Drawing Life, Drawing Sunnyville

It’s a cold day today in Fargo, North Dakota but that hasn’t put either me or Sunnyville on ice.  My first order of business?  Life drawing.  I need to keep drawing from life to sharpen my skills and to make Sunnyville Stories look better.

The Plains Art Museum here in town holds monthly life drawing sessions.  For a small fee, you can draw from a live model.  Life drawing is important for boosting your skills whether you draw comics, animation, fine art, etc.  For some out there, life drawing has been the sole source of training.  The French landscape painter Paul Cezanne drew from live models to learn the basics.  But I digress.  

Life drawings November 2017

These are a few of the warm-up gesture sketches I was doing.  I work with a big sketchbook and use pencils or graphite sticks.

Life Drawing 2 Nov. 2017

Drawing a live person is not like drawing Rusty, Sam, Von Herling, Tiffany or Corey, etc.  I see why it is good practice for honing your basic skills.

Anyway, I am working on Sunnyville #16.  After being in a rut for awhile and stumbling along, I’m working on the pencils for the story.

Sunnyville #16 Page 2 Top Rough Pencils

It is difficult drawing this story.  As you all know, Mr. Jakes (pictured above) will be the one who dies.  This will be the last time we see him.

Sunnyville #16 Page 2 Bottom Rough Pencils

I felt bad too when drawing Sam.  Pretty soon, this usually cheerful girl will be crying her eyes out.

I have to be honest with all of you out there – this story has NOT been easy.  I’ve invested so much in my characters; in a way, they are practically living creatures just like you and me.  Having to kill off a character is a big deal for me.

Maybe some of you are thinking “why don’t you just keep Mr. Jakes around for awhile longer”.  Sadness and conflict are necessary to generate drama for a story.  As much as I hate having to let Mr. Jakes depart this mortal realm, this has to be done.

That’s it for now, readers.  Please sign up for the Sunnyville Stories mailing list if you haven’t yet.   Buy me a Ko-Fi today and check out my other creation Tiffany & Corey.

Also, be sure to stop over to DriveThru Comics for digital copies of Sunnyville Stories.  Copies of Sunnyville Stories Volume 1 are still for sale on Amazon, both in print and Kindle formats!  While you’re there, be sure to pick up Sunnyville Stories Volume 2 and (if you love Gothic horror) Von Herling, Vampire Hunter!  And now available is the latest installment of the saga, Sunnyville Stories Volume 3.  Get them today!

Copies of all the above titles are available to the library trade via Brodart Company and to retailers from Ingram and Baker & Taylor (via BCH Distribution).  Copies are also available direct from the publisher.  For ordering information, contact maxwestart(at)gmail(dot)com or write to:

Different Mousetrap Press LLC, 1100 19th Avenue N, #108, Unit J, Fargo ND 58102-2269 USA  

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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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