The last time I visited the swamp, things were a little different. Now, as you can see, the neighbourhood has developed a bit with proper buildings and nicely made roads (er, their somewhat unconventional building material notwithstanding).
Don’t assume that this urban renewal has done anything for the property rathes, though. Sure, the locals are friendly, will greet you with tooty grins (and they can’t wait to have you for dinner), but it’s sill a swamp that is prone to space ship crashes. Parking’s a bit of an issue, then.
My first sketch was in a notebook size, and I was very happy with it. I knew there was a lot that could be improved, and that the final illustration would be on a larger paper. So for this second try at it, I drew it on an A4 sheet. Also, this time I didn’t ink it in; the larger space allowed me to put down more pencil work without ending up with a grey mess (the main reason I ball-point inked the last one).
I’m not very happy with this sketch. The temples in the background certainly add intrigue, but much of the drama and atmosphere of the first sketch — the fact that very little could be seen in the shadows — was gone. The crashed space vessel’s new position allows me to show more of the wreckage, but it a finished piece the detail at play there may take away from the main part of the illustration, which is the two space exploreres and the monster. Also, the ‘camera angle’ of the image still needs to be made more dynamic and tightened up.
I find that I’m still a little too used to drawing small; as you can see the edges of this sheet are barely drawn in, and the people and the monster at the centre are much smaller in proportion with the whole page than they were in the first sketch. There was, admittedly, an attempt to make the scope of the image bigger in this, but that is only partly responsible of the small figures.
I think I might do one or two more goes at this before the final. One of them should be coloured in, as I haven’t experimented with how that will affect it (honestly, I hadn’t even decided on whether or not it would be a colour or black-and-white picture until now). That decision will affect how the final pencils or inks are done.
Oh well, live and learn, practice makes perfect, etc etc.