The 10th of July 2019 marked the 100th day of #the100dayproject. This year I participated for the first time, with this comic. I obviously could not finish the comic in 100 days, so I realised from the first that maybe my project wasn’t the most suitable for this type of challenge. But the idea for me was to use it as a kind of measuring tool and hopefully a extra motivator. And it has certainly taught me a thing or two. Here’s a round-up and evaluation.

How many pages?

Well… The sum total of inked and finished pages I produced was four (4!). That’s an average of 25 days per page. I think I can say that isn’t an optimal pace…

Page 36 pencils, and the old sketch version
Page 37 and all its pencil sketches…

What, and nothing else?

Well, of course I drew other things! I did quite a lot of drawing in the service of my pages. Some took a lot of sketching because I had to figure things out or practise drawing particular elements, like horses.

For pretty much the first time, I drew costume references. I have a vague suspicion that I am supposed to have reference drawings for my characters, but I have never had any. In this particular set of pages, though, I found it useful to have costume sheets to help with continuity. And maybe improvising costumes on every page hasn’t been such a great way of handling things :p.

Gorlois of Cornwall costume reference

I did proper research for these. It took time :p. In my old sketches, Uther in particular had an earlier period Roman armour, so that got corrected.

Uther Pendragon costume reference

For Ygraine and the girls, I used my imagination a bit more, because if I have to believe my research, all women wore more or less the same formless dresses. Because I don’t have colour, I need a tiny bit more variation in the clothes. I came up with what I think are fairly realistic-looking simple items that are nevertheless not just ‘baggy dresses’.

Morgana, Ygraine and Morgause costume reference


I also spent some time on illustrations connected to the comic, but not related to these particular pages.

Ygraine and Gorlois enjoying a swim in the sea, pencils

I made a colour version of the Summer Break banner for the site. I did it in Photoshop because I still have lots to learn about colour (and you can’t delete a layer of paint). It took me hours though, colouring this small image…

Crab Catchers (ballpoint pen, preparation)
The Sandcastle (ballpoint pen, preparation)

Just for fun

My comic is about Sir Gawain, but in The Darkest Hour he hasn’t even been born yet – it’s the story of his grandmother, Ygraine… So from time to time I draw Gawain in different shapes and ages, as a reminder for myself. Also, because he is the central character of my story, of course I find him really difficult to draw, so I can do with the exercise :P.

Sir Gawain, lady version!
Some young Gawains – I’m trying out armour for him

And now for something completely different

During the 100 days, my friend Nout had his birthday. I think it took me most of the 100 days to draw his gift. *cough*

The Mighty Thor (ballpoint sketch)
The Mighty Thor, final colour version

In conclusion…

…I’m very slow.

In 100 days, I completed 4 pages of my comic. I also knitted most of two cardigans and two complete jumpers. What, you may well ask, is the difference? It’s not that I care less about drawing than about knitting. It’s that I don’t have a car and I knit during train journeys (and sometimes bus and tram rides). That means that I knit for an hour or more every working day.

Back in the day, when I worked in a different city, I drew during train journeys, about an hour almost every day. I travelled at different hours and always had a little table. I was very productive at the time, and posted two, three or more (sketched) comic pages every week. Now I travel on a very busy line, during peak traffic hours, and I rarely if ever have a table. I have two 30-minute journeys instead of 1-hour journeys. And finally, I’m making the final version of the comic now, not a sketchy one that I’ll redraw.

In short: I have to make time for neat and meticulous drawings after my day job and commute. That’s… hard. Even with the extra motivation of a social media event like #the100dayproject.

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