Here is a a new piece I am working on and some layout tricks I use when designing a scene:
Thumbnails and a digital comp
At the beginning I just draw really sloppy. Sloppiness helps you because.... ok, it's not really helpful. But nothing is perfect at first. You always have to refine, refine, refine.
What goes here?
After I have drawn up a comp based on my initial thumbnails I will sometimes draw a background separately from my character. Sometimes I will draw the background behind the character, which allows me to move the character around a bit after dropping them in. This can allow you to experiment with different layout options. In this case I was too cool to experiment with different layout options and left a boar-shaped hole in my scene.
A dwarf riding a boar
I then draw my character separately. This is especially helpful in scenes with multiple detail figures. Here I have done the drawing on toned paper to also start to get a better feel for how I want to treat the lighting.
Then, using devilish trickery, I combine everything into a workable layout. Now the layout is ready to be transferred to my final painting surface.
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