We’ve noticed something over many years of looking at fans’ portfolios and submissions. Often, beginners have the notion that they’ve got to get their ideas down on paper perfectly polished, right from the start. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, trying that hard can actually hinder you; as the saying goes, “Perfect is the enemy of Good” and you don’t want frustration with page 1 to keep you from nailing down pages 2 and beyond.

Here are some samples of how Wendy first sets the vision free, not caring too much about details of art (or even script). These are from Elfquest – Hidden Years #12, and show the rough layouts framed by the finished pages. Remember — it’s far easier to correct a page’s composition in the sketch stage than after you’ve poured hours of blood, sweat and ink into it. (Note: These layouts, while loose, are still detailed enough to guide another artist – in this case Brandon McKinney – in the direction Wendy wanted each page to flow.)

So keep it loose in the early stages. Try different ideas, even if it means tossing out earlier attempts. And don’t forget to have fun!

Cover layout
Finished cover
Page 1 - finished
Pages 1 & 2 - layouts
Page 2 - finished
Page 3 - finished
Pages 3 & 4 - layouts
Page 4 - finished
Page 5 - finished
Pages 5 & 6 - layouts
Page 6 - finished
Page 7 - finished
Pages 7 & 8 - layouts
Page 8 - finished
Page 9 - finished
Pages 9 & 10 - layouts
Page 10 - finished