Drawing Backgrounds is never easy. It is also a necessary evil. A lot of people can draw characters, or machines, or animals, but backgrounds always seem to be low priority when it comes time to think up a comic. Just make some cool characters and think of the background later right?
Like anything else, it takes practice to get it right and it’s frustrating when things don’t come out how you expected. Backgrounds operate by a different set of rules too so you can’t always apply the same techniques you would use for your characters. Perspective and all that. Unfortunately, none of the four of us are really talented for making scenery, so it became a huge learning experience when we started this comic.
Drawing Prehistoric settings requires lots of jungle, rock and mountain stuff. The usual references we use are photos from the internet and the hillsides in San Diego area; especially Balboa Park. As for color and composition, Bill Watterson is good to study and so is Frank Frazetta. But perhaps most intriguing is that a lot of “old” comics used lush scenery for jungle settings. If you look at comics or manga nowadays you’ll find it rare to see the amount of detail that was found in the comics that appeared half a century ago. Are we losing artistic technique as we move forward?
Here’s another example that continues to experiment and refine backgrounds: