This past week I was feeling ill and over-busy and could not commit to morning streams. So instead, I worked in silence, did panels and dialogue, and I'm now set up for this week where I get to focus on backgrounds!!
Yep, as promised last week, with layouts, panels, and dialogue done, my next step layer for this week is those wonderful, filly filled and detailed backgrounds. Filled with furniture, posters, chairs, people. Lots of people. A whole audience full of people. Faces, eyes, mouths, hair, hats, clothes.
I started with page 1, as I do, but I think it's best that I go for the most difficult pages to do backgrounds for: namely the cover, and the last pages of the book where you can see Leona (yes! She has a name!!) performing to her audience.
Anyway, on Page 1, we see through her to the dressing room mirror, the rack of clothing (that was fun to draw and will be even more fun to color!) and a shelf. There needs to be some posters and stuff on the wall to fill that in more, and maybe some texture in the ceiling to break up its plainness. Considering this is a historic building, there should be more decorative elements such as coffered ceilings and paneled walls. Stuff that makes the room look artistic and old, and not bare like it was just redone. I actually think those elements of the room construction should get my attention first this week, then layering in the furniture to dress it all up.
As for our main character, her name is Leona, named after Leontyne Price, a Black American soprano of the 1950s and onward. Our Leona is black and trans, and has only recently discovered her soprano voice, but stands poised to become a legend in her own right. She needs a GREAT costume to wear on stage so I'll be looking for something specifically wonderful for her to wear as she stands in this hall of storied performers, where so many others have gotten their start.
I've mentioned on stream that this venue is styled after the Apollo Theater in Harlem, and I want to lean into that touch of history for this mirrored place in Fianel. It should look like history, and that history should even be displayed in the audience, the rooms, and the stage. I'm trying to set this up as my best book yet, even with my timeline to complete it, so hopefully you'll really get to see my stretch the limits of my skills as an architectural artist!
In any case, that's the focus this week, as well as getting some costume ideas and concepts down for characters. I'm going to "line art" the background just so that it's locked in as finished elements before digging into anything else.
See you next week!