Layout Tricks

By Justin Gerard

Here is a a new piece I am working on and some layout tricks I use when designing a scene:

Thumbnails and a digital comp

At the beginning I just draw really sloppy.  Sloppiness helps you because.... ok, it's not really helpful.  But nothing is perfect at first.  You always have to refine, refine, refine.  

What goes here?

After I have drawn up a comp based on my initial thumbnails I will sometimes draw a background separately from my character.  Sometimes I will draw the background behind the character, which allows me to move the character around a bit after dropping them in.  This can allow you to experiment with different layout options.  In this case I was too cool to experiment with different layout options and left a boar-shaped hole in my scene.

 A dwarf riding a boar

I then draw my character separately.  This is especially helpful in scenes with multiple detail figures.  Here I have done the drawing on toned paper to also start to get a better feel for how I want to treat the lighting.  

Combined layout

Then, using devilish trickery, I combine everything into a workable layout.  Now the layout is ready to be transferred to my final painting surface.  

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