Saturday, April 04, 2009


Well, it seems no one objects to seeing layouts so i thought i'd show a page from Sweeney Todd, but show it from original layout to finished inks. Below you can see the layout for page 65. I sent it to my editor at Classical Comics for approval. Sometimes the layout needs to be tweaked, like if i haven't left enough room for speech bubbles, etc. It happens from time to time; but not often.

There were no real problems with the layout page, aside from how the character in panel 5 had her finger to her lips. The script instructed her to do so in a certain way, with the palm placed flat facing her face, rather than placed on its side. However, my editor asked me to ove her finger to the centre more, rather than at the side of her mouth. Other than that, i could go straight to pencils.

Long-term readers are probably aware of my work-process, but just in case, i blow up my layout page and lightbox it onto the full-size artboard. That way i can try to keep some essence of the spontaneity that the original sketch had. By keeping the composition as close as possible to the layout, i think the end page ends up a bit more engaging. I sent the pencils to my editor, but there was an issue with the last couple of panels. My editor was concerned that the character in panel 5 was silent (mouth closed, finger to lips) yet was speaking, so asked me to make the final panel bigger so the speech bubble could be placed there instead.

While inking, i wasn't 100% happy with the arm of the character on the left of panel 4, so changed it slightly. I was also wary of the page looking dull as it is essentially a talking scene. I had used a non-standard layout to make the page more visually engaging, but i also tried to do that in the inks too by breaking up some 'dead' white areas with black ink-splatter and using white splatter to indicate sunshine coming through the window in panel 2.

Well, that's it. A whole Sweeney Todd page form start to finish. Hope this was moderately interesting.



jamie said...

what size paper you do work on for the finished page?

Unknown said...

How many ink refills do you go through a month?

Declan Shalvey said...

Hey guys,

Jamie, i work on A3 sized heavyweight cartridge paper. I mark up an area of 10x15' and work within it.

Actually Luke; i've been tearing through ink lately. Of course, i was wondering why it's going so fast. You think i would have figured it out before now...

Unknown said...

Worth it though.
And I love the sunshine coming through the window and the lovely crosshatch-type effect in the second panel.

Good shit,Home-slice

Declan Shalvey said...

Ah you spotted the crosshatching eh? Fair play. Yeah, it's been creeping in of late; still trying to find the right balance with it, but i'm happy enought with the results so far.

Thanks 'dawg'