How SP-Studio inspired me

  • I also experimented with distorting the SP-Studio characters themselves. This approach should become important again years later.

    This is Florence Hostel, a parody on Paris Hilton. She was only a background character without any real involvement in the stories although she had two cameos. Many complain about the lack of different body shapes on SP-Studio and I also felt at least she should look skinnier than the regular characters.

    For this red carpet scene I drew everything except the characters myself. Alas, after all the years I cannot find all files anymore, so this picture might look a bit pixelated.

  • A key advantage of drawing pictures as vector graphics is that in contrast to raster graphics you can modify and recolour elements with ease without a loss of quality - as long as you keep the working files. What is more, you can enlarge them without having to think about resolution. The only issue might be that they look a bit boring if you didn't draw them with enough detail in the first place.

    The following panels contain a scenery that I recoloured to represent different places in the course of the last comic story I created during my time in university. As you might notice, this story was in part inspired by James Bond, but it also still belonged to the theatre arc.

    Who has an idea, what might have been the other influence?

  • As a conclusion of my university-related comic experiences, I want to show you two additional quite elaborate establishing shots. In keeping with the season, they both show a winter scenery. They are from the first and third part of the story arc revolving around the school play.

    This is Middlefield Junior High after a sudden onset of winter. It actually looks a bit like South Park Elementary, but that wasn't intentional and resulted rather from the circumstances. I was again looking at the Open Clipart Library for a fitting building and that one was the one I deemed the most fitting. Although after editing it, I ended up with such a simplistic style that I could have drawn something similar by myself. As the story was set in winter, I also covered the landscape in snow. And then I added some firs (actually the same fir over and over again in slightly modified form).

    As you can see, winter has also arrived in London. - For this Christmas market I quickly drew a stall, decorated it with sweets from SP-Studio and multiplied it. I again used the fir to mask the gaps between the stalls. Finally I searched the internet quite a while for a free graphic of Big Ben.

    By the way, does anybody know, if there are Christmas markets like this in Britain?

  • So towards the end of my study I had finally found the mix of creative writing and graphic design I had been looking for so long. Overall, the work on those comics had been the most fulfilling experience in my life so far and I realized, I had found my art form.

    There was a bit of a throwback when I found out that comics and everything creative in general weren't regarded as something suitable for a bachelor thesis in that study and it had to deal instead with something completely senseless and uninteresting. - I needed two attempts to pass it. And because I had to familiarize myself with completely new topics, I again hardly found the time to engage in the things I was interested in.

    Then finally, I found a part-time job, that allowed me to dedicate myself to my objective and at the same time pay my rent. It's ironic, that after all those years I found a job for which - in my eyes - I wouldn't have needed any sort of education. I cannot see any parallels to the topics I covered in my study or all the years before - at least I can use them in the comics I'm working on.

    In contrast to that my boss still sees alumni of my study as the perfect match for our business. And - owing to my job - not long ago I was even asked by my former university to hold a seminar that I did hardly pass myself. I see that as an affirmation that I don't understand neither my job nor my former study and comics are by far the better professional choice for me.

    Over the following weeks I want to show you some of my mixed-quality scribbles from the last years and my quite recent breakthrough that once again is related to SP-Studio. And as the thread already got moved into the Own Art section, I can as well continue posting here, now the posts are finally meeting the topic.

  • In my comics I wanted to create something completely original, both story-wise and design-wise. Because if you're aiming at publishing something, it's not a good idea to violate other people's copyrights. As I had already drawn a big part of the sets myself during my university project but didn't want to use the SP-Studio characters anymore, as a first step I deemed it necessary to train myself in drawing people.

    But my basic problem is that I'm not particularly good at drawing, so the result was quite creepy.

    I called this guy Thorben and I tried a while to make him look naturalistic. But he himself doesn't seem to be very pleased with the way he looks, so I finally abandoned that design.

  • It seems I didn't keep the records of the evolution of my character design as well as I thought. I might have to reconcruct some intermediate steps, which could take some time.

    In the meantime, I will show you some sets I drew. Actually that mirrors the order in which I created the drawings and my mode of operation in general quite well, because I always work on one thing when I reach a dead end in the other one.

    I didn't have a certain story in mind when I drew this portal. Sometimes a detail or idea just grabs my attention and then I have to research it by means of drawing. My recent discovery of digital drawing finally had made that a lot easier. In this case I think the origin of the drawing must have been the arrangement of voussoirs in an arch. On paper drawing stuff like this is often annoying to me because I might have started my sketch close to the edge only to realize that I'd like to extend the drawing exactly into that direction. With the prospect of having to draw everything again, I then often would lose interest. In digital art you can easily resize your canvas or reposition everything. So this vague idea finally resulted in a complete scenery.

    I realized this as a simple elevation drawing and didn't bother much about perspective. Apart from arts education the last time I had drawn something as elaborate as this had been in my early youth. In my childhood I had always enjoyed drawing architecture more than drawing living creatures, probably because it's based on clear geometric shapes.

  • Often I get an idea for a setting, an interesting character or a scene, but rarely in such a way that they work well together. I'm still trying to work out why that went so swimmingly during my university project.

    Here some graphics I found at the Open Clipart Library inspired me to draw this asian-style room, and I thought maybe a story would come to my mind that could happen there but it didn't (yet). I think this scenery is a bit to specific.

    By the way for those who are interested, the Open Clipart Library is online again in the form of Some enthusiasts were able to restore a big part of the graphics and they are still working on it. It can be a really useful resource for small objects that make a drawing more lively and would be quite troublesome to draw on your own.

    In the drawing I once again didn't bother very much to get the perspective right. Actually arts education was a focus during my time in school and of course we were also taught about perspective. But somehow the teachers didn't tell us how to calculate the foreshortening, so the drawings always looked distorted and I found it wasn't worth the effort. But now that I had decided to engage more in drawing I found it neccesary to learn more about perspective.

    For the rest of the year I won't find much time to continue this thread but I will still give you a forecast of what you can expect here for 2020.

  • As promised, here's the preview for 2020. After I struggled a while with what to portray in my comics, I remembered the successes during my university project and my almost life-long fondness for Star Trek. The result was this:

    These are Major Theta and Sheanna Joy who serve aboard the starship Interface and - as I found out - are quite forgiving of my so far still limited drawing abilities.

    The whole story of how I developed them from the SP-Studio characters after my previous attempts didn't lead to much will follow the next year.

  • I totally forgot about this thread, but now I read the rest of it. You made some great improvements and it's great to see that you still stick to the things you love doing. Right now I am at the same point as you were when you wanted to create your own characters instead of using the South Park style, so I know how difficult this is.

  • I didn't post anything here for a while. In part because I had some trouble with my computer and my data, but also because nobody seemed to care about my story. I actually made some progress with my own drawings in the meantime.

    Also, I thought you as the administrator would read every post, if only to prevent illegal content.

  • I usually read everything, but sometimes I forget to follow a thread when much is going on in "real life". Then I think "let's read this later and reply then" and suddenly it's three months later and I feel ashamed to reply so late. ;)

  • Sure David! Bring it!


    Freude, schöner Götterfunken,
    Tochter aus Elysium!
    Wir betreten feuertrunken,
    Himmlische dein Heiligtum!
    Deine zauber binden wieder
    Was die Mode streng geteilt;
    Alle Menschen werden Brüder,
    Wo dein saftner Flügel weilt!

  • I just don't find the time to reconstruct the development of my drawing style. But I'm working on a comic story. Maybe that's also interesting for some.

    That's Damian. He's on an away mission on a mysterious alien planet.