visual narrative

Been making a doll panel for Spoonflower using Inkscape and Gimp.  Now that I’ve got the panel up in time for the contest, I need to figure out how I made it!   I do that a lot: jump in and do something then back track to figure out what I did and how I did it.

Fortunately, this means figuring out Gimp and Inkscape for real.  Not haphazardly.  One thing I discovered about tracing an imagae by hand is that there is a strategy to choosing which marks to make and in which order to make them.    I also found myself more invested in negative spaces, seeing possibilites for further design.

Now that I’m settled in a graphic pursuit, I have more confidence that I will finish the Drawing Words Writing Pictures course.


That’s what happened.

I just realized that fabric is the part that has been missing in this endeavor.  The ability to create images that are then printed on fabric opens up whole other possible narrative displays.  I’ll explain my revelation this way:

My first ever cut-and-paste celluloid film was called “Patchwork”.  One second of film is 24 frames long.  How many pieces of film (frames) can we really see?  How many pieces is half a second?  What does it do to the “narrative” to start the visual story in the center of the strip of film.  The patchwork pattern “log cabin” begins in the center.  Each strip is a length equaling the side of the center piece and the width of the attached strip.

This is how I made the movie.  I used identical bits of subject matter and laid out the pieces in segments of a second based on the “center” being 1/4 second (6 frames).  When it’s run through the projector it’s easy to feel and see the progression of images, the impression of there being a story.  But from the center to the end…not so easy.  Not easy to see that it’s a reversal of the first part.  It feels jagged, unsettled and the ending unfinished.

In comic books, the page doesn’t have quite the limitations of seeing one frame at a time.  A flow can be found, eventually.  Even a comic strip, as linear as a film might be, still allows the viewer to compare one end of the strip with the other.

A quilt is not a film and a film is not a quilt.  The possibilities of investigation, though, are rich and inviting.

Heart The flow of elements in the body move from very disparate places.  They are connected by means of the blood that our hearts pump to and from, here and there.  Heart is at the center of all things, the measure of which determines the lengths to which we will go and how much courage and encouragement we need to get there.  It is at the center of every venture and Adventure, drawing us on, fueling our dreams and desires.  Let the center panel be a heart and tell the story of what comes and goes.


YouTube – Ramayana Musical Part 03 of 04 Hanuman Finds Sita.

Aha!  Put this in the post courtesy of Press It, a bookmarklet I found in the tools section of the blog.  Interesting.  OK… So why did I include it in a blog that’s supposed to be about making comics?  I like the style of it.  Also, a lot of ideas I get about visual narrative come from watching animation.  Mostly about design and sometimes about story.

I’m working on a post about drawing–doodling in particular–and while I was working on it I was watching Disney’s Pocahontas.  Some of the doodles on the page come from looking at the smaller images within the larger frame.  To be able to make animation, the artists have to be able to reduce complex images to their basic structures.  That’s one of the lessons I got today when I was thinking about what doodling is good for.

Another effect of putting pen or pencil to paper is developing a rhythm.  It’s like practicing a signature only you are doing it with images.  There’s more, but I gotta take the little brother home and finish that progress (or lack of same) report before bed.  Meanwhile enjoy the video.  There’s more about that as well.