Graphic Narrative – Style Considerations

The biggest consideration for me is what artistic style I’ll be using. I’ve researched a few different styles that I really like, but weather or not I like it, it has to be practical and well within my own skillset.

I knew I wanted to present the narrative in a comicbook-esque format, simply because I think they are the best at conveying actions and drama- as opposed to a cartoon strip or photo-story. action-comics-18-04-05

When you look at these types of comics, a certain theme of dark and bold shadows/lighting it present throughout them all. Part of the reason for this might be simply that cel-shading is quicker and easier to do, but it also lends a far more dramatic and sharper feel to the scene. This style is also, obviously massivley popular with comic books. Every major comicbook uses this style, so it’s clearly effective.


I experimented using this style with a rough graphic of a Japanese A6M2 fighter, a plane that would appear in my graphic narrative.


It’s far from perfect, but it was relativley easy to make compared to another style that I attempted. Not only did this style take less layers, time and effort to make, it resembled the comic book style well enough. If I were to choose to take this style into my project I’d probbaly make the lines slightly less thick, as that seems to limit the ammount of fine detail I can get.

The second style I considered was a style I’ve not seen particuarly used in comics before, but a style I’ve come to know myself over the years. Instead of using harsh cel-shading, I used quite the opposite and decided to use eased gradients instead.


This is the exact same drawing, just coloured in a different style. What style looks best is subjective, as I asked a few people and got different answers all around. The one thing about this style that isn’t subjective however is how long it look to make. This technique, though more sophisticated than the cel-shaded one took far longer to produce. using 3 times the ammount of layers.

Both these graphics were produced with Paint.NET, which is either a simplified version of Photoshop, or a far more advanced version of Microsoft Paint. It lacks the ability to do anything really complex, but it suits my needs as I’ve chosen to take a simpler art style.

In the end I have to take the style that is more time-effective, as it’s frightening how little time I have to finish this.


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