The Blind Woman and Cats

A Lucid Dream Comic

This is a three-page comic based on a story from the dream diary of Lucid Fera. The dreamer watches a blind woman encountering her cats and contemplating existence. I drew the comic on paper, colored the panels using Procreate on the iPad Pro, and used Comic Life on the Mac for layouts and lettering. You can find the detailed steps of the process in the project description.

April 2023

Page 1
The Blind Woman and Cats - Page 1
Page 2
The Blind Woman and Cats - Page 2
Page 3
The Blind Woman and Cats - Page 3

How Did the Lucid Dream Comic Get Made?

In 2023, I wanted to try my hand at a short comic story. As the basis I used one of the short pieces written by Lucid Fera (yep, that's not her real name). I had the privilege to meet her during our studies of Media Art Histories at the Danube University Krems. Lucid Fera has a blog called All Things Absurd, Mad and Random, where she records some of her dreams. One of them "The Blind Woman and Cats" particularly stuck out to me. So, I decided to draw a comic based on it.

All Things Absurd, Mad and Random!

The original story on "All Things Absurd, Mad and Random!" (go to website)

This time round, I decided to draw the panels on paper. I sketched out each panel using a technical pencil and then inked it using Staedler technical pens and markers. The hardest part of the process was to get the cats right. I used references for them.

Drawing the Blind Woman and Cats

The pen and ink drawings of each panel of the story.
(And yes, that is a Competition Pro joystick and some cables sticking out behind the drawing on the right.)

After I was reasonably happy with the inked drawings, I scanned and imported them into ProCreate on the iPad Pro, my currently favorite art app. I then proceeded to color the panels. Since ProCreate makes it super easy to record videos of the process, here's a quick video of how I painted the panel.

Coloring a Panel in ProCreate.

Using the Apple Pencil 2, I cleaned up the lines of the drawing and then shaded each panel in grayscales. Every time I use ProCreate, I was delighted by its speed and responsiveness. After shading I added the colors as layers in different blend modes (mostly "color" and "overlay").

Once I was done with each individual panel, I decided to use Comic Life for the layouts and lettering. There is an iPad version of the app but I found it easier to use on the Mac.

Layout and Lettering in Comic Life

Layout and lettering in Comic Life on the Mac.

After some tinkering, I had composed all the panels and captions onto three pages and exported them as images. Please find my little comic above. I hope you like it. As a bonus, please also find below my first aborted attempt at painting this story from a few years ago.

Bonus: The Abandoned First Attempt

I actually started out painting this story in 2020 during one of the Corona lockdowns. At the time, I used Pixelmator on the iPad and again Comic Life for layout and lettering. This time round, I also used Art Text 4 for the title. Creating the first page took forever because Pixelmator for iPadOS is not well suited for painting. Additionally, I was in the middle of writing my master's thesis for university, so I laid the project to rest.

In the meantime, the developers of the app introduced a successor called Photomator for iOS and iPadOS that is much better suited for photo editing and not really suited for painting. On MacOS they released the delightful Pixelmator Pro that I love to use for design and photo editing. While it is - in principle - suitable for painting, that is not exactly its strength.

Instead of continuing the project three years later, I decided to start afresh because I could no longer find the original work file. All that remained was the flattened and exported image. Also I wanted to use ProCreate and go for a more cartoony look.

Here is the original and only page from this first attempt.

The Blind Woman and Cats - Original Page 1