Pushing through failures
This is the hardest part! I have an idea, but when I draw it it’s a mess. After a few goes I feel like a terrible artist. My problem is often story. If the drawing isn’t working, I need to think about narrative: what’s happening, what motivates the characters, what idea am I trying to communicate? Once I have the answers, everything usually falls into place.
One of the best ways to avoid chaos early on is to paint rough block-ins. These are the equivalent of thumbnails, but don’t need to be small – you can do them quickly if you stay rough. Having said this, if your composition works when it’s small, then it will probably work when large. I like to test the values this way, too.