Working with Titan Comics, AiPT! has exclusive insight into the process of creating Shades of Magic. Out today in book stores and comic shops, Shades of Magic follows the young Maresh who is sent to a dangerous port city on the Blood Coast of Verose, on strict orders from his father, King Nokil Maresh, to get some experience with military endeavors. Once there he encounters a band of soldiers who aren’t so easy to pin down as well as navigating the unruly nature of the pirate queen Arisa.
Artist Andrea Olimpieri gave us some insight into the process of creating the world of Shades of Magic. We’ve also featured the inked pages in gallery format along with the final pages. Check out Olimpieri’s insight below!
Andrea Olimpieri: Working on the visuals of the series has been a great experience for me, after reading the books by Victoria Schwab (if you haven’t already just get them cause they are great!), I’ve started doing vast research to build the basics for the visuals.
Starting with the city of Verose, my idea was to create something similar to Venice, with small alleys and canals with bridges, a place where characters can move with some difficulty compared to the London of the early 20th century.
Victoria’s script has been a great source of visual inputs, but with enough room for putting in some of my personal view of storytelling.
In terms of my artistic process, I usually start from quick thumbnails where I build the narrative structure, the weight of panels and positions for each characters. This starting point is of great importance to me to guide the eye of the reader through the page, but also to build a way of making the talking and moving and also making the fighting distinctive for the main character Maxim, to make him stand out from the rest of the page. That usually happened while working on layouts, making things as clear as possible and similar to the finished page to help speed up the rest of the work process for revisions and lettering.
But every character of the series is quite different from the other and I’ve tried to show their many faces with my artwork. In the extract shown, I followed Victoria’s input, and showed Maxim as more self-restrained than the quick and elegant Isra. That changed a lot when I got to Arisa I’ve made her arrogant and always on an upper stage when relating to the other pirates.
When it came to magic and constructing the characters, I relied more on colours and specific shapes in crafting the Shades of Magic world.
In conclusion, I can say that working on the project has been engaging and a great pleasure to me. One of my favourite parts of my job is creating places and worlds, and using my fantasy and artwork to create the psychology of a charater through visuals. And I found everything I wanted in the Shapes of Magic.
And I hope the series has been a good read for you as much as it was for me creating it!
You can purchase Shades of Magic vol. 1 today.
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