This book cover has really taken a long time to materialize because of having to figure out how to keep all the detail without detracting from the text and instead to enhance it.

The trick ended up being making sure that as I layered flowers, that they flowed always in opposite directions so that they continued to make the eye move until stopping at the title. All directions innevitably lead back to text.

Also … poppies! I could now draw poppies blindfolded with my hands tied behind my back in my sleep. It took me a WEEK to figure out how to draw a poppy because I am/was royally awful at flowers (but not trees! I could draw trees until the sun died!). Just goes to show what sheer willful determination will get you: a cover full of poppies, and me sketching poppies on the insides of my eyelids while I sleep.

I think I might be done drawing poppies for a while.

Book cover in progress. And A LOT more detail to go. This one is just barely gettin’ started! Book cover in progress. And A LOT more detail to go. This one is just barely gettin’ started! Book cover in progress. And A LOT more detail to go. This one is just barely gettin’ started!

Book cover in progress. And A LOT more detail to go. This one is just barely gettin’ started!

18 tips for comics artists by Moebius "brief manual for cartoonist "

  • My 8house collaborator and impressive dude, Xurxo g Penalta translated this Spanish Moebius list of advice for artists. I thought would be cool to post. (Thanks Xurxo)
  • http: //www.jornada.unam.mx/1996/08/18/sem-moebius.html
  • 1. when you draw you must clean yourself of deep feelings (hate, happiness, ambition, etc)
  • 2 it's important to educate the hand, attain obedience, to full fill ideas. but careful with perfection, to much, as well as too much speed, as well as their opposites are dangerous. to much looseness, instant drawings,aside from mistakes, there's no will of the spirit, only the bodies.
  • 3. perspective is of sum importance, it;s a law of manipulation in the good sense, to hypnotise the reader. it;s good to work in real spaces, more that with photos, to exercise our reading of perspective.
  • 4.another thing to learn with affection is the study of the human body, the positions, the types, the expressions, the arquitecture of bodies, the difference between people. the drawing is very different when it come to a male or a female, because in the male you can change a little the lines, it supports to have some impressions. but with the female precision must be perfect, if not she may turn ugly or upset. then no one buys our book! so for the reader believes the story, the characters must have life and personality of their own, gestures that come from character, from their diseases; the body transforms with life and there's a message in the structure, in the distribution of fat, in every muscle, in every fold of the face and body. it;s a study of life.
  • 5. when you make a story you can start with out knowing everything, but making notes (in the actual story) about the particular world of that story. that way the reader recognizes and becomes interested. when a character dies in a story, and that character has no story drawn in his face in his body, in his dress, the reader does not care, there's no emotion. and then the editors say: "your story is worthless, there's only one dead guys and I need 2) or 30 dead guys for it to work" but that is not true, if the dead guy, or wounded guy or sick guys or whomever is in trouble has a real personality that comes from study, from the artists capacity for observation, emotion will emerge (empathy). In the study you develop an attention for others, a compassion, and a love for humanity.
  • it's very important for the development of an artist, if he wants to be a mirror, it must contain inside it;s consciousness the whole world, a mirror that sees everything.
  • 6. jodorwosky says I don't like drawing dead horses. it;s very difficult. it's very difficult to draw a body that sleeps, that's abandoned, because in comics you're always studying action. it;s easier to draw people fighting thats way Americans always draw superheroes. it;s more difficult to draw people talking, because there are a series of movements, very small, but that have a significance, and that accounts for more, because it need love, attention to the other, to the little things that speak of personality, of life. the superheores have no personality, all of them have the same gestures and movements (pantomimes ferocity, running and fighting)
  • 7. equally important is the clothing of the characters, the state they;re in, the materials, the textures are a vision of their experiences, of their lives, their situation in the adventure, that can say a lot with out words. In a drew there's a million folds, you must chose 2 or 3, but the good ones.
  • 8. the style, the stylistically continuity of an artist is symbolical, it can be read like the tarot. I chose as a joke the name Moebius, when I was 22, but in truth there's a meaning to that. if you bring a t shirt with Don Quixote, that speaks to me of who you are. in my case, I give importance to a drawing of relative simplicity, that way subtle indications can be made.
  • 9. when an artist, a drawing artist goes out on the street, he does not see the same things other people see. what he sees is documentation about a way of life, about people.
  • 10. another important element is composition. the composition on our stories must be studied, because a page, or a painting, is a face that looks towards (faces) the reader and that speaks to him. it's not a succession of panels with out meaning. there's panels that are full and some that are empty, others that have a vertical dynamic or a horizontal one, and on that there is intention. the vertical excites (cheers), the horizontal calms, an oblique to the right , for us westerners, represents the action heads towards the future, and oblique to the left directs action toward the past. points (points of attention) represent a dispersion of energy. something places in the middle focalises energy and attention, it concentrates.
  • these are basic symbols for reading, that exercise a fascination, a hypnosis. you must have a consciousness about rhythm, set traps for the reader to fall on to, and if he falls, and gets lost and may move inside them with pleasure because there's life. you must study the great painters, the ones that speak with their paintings, of any school or period, that does not matter, and they must be seen with that preoccupation for physical composition, but also emotional. in what way the combination of lines on that artist touches us directly in the heart.
  • 11. narration must harmonize with the drawing. there must be a visual rhythm from the placement of words, plot must correctly maneuver cadence, to compress or expand time. must weary of the election and direction of characters. use them as a film director and study all different takes.
  • 12. careful with the devastating influence of north american comics in mexico, they only study a little anatomy, dynamic composition, the monsters, the fights, the screaming and teeth (grin). I like them as well, but there are many other possibilities that must be explored.
  • 13. there's a connection between music and drawing. but that depends also on the personality and the moment. for perhaps 10 years I've been working in silence, and for me the music is rhythm of the lines (the music he listens to).
  • to draw is sometimes to hunt for findings, an exact (fair, just) line is an orgasm!
  • 14. color is a language that the artist (drawing artist) uses to manipulate the readers attention and to create beauty. there's objective and subjective color, the emotional states of the character influence the coloring and lighting can change from one panel to the next, depending on the space represented and the time of the day. the language of color must be studied with attention.
  • 15. especially at the beginning of a career, one should work on short stories but of a very high quality. there's a better chance to finish them successfully and place them on a book or with editors.
  • 16. there are times when we are headed to failure knowingly, we choose a theme, an existence, a technique that does not suit (convene) us. you must not complain afterwards.
  • 17. when new pages are sent to editors and see rejection, we should ask for the reasons. we must study the reasons for failure and learn. it's not about struggle with our limitations or with public or the publishers. it's more about treating it like in aikido; the strength (power) of the attack is used to defeat him with the same effort.
  • 18. now it is possible to find reader in any part of the planet. we must have this present. to begin with, drawing is a way of personal communication, but this does not imply that the artist must envelop himself in a bubble; it' communication with the beings near us, with oneself, but also with unknown people. Drawing is a medium to communicate with the great family we have not met, the public, the world.
  • august 18th 1996 compiled by Perez Ruiz

The Tale of the Lonely King and the Moon White Cat

The Tale of the Lonely King and the Moon White Cat
by R. LaFille

Once upon a time there was a King with seven sons and one daughter. Now the king had grown old with age and was lonely, for his wife had long since passed away, so he called to him his sons and his daughter and he said to them, “Soon, I must choose an heir, but I wish first to take me a wife, for while I miss your mother, the Queen, dearly, an old man cannot live the rest of his life alone. The one of you to bring back a lady suitable for me to marry, I shall give you my throne. I grant you six months to present each to me a lady and myself six months to pick the one I will marry. The one who presents the Lady whom I choose, I shall give my throne.” So saying, he sent his sons and daughter away and returned to his duties as King.

Immediately the seven sons called for their finest clothes and their grandest, most impressive horse, and as much gold as they could carry upon their person, and they set out, each in a different direction: North, South, East and West as well as the non-cardinal directions except for Southwest, for all knew that the lands of the North were of great cities and regal queens, and that the Eastern lands were rich with silks and spices, while in the South dwelt ladies of dark and exotic tastes, and in the West was the ocean and tropical island nations. But to the Southwest was only more of their own country, a land of farmland and farmers, of farmers’ sons and farmers’ daughters and little else.

Now the King’s daughter had been born upon her mother’s deathbed and so had known only her father her whole life, she who had laid her dark silken head on his knee and told to him all the wondrous tales from the books her nurse had read her and later the ones she had made up in her own head, for she loved her father dearly, and she worried that her brothers could not possibly know her father nearly as well as she nor find him a woman worthy of his affections.

Knowing her father would not approve of her setting out on her own—for he also guarded her dearly—she stole the clothes of a serving woman off the drying lines in the washroom, dressed herself in this simple habit, and left the castle unnoticed, traveling on foot and carrying nothing but a purse with a few pennies for water and bread.

Sometimes I love best the purity of the geometric forms before I fill the rest in with people and detail, and here especially, the flow of fractals, the frame within frame. I ♡ backgrounds.

"For love of a rose, the fairy queen cursed the prince…"

I fear having to watercolor all those roses when the final illustration is done!!

Studies of Kings and Kingly things for The Book.

What I have been so diligently working on these last few months. This is one of my favorite pages: Penelope in her ship, arriving at the abandoned island of Thybos, though there is food left out on tables and the market is full of goods and wares, but not even the breath of a single human being. Perhaps this island has a curse, methinks? ^_~ What I have been so diligently working on these last few months. This is one of my favorite pages: Penelope in her ship, arriving at the abandoned island of Thybos, though there is food left out on tables and the market is full of goods and wares, but not even the breath of a single human being. Perhaps this island has a curse, methinks? ^_~ What I have been so diligently working on these last few months. This is one of my favorite pages: Penelope in her ship, arriving at the abandoned island of Thybos, though there is food left out on tables and the market is full of goods and wares, but not even the breath of a single human being. Perhaps this island has a curse, methinks? ^_~ What I have been so diligently working on these last few months. This is one of my favorite pages: Penelope in her ship, arriving at the abandoned island of Thybos, though there is food left out on tables and the market is full of goods and wares, but not even the breath of a single human being. Perhaps this island has a curse, methinks? ^_~

What I have been so diligently working on these last few months. This is one of my favorite pages: Penelope in her ship, arriving at the abandoned island of Thybos, though there is food left out on tables and the market is full of goods and wares, but not even the breath of a single human being. Perhaps this island has a curse, methinks? ^_~

Studies and fleshing out a page for Penelope Pink. I was envisioning Mediterranean islands and little South of France and Italian villages when designing the streets of this imaginary island city of Thybos. The finishing touches are always the little arabesques and Moorish architectural flourishes that complete it. :) Studies and fleshing out a page for Penelope Pink. I was envisioning Mediterranean islands and little South of France and Italian villages when designing the streets of this imaginary island city of Thybos. The finishing touches are always the little arabesques and Moorish architectural flourishes that complete it. :)

Studies and fleshing out a page for Penelope Pink. I was envisioning Mediterranean islands and little South of France and Italian villages when designing the streets of this imaginary island city of Thybos. The finishing touches are always the little arabesques and Moorish architectural flourishes that complete it. :)

Pretty art. Her name is Penelope, and she sails the seas of children’s dreams. Now I’m just waiting for this to arrive today so that I can finally start to color: 27” Yamakasi DS270 SE IPS LED DVI-D display. It’s a Korean manufacturer who makes high-end monitors for a stupid good price, partly because it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of most American name-brand monitors (speakers/ports/controls/etc) but that doesn’t mean it isn’t perfectly good, especially since it’s a 1.07 Billion color monitor which I have been wishing upon a rainbow for ever and ever and ever. But most billion color monitors cost the same as the pot of gold at the end of the bright and fancy rainbow. Originally, I ordered a slightly older model, and it went out of stock EXACTLY the same day I ordered it, but lo-and-behold, I received an extremely polite email from Yamakasi saying it was out of stock and I could either have my money refunded immediately (seriously? No thirty-day wait?) or select a new model for 10% off. They recommended a new model based off the specs I required in the first, set me up, it was even on sale (yeay!) and refunded the difference for the 10% off in less than an hour. Having had far too many problems with customer service with name-brand companies in the US, and then reading all the monitor reviews from people terrified of buying anything overseas, it still makes me pause. So hopefully there’ll be a nice little package waiting for me when I get home, and I’ll hook up and boot up this baby and start the 10-bit color pressure on my PC! I’ll post a full review later because I know a few people who are always happy for quality supplies on a budget, and every artist needs a good monitor.

Up next, testing out the latest Corel Painter. I haven’t painted anything in errr … a while. 

And to those who say artists don’t NEED a billion color monitor because you can’t PRINT all those colors, I say there are more methods to printing than CMYK, and even in CMYK, some methods are better than others. Hi-fi printing for the win, baby!