Before I add the tablets I’ve been working on, I think it will be good to show some of the stuff I worked on, in order to get to a point where I can just create the tablets. First things first, have a look at my “workstation”- which includes my desk and two fold out tv-dinner stands-
As you can see, as I’m working, I constantly have multiple reference sheets around me that I can look to for guidance. This is one of the reasons why I don’t like to just quickly sketch for 20 minutes and expect some great art to just magically appear. Sometimes that happens and when it does it feels awesome, but what I really like to do is lay all my different sketches and ideas out and let those influence and inspire me to new levels.
After doing the first tablet, I realized I wanted to enlarge the size of these tablets. I’m just not a huge fan of doing tiny stuff, and I feel like alot of the detail would get lost anyway. So what I did was come up with two simplified versions of Gilgamesh and Enkidu, and use those in the tablets. I also went from doing these on 8×11 pieces of paper, to 11×17 comic book art boards. Shannon, this is apart of the new set of tools I was telling you about. I was at Micheal’s a few weeks ago and found the Canson Comic Book Art Boards (11×17) on sale, so I bought two books of 24 sheets. I love working on these, they are awesome for pencil, ink and marker. My second awesome buy was the Artist’s Loft Illustration Pen set. Using these two combined is like a night and day difference. It’s literally like going from using a pair of scissors to cut a lawn to a seated lawnmower. I actually feel like an artist again instead of just using printer paper and a set of markers.
So with the second tablet, I wanted the main focus to be on the fight between Gilgamesh and Enkidu. I also didn’t want to clutter up the tablet with 80 different stick figures showing the entire fight process, I’m starting to agree with the idea that less is more. I want to provide a general layout of knowledge with these tablets, but leave most of the storytelling up to the reader’s (viewer’s) imagination. The focal point of the second tablet was going to be Gilgamesh punching Enkidu. This is the initial sketch I had for it-
Now, that’s just not good enough for me. I have the basic idea down, but I wanted to refine those poses more. There was room for improvement, in terms of conveying the appropriate amount of energy and emotion in each pose. I started with Enkidu first.
I decided to take away his legs because they didn’t add anything to the piece and I wouldn’t lose any significance to the character if they weren’t there. I gave him a belt of fur tails to heighten his whole “man of the wilds” aspect and topped it off with a deer skull with antlers. I wanted his head to snap up due to the punch, and have his body react accordingly. Next up was working on Gilgamesh.
You see that line of action? Quick knowledge boost for you- the line of action for animators is the direction the action will follow. I want to make it seem like his arm would realistically follow that path if he was going to punch the crap out of Enkidu. It’s close but could be better.
Much better. It actually looks like he’s throwing all he can into that punch. Now let’s clean it up-
And rather than have the entire tablet get colored, I think color accents to help direct the eye will work better for this type of deal. Also, just like with the first tablet I researched the Sumerian cuneiform alphabet, and have a little bit sprinkled throughout the tablets. Just to help make it seem more…authentic? Sure, that sounds about right. Here is the second tablet with the accent-
A little purple in the top left corner to draw your eye to the beginning of the tale, some red in the middle to help enhance the tension of the fight, and then some green to lead your eye to the end of the page and soothe you down so you can get ready for the next part of the story. Next up, all 4 tablets together!