Circles of Magic are here

Well, I can say it’s done. Recently I saved final pages of Circles of Magic comic. First chapter would probably be titled „Shadows on the sky” (pol. Cienie na niebie”). Last two things that have to be done is finishing map of High Mountains and Shadow Pass, where the first chapter takes action and prepare cover art for some kind of promotion.

Circles of Magic comic 1

Now what

As a aspiring author who spend last year creating I have less than any clue what to do now, except for starting next book. There is couple of options and I want to use them in right order. It probably includes sending few e-mails and researching among publishing possibilities.

In the end my main goal is to share this comic stories with as many people as possible and it will happen, sooner or later. I’m planning to share hi-res PDF version with every newsletter subscriber (when it’s available), so if You’re interested, don’t forget to fill form somewhere on this website.

Circles of Magic comic 2

Next step would be translation for non-polish readers. Again, no experience and I can’t tell any dates for this.

Post mortem

One more thing . I have plenty of thoughts after completing project and I think it would be a waste not to share them. I had so many problems, so many obstacles and made a lot of serious errors during work. And it happened even after reading many comic creator’s blogs, Scott McCloud books and researching around different comics and graphic novels. It may be a good source of knowledge for any aspiring artist like me, and a good reminder for myself, to not do same mistakes in future.

This is rather lazy post, considering how long it took to complete my „I wanted to make something with my ideas” thing. But content is here, it’s done and we’ll have eternity to talk about it and share it. Woopi.

Good night!

Subscriptions and a word about thumbnailing

Our life is returning to the old tracks. Coloring Circles is going well, at semi-constant speed and I’m thinking more and more about how to share and market it to public. There is so little time everyday I can put into updating site, writing posts etc. that it took me over a month to post this little illustration above. But I managed to setup subscription form for my newsletter.

Subscription?

In times when people are giving up with facebook and other social media, many artists are recommending subscribtions to mailing lists, as a way to stay connected with fans. Everybody is checking mails, right? And if there is one more in your box, from time to time, with a little drawing and a little story? It’s almost like a social media post, but without nasty algorithms or advertisment.

So here it is. Subscription form, somewhere in sidebar. I promise no spam, just updates on my projects (Circles of magic), drawings with stories from world of Erenn, thoughts and other stuff directly linked to fantasy, comics, illustration and storytelling.

Thumbnailing

Few words about this often underrated or missconcepted term we hear in many many tutorials from artists. Learning art looks pretty much like this – we pass by everything teachers say to us, trying to learn from their work instead of learning from them. All they say sound so simple, so we just take it as a natural thing. But many artists have to mature to learn the true simplicity, how it turns into elegancy and, later, into appeal. Learning is constant discovering of a true meaning of things we already know.

So I’ll just combine this idea into one sentence – thumbnailing is, holy shit, the best tool to create and save time. Don’t ask question, just thumbnail a lot.

If you add ‚holy shit’ before any idea, it makes it look stronger.

Thumbnails

I had a clear idea in my mind. Normally, it should be 20 of these.

Rough drawing

Rough drawing

Tight drawing

Tight drawing

 

Have a nice weekend!

Little Circles update

RarePleasureOfSeeingSunset

I just wanted to drop few words and give you an update about current state of project. Last time I posted was in early november when I oficially finished inks and proceed to colors, which went really good with my new work schedule. Then my little doughter has born, month before time and turned my and my wife’s life upside down ;) In a very positive way of course. But however happy we are now, I had almost no free time and during december I started to reorganize my existence from scratch.

In new year I’m slowly back to coloring. I decided to switch to iPad and Procreate to be a little more mobile around a house and work more effectively with this little time-eater on board. Above You can see first picture made with new hardware.

I encourage you to follow my instagram account, as I try to post many in-progress pictures and snaps from Circles pages. Few examples here.

#kamilmurzynarts #circlesofmagic #fantasy #comic #story

A post shared by Kamil Murzyn (@kamilmurzynarts) on

Shadow pass. #kamilmurzynarts #circlesofmagic #fantasy #comic #story

A post shared by Kamil Murzyn (@kamilmurzynarts) on

#kamilmurzynarts #circlesofmagic #fantasy #comic #story

A post shared by Kamil Murzyn (@kamilmurzynarts) on

Important lessons. #kamilmurzynarts #circlesofmagic #fantasy #comic #story

A post shared by Kamil Murzyn (@kamilmurzynarts) on

And couple more on instagram account (you can find link in social media icons somewhere on this site). We are also approaching moment of release of first chapter, so if You have any tips, suggestions or questions for me I’m more than happy to know it! Send me an e-mail at stealthpigeon@gmail.com and tell what you think.

Have a great 2018 and see You later!

Drawing finished! Just ten months later.

After 10 months I finally may say I finished drawing first chapter of Circles and I’m ready to proceed with colors. It was a really busy time, with a lot of walls that I had to crush through with my developing comic skills. A lot have been learned and these are the things I wanted to share.

Drawing Circles - Time

This panel totally gets it.

Drawing Time?

10 months is about 3 times more that I thought it would take. With 35 pages, it’s 3,5 page a month! Excluding weekends, it is over 6 days for a single page drawing. Sounds ridiculous to me now and I’m sure I’ll spend some time now analyzing what went wrong with my plan :)

Statistics. I was spending around 2-3 hours after work and sometimes few more during weekends. I originally assumed I can easily finish drawing single page in one working day which is around 8 hours, which is 3 to 4 days and I would have finished chapter in 105-140 days – four months.

Drawing - Life

drawing and Life

So what happend? Life. All random things, family, vacation, being sick, friends, jobs and just simple low-battery state. Everything combined took half year of off-the-job time for me. When I think that out, it is not really that strange anymore. It’s not day job and this shows how much time combined with energy I actually have in my bank. How much I need in future. For now, I’m just medicore at production planning. Lesson taken.

Anyone is different and I’m pretty sure someone would actually complete my original plan of four months. I’m just saying that we are not machines and math is cruel. Always add some reserve time.

Drawing - Circle

Circle

I’m so happy anyway. I have still whole coloring to do, together with few other things like translating, organizing for web publishing, creating cover etc. Couple months more of this adventure. Probably most difficult thing with Circles, up to this moment, was being consistent. Not only to draw characters the same way for 35 pages, but to not wander too far from january drawings with october drawings. 10 months were enough for me to evolve a little as an artist and comic maker, and I just do things differently. After 30 pages I did one really big redraw of whole chapter and recently second, significally smaller. And I’m still doing small changes to dialogues.

For all aspiring authors and comic makers like me. Don’t procrastinate or hesitate too long. Planning is one more things we have to learn and we should learn that fast, so other plans could be planned properly.

Have fun during november and see You probably during promised coloring stream!

Just a little recap of drawing process.

Kamil

Trees and experimenting with composition

Today I wanted to share few words about composition in picture below. I created this one fairly quick, as an coloring exercise after little walk at Warsaw and meeting Mieszko, the oldest oak around.

How about this composition?

How about this composition?

Trees used to burst inspirations in me. Tangled branches and odd shapes bring to mind all strange creatures and stories. I have special worship towards roots and rocks around.

In this picture, I wanted to show this really charismatic tree and try somehow strange composition with displaced focal points. I always liked how Paul Bonner was placing his dwarves at the edge of canvas in very strange places and, by the same token, using all area available for his story.

So the point is – next time you see a tree, or rock, try strange compositions.

But seriously, be brave and move beyond all standards. Today art is full of standards.

Cheers and look at other trees!

Tree captured in Tatry

Tree captured in Tatry

And this one.

And this one.

 

Creating ‘Circles of Magic’ – Inking comic page

I decided to let You enter ‘Circles of Magic’ backstage for a while and share some of my inking approach in creating fantasy comic. During last live stream I digitally inked one page from upcoming first chapter and, because no one would ever watch this again for 3 hours, I created timelapsed version.

Inking comic

Inking comic

In case You wonder what inking  means – it’s a step when artist is creating final quality lines over initial rough drawing. It’s last step before applying colors. Inking is very often done by seperate artist who specialize in this kind of art. Because I decided to simplify things I do Circles fully on my laptop + cintiq.

I do sketching and drawings on 500 dpi A4 format which is approximately 4134 x 5846. Then I resize my files to 800 dpi for inking stage and use always one settings of a brush so I can mantain consistency along all pages. For coloring, file is resized back to 500 dpi and to 300 dpi for printing. This way I get rid of most of small errors and flaws of digital medium.

I use support od 3d software for repeating things that are harder to draw consistently. In this example – wagon. I bring my sketch inside Maya and do simple clay renders of  models to match sketched story. I will probably use it a lot more for important architecture during whole series.

I’m not spending much time on smaller details or hatching a lot because I decided to wait for coloring stage and then do additional layer of inks that emphasize important spots.

Yes, I’m still learning to do this better and better. I know I’ll have to redo couple of first pages because they are not even close to what I do now :)
If you’d ask me for any beginners hints – be patient, create few rules allowing You to keep consitant and stick to them.

Also visit makingcomics.com for much much more informations about creating comics.

Scrivener for worldbuilding

Writer and artist is a powerful combination. I just want my bottomless bag of ideas.

My notebook for ‘Circles’

Like year ago, when I started to write down all stories that together created world of Circles I had plenty of ideas that were hard to manage using only standard, analog notebook. Back then I was looking for a tool that could help me organize all the side references, little notes about places or characters almost in a way like wikipedia does. When I write down a story about a king, queen and it brings new names for places and people, I want a smooth way to link directly to new documents when I can write a little more about that particular subjects.

Look inside, spolier proof

I was also reading quite a lot about writers approach to stories, about character sheets, outlining etc. I tried multiple ways – well known Google Docs, but creating those links and managing every file was a pain. I tried custom Wiki, but it was the same. Level of complication for what is an easy task was too much for doing any serious work.

Then, through some writers blogs (like K.M.Weiland’s Helping writers become authors) I discovered Scrivener.

Scrivener

Created by Literature and Latte, Scrivener is a tool for writing with more structural approach. This little piece of software has anything I wanted. On a left panel you have all hierarchy of your docs. When I write anything it’s a matter of selecting a word, pressing hotkey combo and linking tool appears where I just pick any document (or create a new one), press OK and it’s DONE. My Circlepedia can just grow and blossom.

If you ever want to gather together all your worldbuilding ideas I see no better way. Don’t also forget that Scrivener is mainly a tool for writing scripts, so besides mythology and sidestories, I used it write main Circles scenario.

Not to mention, Scrivener is build for outlining and structural approach, which is quite useful to write like.. anything. Allowing to divide text into smaller pieces with short synopsis in neverending hierarchy, manipulate them, and in the end – print as a whole.

The only bad thing about Scrivener is fact that it’s just weird at start. It has very zbrush-like feeling into it. It’s not about interface, but about approach. So it takes a moment to adapt and get used to it.

Anyway :) If you’re not just pure artist doing studies everyday and have your own ideas and visions, consider visiting www.literatureandlatte.com to learn more about this little thing that, maybe, will change something.

And have fun,

Kamil

City of fireflies and a word about craft

I’ve recently finished an illustration created with a help from Lamp Post Guild course. It is a pencil drawing on a bristol, scanned and colored digitally. On illustration you can see all four main characters from my story Circles of Magic, while they pass near  Fargdad, city of fireflies and the oldest city of questing era.

City of fireflies

What’s important. I redraw whole picture several times before I commited to a final drawing and then screwed up and start over. But.

“Artist should be able to do the same thing twice”. Sorry, but I don’t remember who said that. It’s called craft. Yet there are so many people who can’t do that because they rely heavily on spark of inspiration  and improvise a lot.

Well, that’s not entirely bad. But craft is important if you want to be consistently efficient. And belive me, you want to be consistent to avoid situations when in the middle of comission suddenly something goes wrong and it’s because you did your “magic” instead of slowly build up illustration. I’ve been there couple of times.

So althought speed painting is cool, helps maintaing daily posts and gives you fans on facebook, from time to time consider going harder way of craftsman and share with society something you both will remember.

Expose 12

Once again. My Quest for Black Rose has been nominated for Expose award and will appear in volume 12 book. Me, holding photoshoped book cover :)

You can check all nominees at cgstarter.com/project/expose12 and support creating this book by ordering a few. There are over 360 images by 270 artists grouped in several categories.

Ceremony, during which Jury will pick excellence and master awards in each category, will be held at saturday, 8th april 2017, and live-streamed. You can register for this event HERE.

EDIT! Turned out livestream at last saturday couldn’t happen because of some technical issues (looked like webinar platform provider just didn’t work) and is rescheudled for next week. 15th april 2017, 4 pm GMT.

Just to remind, Quest for Black Rose was created about year ago for Artstation Journey Challange, when I spend over two weeks, streaming process of painting on Twitch, using only one photoshop layer (because why not).

 

Drawings sample of “Circles”

drawingSamplePhoto1

Hello. Today I can drop a little update on how Circles are being created. I picked up couple of drawings from first few pages, text-free. It’s really hard work but satisfaction from finished page is enough for reward.

Some technical stuff – I draw pages fully digital. I’d love to make comic traditional way, but, for now, I don’t have enough time and hardware to print and scan A3 format. So let’s save that for future works. I draw using Cintiq 13HD on 800dpi A4 resolution. For now it’s hard to talk about any average times etc. but I’ll keep statistics for next posts.

Drawing trees is just a time-eating troll.

Circles Drawings Sample

I’ll add a mood concept illustration which is now main art reference for Circles. You can see here how final illustration should look like. For any additional questions ask me via email.

napad_final

First rough

layoutfinished

That was quite a challange, but first rough layout of beggining part of Circles is finished! I’ve printed it out and it feels so cool. When you do this digitally, you can’t actually feel ‘a book’ until now and it’s great. I can see how it looks side by side, how it feels to turn a page etc. And I’m slowly putting a lot of red markings, dialogue corrections and small notes on it.

But most important – I feel that I’m one turn closer. When I finished a script some time ago (I have to write a little about it..), it was only a first step. Now I almost finished a ‘creative’ part and approaching maybe harder, more time consuming, but definitely more enjoyable side. I will only draw and draw and don’t have to think that much again. Chill.

Whole Part One has 35 pages – not very long for a comic, but for just a beggining it is quite a lot and I must admit I was a little concerned by not hooking a reader faster. Much faster. But finally I decided to let it go and leave it as it is, slowly building a story and introduction to world of Circles.

Of course I’ll sit couple of cold evenings and put much more red on this sheets to be sure everything is fine before another step. Christmas is a good time to do this.

Beyond Art Fundamentals

DSC_1940

New book from 3dtotal, Beyond Art Fundamentals is coming soon. and it’s not yet again about  techniques and technicalities  of art, but rather about conveying right mood and emotions using visual narratives.

I was asked to write chapter for ‘Suspense’ (favourite). It was quite tricky to write down my way of thinking, stick to the point and try not to write about obviousness.
I had very little time, so any redo’s were out of the question, but somehow it turned out quite well and fresh.

You can find book here: https://shop.3dtotal.com/books/3dtotalpublishing/beyond-art-fundamentals.html

DSC_2050DSC_1968

New Home for my Art

So today I moved whole portfolio to a new page, so I can easily feature some works and updates on Circles and maybe do some blogging on this subject. 

Next few days some pages may not work as they should or may be not full of content but I should fix it all very soon.

newHomeForArt