I’ve found myself in something of a malaise whilst creating the pencils for my FutureQuake strip, and have felt distinctly lacklustre about the first two pages. At the end a fantastically unproductive Friday I realised what the problem was; I simply don’t like my original design of Psion (the main character). Specifically, I don’t like her outfit. The body armour looks heavy, clumsy and uncomfortable, and her sword (a key feature of the story) looks feeble and cheap too.
So, I decided to bite the bullet and spend a few hours this morning redesigning her costume. Rather than trying to create her costume “cold” (that is, entirely from my own imagination), I spent about half an hour downloading reference images of motocross body armour, motorbike gear (modern racing boots look like something off Star Trek; not like 15 years ago, when I was riding: back then, leather Wellington Boots were the order of the day), weapons and swimming costumes. Here is the result of mashing all that reference together:
A lot more exposed skin, a lot less rigid-looking body armour, and a honking great “photon” sword. I think she looks at lot more lithe and flexible now and, dare I say it, a little sexier too (an important trait for any comic book heroine). I’m feeling much more positive about her look now, and raring to get the remaining pages finished. Of course, I have to redraw all the images of Psion I’ve done so far, but I can just trace over the existing poses and Photoshop the new appearance in to place before I start inking. I think it’s worth investing a little extra time to get it looking right, rather than feeling disappointed with the finished result.
What I haven’t done, of course, is succeed in making her any easier to draw. And I still can’t decide on one small detail: gloves, or bare hands?