Episode 5 Conceptual Sketches

Today, I thought I’d share some of the conceptual sketches I’m working on for the fifth episode of Sunnyville Stories.  Just a reminder, the fifth episode is expected sometime by the later summer of this year (2011).  This story is titled “Dance Hall Days” and revolves around a local dance which Rusty is scared of going to.  It’ll be up to Sam to help him get through this situation.

Anyway, I had conceived some outfits for the characters to wear.  Keep in mind that they are going to a local dance so they can’t just wear their everyday street clothes.

Olaf's SuitYes, this page was taken right from my sketchbook.  I thought about what Olaf might wear.  I got the idea of him wearing something that would fit him…not an easy task since he’s quite chubby.  I also decided to put a lapel orchid in his suit.

My goal was to make it look somewhat format yet at the same time a little bit silly.  If you notice, his necktie is rather wide and it’s quite rare nowadays to see someone wearing a boutonniere.  I’ve had to come up with some other sketches with similar outfits for the other characters.  It wasn’t easy.



Rusty's dance suitThis is another rare sampler from my sketchpad.  Rusty’s suit is meant as a 1980s retro suit.  If this were in color, this would be a light blue with a pink shirt underneath.  I debated giving him a simple necktie.  But then, I thought that Rusty likes to stand out some more.  Everyone else would be wearing either a necktie or bowtie – so he had to wear something different.  Hence, enter the bolo tie.  It’s definitely him.

The bolo tie (also called the shoestring tie or bootlace tie) originated in the American West/Southwest and is frequently associated with that region.  In fact, it is said to be the official neckwear of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.

It also helps contribute to the 1980s retro look I envisioned among the youth of Sunnyville.  The concept I thought up was the the adults are psychologically and culturally stuck in the 1940s while the youth are likewise stuck in the 1980s.  The bolo tie did see a resurgence in the 1980s among the New Wave and rockabilly crowd.

Anyway, the original concept I had for the fifth episode was generated in a naive painting I did over a year ago.

Dance Hall Days

"Dance Hall Days", Ink and watercolor on paper, 9x12 in.

That was a piece I had displayed at the art show of Further Confusion 2010.  Sam’s own outfit hasn’t changed (I’ll share that next Saturday), but Rusty’s suit was originally going to be more of a 1920s/1930s style zoot suit, complete with a long watch chain and an ivy cap.

I didn’t like it for some reason and changed it to a more conservative suit.

That’s all the conceptual pieces I have this week.  I’ll put up some more next time.  What do you think of my work?  How do you develop ideas and concepts for your work?  Do you do simple sketches – or will you go the full nine yards and do a color piece? Share your opinion here.  I’d very much like to know.

Until next week, friends!

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About Max West

I am a freelance artist and the creator of Sunnyville Stories, an independent slice-of-life comics series.
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