Sunday, September 25, 2011

The HARD part...

,,,is not falling into the same old design I always use!

This is the fist cap that I have created for 'me' in a long long time.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I decided to step back from the Haven.  That lets me create without worrying about matching up anyone specific patterns, or worrying too much if the end result is 'good'.

A few days ago, I made a new cap that went in an entirely different direction.  No finding an image, cropping it, tilting it, writing a story, and placing the story around the image.  I had intended that cap series (it turned out to be six panels) to be posted here, but to be honest, I thought it was pretty good.  And as there were only a few days left for submitting work to the next issue of the Haven Quarterly, I decided to submit it.

If it is used there, you will have to buy a copy to see it, as it will remain exclusive to the Haven Quarterly.  If they don't use it, I'll go ahead and post it here later.

But that brings me to today and this cap.  I should explain some of my thoughts.  I think I write a pretty good story.  Sometimes they are long winded (especially for a cap), as I love throwing in those delicious little details.  But I have always had a soft spot for the short, straight to the point, caps.  Dee's caps are a great example of this style, as is Samantha deSavory's caps.  Its a style that I have tried to do, but always went off the rails, and ended up writing a longish story.

From talking to other cap artists, I think I am one of the few that write the story out in a separate program. Most artists seem to write inside of the image editing program of their choice (Photoshop, Comic Life, Quark...).  And I've heard that writing in the space helps keep them brief.  So I had the idea of doing that to help keep me brief.

But I also wanted to work on design.  Nothing spectacular, but I wanted to lose the 'tilt, glow, story around the image' style.  Don't get me wrong... I like that style.  But I want other arrows in my quiver to select from.  And the only way to develop another style that I like is to play around.

I did still start the same way though... finding an image.  I just wanted something that would tell a quick story.  Not even a full story, but rather a slice of a story.  Something that could be wrapped up in a line or two.  At the same time I was working on a logo for a friend, and had 'stockings' already qued up in Google Images.  So I kept looking and found this image:

Yowza.  I have always liked the 'heels pulling on the panties' look.  But what really pulled my attention is that these panties look incredibly similar to the black lacy pair I have myself.

Now while I love the image, it didn't tell me any story, so I looked through some of the others in the set:

I love the expression in this one.  Kind of a 'O.k asshole, you've done all this stuff to me, now what?' feeling.   But it didn't have the 'heels in the panties' that originally caught my attention.  Luckily there was another that caught my eye:

The body position is perfect.  I have the 'heels in the panties', and the tilt of her head fits with the same idea that the second picture brought.  Plus her body position hides both her very feminine face, and her breasts.  That immediately screams cross dressing to me.  So I started with that.

I knew I didn't want to crop it, but the image is fairly large, so I did resize it down to 1000 pixels wide.  I also wanted to have space to write... so to make it a little more obvious I made a oblong eliptical selection around the girl, inverted the selection, and painted it black:

Three problems immediately cropped up.  First I was cutting to much into her head.  Second I was completely obliterating the background.  Is she in a bed? Is that a mirror behind her?  And third I don't think the text would be able to overpower the image at all.

So to fix it, I made the image black and white, and reduced the opacity of the 'blackout':

Now this is something that I could work with.  I went back to my thought of  'O.k asshole, you've done all this stuff to me, now what?'... and tweaked it a bit.  The line that first came to me was 'The hard part isn't sucking his cock, but keeping the dildo in'.  I liked it, as it worked with the heels in the panties part too.  But that felt more like the ending.  And it could easily lead to writing a lot more, as I wanted to convey how much he had done to him.

My first thought was to bring up Word and start writing a story... but I was strong and avoided doing that.  Instead I wrote out the 'The hard part...'  and ' keeping the dildo in!'  I made them large enough so that it could almost be the title... and then started writing out random things that he had done.  After I had a few, I just rearanged the lines around in a more or less random fashion.  But it read wrong.... at least to me.  I was reading it as "The hard part... I had to suck his cock.  I have to roll stockings up my legs.  I sucked his cock. keeping the dildo in!"

Hmm... even with the text different sizes, my eyes still followed and read it that way.  After a few minutes of thought I decided that it could work... I just needed to write the sentence a little different.  So 'I had to suck his cock' became 'isn’t sucking cock', and I have to roll stockings up my legs' became 'isn’t rolling stockings up my smooth legs'.  That way it read:  "The hard part... isn't sucking cock, isn't rolling stockings up my smooth keeping the dildo in".

I liked it.  To finish it off I just added some more squirmy details of what the hart part isn't, and then added the glow effect behind the text.   At the very last minute I changed the 'title' text to black, just to let it read alone if you so wish.

Now right now, I'm torn on this.  I like it, but a big part of that like comes from it being 'new'.  Not just a new cap, but a new way of designing it (at least new to me), and a new way of telling a story (again, at least new to me).

So this is something that I'm going to have to live with for awhile before I decide whether I really like it or not.  Now I always appreciate creative criticism... but I really want it now.  Does this work?  Is it the design distracting?  Is it to little 'story'?  Please feel free to let me know what works and what doesn't.


  1. I think you wrote it quite nicely Cait!

    For me it works as if your thoughts or maybe from that girl (just in case is not Caitlyn) are popping out of her head in an increasingly high rate. While your stories tend to be quite erotical when they are long this one does drive me into the same feeling of this is a Caitlyn cap even when more sort. It just because of that, that you are able to drive the attention where the sexy part starts. I mean you want your readers to be aroused to the idea. Well I do have been aroused by it and I find particurlarly erotical.

    A suggestion that would have worked for this one:

    You could have drawn a line between the most urgent needs in there by making the less important thoughts tinier and the sluttier ones bigger like in bubbles and maybe if possible using two colours. Separating the first thoughts to the most luscious one. That would increase the feeling of this girl is lost in sex! "giggle".

    I do tend to work around the size of the image vs the place I have around to put the text because It helps me to not railroad the story and know where I should head.

    For longer stories I just prefer to use more images and more caps

    Hopes that works for you Cait and once again thanks for that incredible logo ^-^

    Hugs and Kisses Alectra

  2. @Alectra,

    Thanks for the kind words and the suggestions. I should say that I did consider using two or more colors. In fact, I started this out with a pink 'glow' effect instead of the blue one. I liked the idea of making the more 'luscious' thoughts red, and the more 'mundane' thoughts blue (and traveling the spectrum in between).

    My problem with that, is that I prefer to have a more monochromatic look to the cap. I think design wise, my best caps have used very little color, and when they do, they are generally in the same spectrum. So emphasizing certain thoughts (I was thinking "sucking cock", "never cuming", and "Staring in shemale porn videos" to be the red or emphasized thoughts), would have been better story wise, but would have also been worse, design wise. In this case I decided to err on the side of design.

    Other ways I briefly thought of emphasizing the thoughts were through all caps "isn't SUCKING COCK", or through font selection. But these are just variations on the same design/story dilema of color, so I stayed the same.

    My hope is that as people read this, they get that good squirmy feeling througout reading it, and emphasize the parts that really hit their buttons. You never know... some people may emphasize "tucking my boy clitty away", and "crying most days" as their own personal button pushers.

    As to this being 'Caitlyn' or 'Me'... no. I didn't write this from my own preferences. Although in retrospect, it does have that feeling. I'm sure subconsciously I'll always lean toward my own preferences. I find that with this type of quick story, plugging in a name tends to take away from it, as it requires that explanation. I also hope that by not putting a specific name into it, it will draw more people into it, thinking that they are the person in the photo.

    And lastly, you are most welcome for the logo.

  3. As someone that uses '...' quite a bit ... I think that it might've tracked a bit better if you had started out each fragment one. For instance "... isn't wearing makeup all the time."

    The other thing I would probably have done is found a different spot (or removed) the fragment right underneath "The HARD part" since at least in my brain it made me read THAT first as opposed to heading across the top which would be the comic book way to read it. It also would've let you make "The HARD part" somewhat bigger.

    Otherwise, its a great caption, and I am glad you seem to be breaking out of your pseudo-rut.

    And "too little story"??? Pshaw! It tells exactly what it needs to tell. It doesn't need a back story, and what you've done is make it a relatively universal caption.

  4. @Dee

    Thank you for the comments and critique. I did think of using the '...' before each "isn't", but I was afraid that it would be to much of it. But now that I think of it, I also thought that when I had "The HARD part..." and " keeping the dildo in!" the same color as the rest of the text.

    Now that they are different, all the isn'ts don't look right. So I agree, I think adding the '...' in before each statement would be better.

    With the size of "The HARD part.." I actually worked to keep both it and " keeping the dildo in!" to be the same size.

    I see what you mean about the fragement under "The HARD part...". I didn't give to much thought to the placement of the fragments. When I started placing them, they were all tightly together up in the top. Instead of leaving them there, I just pulled them out into random places. I just tried to avoid making them appear on the same line.. I wanted a more random approach. But yes, the reading and tracking is now a bit off.

  5. Fantastic...I saved it in my special file