Dracula; The evolution of a page
I know I said I wouldn't be posting a new Dracula blog for a while, but I've added so many new 'Dracula virgins' recently that I thought I should. This page has already been seen on my 'Blogger' page, but I thought I'd take this oppertunity to show the process that goes into the making of one of these pages. The scene I'm using to illustrate the point, is the one where Harker meets Dracula's 'brides' in the castle.
So, first off, we have Jason Colby's script, adapted from Stoker's original text. As you can see I make my initial 'thinking on paper' thumnails actually on the script page.
On most pages, that would be all the development work I'd do..& from there, I'd jump straight into the actual artwork. However, I felt that this was a key scene, & the brides were significant characters, & as such I wanted to get them right, so I made a few sketches.
On the whole, I liked these, they captured the level of sexiness I wanted, but despite that, I felt they looked too modern. And since this was an attempt to tell this story as close to how Stoker would have envisioned it, the costume designs needed to be altered, & I chose to draw them as you see below.
Here is the page at a midpoint stage. You can see the level of pencilling..very lose, there is no point in drawing everything in pencil, only then to re-do it all in ink. So I just make the merest suggestions, indicating position of characters etc in pencil.. & then have at it with my Sharpies!! One of the downsides of this is that if I make a mistake, it's kinda permanant. Like here for example, the main bride wound up looking like her neck was too long, & in the wrong position. But fortunately, due to the wonderment that is PhotoShop, such things are relitively easy to fix, as you can see in the next pic.
Normally, this would be a finished page. However, in this instance, I was asked to tone down the level of female flesh that was on display. It was felt that given that the target audience for this book will include some fairly young kids (or more significantly the parents of some fairly young kids) that it shouldn't be too overtly sexual
Which brings us to this, final version of the page. I drew altenate versions of the brides dresses, & as with the blonde's head, pasted them in using Photoshop.
So, there you have it. From script to finished line art in 4 easy steps. All that's left from here is for the letterer & the colorist to do their jobs. Hope you enjoyed this small insight. If you have any questions, I'm all ears.... well, not all ears... that would be stupid....