As discussed before, this chapter was an incredible experience in gaining confidence in drawing the mundane. Not restrained scenes of people talking––I love drawing that kind of stuff the most––instead, I mean the mundane aspects of drawing: backgrounds and perspective.

Some process photos for the penciling, erasing, and inking of this page.

Drawing this was early into my drawing of the chapter, and being that this scene takes place in a manor, I had to make sure that I sold (to the best of my ability…and patience) that these were rooms that were furnished and, to an extent, more affluent than anywhere else we had seen––the closest would be the spartan erudition of The Rook’s reading lounge in Chapter 4––albeit fraying at the edges (as you may have already seen), and a bit more weathered and unkempt than they may be willing to admit. To sell that, I first had to sell the plausibility of it being a room that people are in in the first place.

Though I had a fair amount of practice with indoor perspective previously, this chapter––and this scene in particular––put those skills to the test. Tangibly, that resulted in a lot of erasing. What helped most was drawing the thumbnails digitally where there is, built into the iPad program Procreate, a perspective assist mode that is incredibly helpful if you know what you’re doing. However, since I draw the pages of Long John by hand, I didn’t have any assistance aside from my own discerning eye. I could trust that the perspective was right in the thumbnail, so it became about trying to replicate that by hand on a much larger scale. Equally as helpful, the time-lapse replay feature of Procreate allowed me to see the important steps that could be easy to forget or get wrong: the horizon line, the main vanishing point, etc. While it wasn’t a 1:1 transfer, it was a fun process where my past, digitally-assisted self was able to teach my current, unassisted self.

It turned out to be an incredible tool for not only drawing, but learning, which proved very important for nearly every page going forward (especially the first three pages I drew last for this chapter).