More snow! Last weekend I fashioned some weatherproofing for my camera and walked over to Fulton’s Pond to document. The day before we saw someone ice skating on the pond. I have a pair of skates, but I’m a little too nervous to venture out for that, as charming as it sounds! Maybe if the cold was more consistent, but we’ve had a few mild days here and there.
The more rigorous drawing schedule over the last few months has been a good way to figure out what I feel most productive listening to at different times of day/during working sessions of different lengths. Lately I've been listening to a lot of podcasts and audiobooks as opposed to music, my usual go-to. I think this is partially because these pages have no dialogue, so I don't have to worry about messing up any text, but also I listen to a lot of the same playlists and artists on repeat to put myself into a kind of trance and channel certain emotions, so it's nice to listen to stories sometimes to break that up. My regular rotation includes...
Morning drawing sessions (1-2 hours):
Evening drawing sessions (1-4 hours):
Weekend drawing sessions (4-10 hours per day):
During my 2-week retreat from work over the holidays, I didn't post any updates on the comic because I was too busy working on it! And since then, I've been waking up two hours earlier than usual on work days in order to spend an hour or two working on it before work – rather than hoping I have the energy left after. I rarely have energy after work these days; our company has just launched vaccine distribution sites at Fenway and Gillette and we have lately been hiring to support these and a number of COVID-19 testing sites, plus we've continued to hire for positions related to the core business.
Between December 20th and February 6th, I did 23 additional pages, which means in a month and a half, I more than doubled the number of pages I had from March through mid December. (This isn't super surprising though, because they are naturally less time-intensive compositions. But at the same time, I can definitely feel that I'm working faster.) Currently I have 45 pages total, so I have 14 left before the end of this very very long chapter/proof of concept. Another way of looking at it is that this was a period of 47 days, so I basically cranked out a page every other day, even after I resumed working 45-55 hours a week at my day job.
Once the last 14 are done, I'll go back through all 59 and make edits (mostly darkening line work and cleaning up shading). And then will need to start doing some research about what to even do with a proof of concept for a graphic novel!
I don't have updated good quality images on the new panels because I simply haven't had access to a scanner. I'm hoping to stop by my office before the end of the month though, and maybe by then I
will have all 59 finished and ready to scan. Perhaps I should also spend a little time doing the chapter header page to make it an even 60 :)
Above are a few snapshots from my desk. There are a few pages not shown, but this should give you an idea of the change of page structure compared to the very regimented 16-panel composition. Things are getting a little more "out of the box" and with that, I've also been able to work at a much faster clip. These are bigger panels too, which means more room for detail, often more white space, and hands in less pain from trying to squeeze everything into tiny panels.
Hannah Dunscombe is a painter and portrait artist based out of Mansfield, MA.