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Behind the scenes 2: sketching, characters and layouts
At the same time as the plot is being developed and scenes are being written, my sketchbook is mobilised to work on the look of the characters. Quite often it's just a case of putting the pencil on the page and scribbling away. Gradually features will emerge, the eyebrows from one joining the hairstyle from another, and the right look will become apparent. Sometimes the inspiration will come from a photograph of one of more people, which was the case with a a few characters within The Rainbow Orchid (Julius had a bit of silent film actor Neil Hamilton, and a bit of J. B. Priestly incorporated, Lily was inspired by a young Coco Chanel, and Sir Alfred took something from H. Rider Haggard).

Character sheet from 1997 (click for larger)
Stages in the development of Julius, Lily, Sir Alfred and Evelyn

Another sketching process takes place concurrently with the script, and these are little thumbnails of the page that indicate panel layout, and often with very rough scrbblings for panel composition and viewpoint. Sometimes they are very basic, sometimes more finished.

The script is divided into episodes or sections of some kind, and if it's a longer story (such as The Rainbow Orchid) I'll script a section then draw it, then script more, then draw that, and so on. This gives the tale an opportunity to keep developing and allows for new ideas or changes throughout the lengthy process. So with a few pages of script ready to go, lets start the drawing...

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Julius Chancer, The Rainbow Orchid, story, artwork, characters and website © 1997 and 2014 Garen Ewing & inkytales