to answer them. I will also try to give you more insight into the production of this comic project later this week.
And of course there will be a new ponyfarm strip coming up on Monday!
Until then, enjoy and so long!
as I announced last Monday, the ponyfarm will not update with a comic on Thursdays in the immediate future because I have to work on a longer, very different story where the deadline is approaching. I would like to show you some of that project so you know what I have to cut back on the ponyfarm for.
It is called Astrum Noctis (latin for Nightstar) and is written by my cousin. The story is a mystery/thriller and was designed to have several chapters. The first book is planned as 80 pages and is going to include two separate stories. One of them will be drawn by *tada* me.
The book is in black and white and will be published in Italy first where it has its home at a new comiclabel at publisher Lepre Edizioni. Of course we don’t know yet if and when it will be published in Germany or elsewhere.
So, what’s the story about?
In short it revolves around Florence, a girl who has mysterious adventures during her time at an elite boarding school in Switzerland. The school is visited by some dark forces, people start to disappear, others die. Florence takes up the fight against evil… and discovers the path to her own, possibly darker, past.
I’m going to show you little bits of “making of” here now and again.
Here’s a few early sketches of Florence. Enjoy and come back if you like for the next ponyfarm episode on Monday. :)