Improvising an Art-Book as a Graphic Novel

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Improvising an art-book as a graphic novel is perhaps a crazy idea, but after viewing the video on Keith Jarret where he talks about  “The Art of Improvisation” ” and remembering what he says:  …” improvisation is to begin a musical piece from scratch with no antecedents to be based on”…(loosely quoted from the video clip), I took the same idea to comics drawing.

My no-antecedent and from scratch comics drawing only source was the Russian movie ” Night Watch” by director Timur Bekmambetov. I remember vaguely what the film was about. Perhaps the  theme, a mystical battle between the forces of evil and the forces of good in his modern Russian version was the trigger to chose “Night Watch”.

Well  I hadn’t the slightest idea from where to begin. So I began to screen the movie on my computer and each time I was impressed by a passage I stopped the screening and draw the scene, drawing finally  a sequence of 250 pictures pictures guided randomly by my visual feelings .

With my first drawing   I was confronted with the question in what style to draw? Looking  at the art of well know artist I admired their fine artwork. Magnificent examples are the drawings by Dave Gibbons for Alan Moore’s graphic novel “Watchmen“:

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But I am not a graphic arts artist so my skills to make  something like Dave Gibbons’s drawings for “Watchmen”,  where very doubtful. It was  obvious to me that my drawings should be closer to my personal instincts: disliking ‘beautiful drawings but also appreciate them, and finding the right touch to merge   beauty and ‘bad’ drawing.

Finally, this ‘graphic novel’ was not intended to act as a graphic novel but more as an experimental art book, where what I draw was done on the fly without much correcting.

Here is a sequence from chapter 2 . To view the full images, please click one each  pictures.


For those interested in technicalities. Perhaps a bizarre choice, but I draw directly into a hardcover book by Nobel winner physicist Richard Feynman called “Feynman Lectures on Gravitation”. My drawing tools where black markers with different point size. The markers bleed through each page. Taking tipp-ex as a substitute for white acrylic  I painted  on the unwanted black  marks.  After restoring the white color and letting some black or gray spots on each page,  the original book text on gravitation shimmering through the tippex fluid serve as a canvas to draw each new picture.