On composition in comics

What’s typical for comics (and some other narrative art forms) is that you’ll be drawing the same characters, props and locations over and over again. For a lengthy scene in the same place it can be tricky to come up with nice, new compositions for each panel.

This is why I spend a few hours this week thumbnailing different compositions for certain scenes. Thumbnailing is, like I’ve mentioned before, a quick and simple way of trying out new composition ideas.

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These are for a scene of dialogue on a balcony. Some of them may not make much sense to you sorry about that, I`m a messy sketcher. I kept the thumbnails small to keep the focus on bigger shapes and lines in the composition instead of going into detail. The black ink lines also helps me focus on the breaking up of the picture plane more instead of focusing on lines.

You’ll also notice that each thumbnail communicates a different idea and feeling through it`s composition.

I learned a lot again from this exercise, it even helped me refine the story and have more control on what exactly it is I want to say with a scene.
And I now have a few compositions lying around to draw from.

I’m now thumbnailing compositions for city scapes, since I’m not very experienced in drawing a lot if architecture. It’s given me some interesting new ideas for comic panels so far.

As before, I also added last week’s creative prompts to the master list. Go have a look to see if there’s some new ideas for you there. Maybe you can even use them in a comic.

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