Chapter 6 pg 3 pencils

Well, I know it’s not as good as the ACTUAL page being on time and finished, but I’m catching up on a bunch of different projects lately, sooo, this is is what I got!  I hope you guys don’t find this image to spoilery, I thought it would be a good page to give you, my readers, a “behind the scenes process” of how I go about making a comic page.  I’ve been telling people for a long time that I was going to do this, but STILL haven’t done it, so finally, I can say that I have.  I hope to continue these posts whenever I have the time, and add to what I’ve started here.  I hope to do a few inking demos on YouTube soon, along with some perspective tutorials.


Anyway, what you see here is how most of my pages look when I finish the pencil stage.  Depending on the necessary detail or figures in a scene, I’ll add more or less hours into it.  Mostly it comes down to how much time I have.  That being said, I’ve found that the more time I spend on pencils, the easier inking is for me (But there are many who would disagree I’m sure.  This is just how I prefer it.)  More hours come when I have vehicles or intense backgrounds that need a solid foundation of pencils before I move to inks.  This page took me about 1.5 hours.  If somebody else was inking, I would have to make this WAY tighter, but inking myself gives me a ton of wiggle room.  I like how these look because their so sketchy and loose.  I feel like what you see in my pencils is most “me”, if that makes sense.  A lot of my inking style is me trying to emulate the energy and passion that I feel that my pencils have.


As far as paper goes, I ALWAYS use Strathmore 300 vellum.  Always.  Since I pencil and ink on the same board, I need something that I can enjoy penciling on.  I hate penciling on smooth paper, and since I love the pencils process, I need a vellum sheet.  the 400 and 500 series  by Strathmore are nice, but too rough for me to ink on.  300 is a good in between.

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The first part of this page is to thumbnail it.  I would show my thumbnail, but it’s so sketchy that I’m sure that I’m the only one who could make sense of it.  As long as I have something in front of my that I can visualize and understand, it’ll work for me.  This stage is where I figure out (roughly) where my vanishing points are.  A lot of the time, especially in a 3 point perspective scene, (Like in panel 3) ALL the vanishing points are out of sight, or “off the page”.  Depending on how far away a vanishing point is, I’ll do this.  (super jankety I know)


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I’ll use some artist tape and use some scrap paper to place my VP, and create my grid from there.  I always draw my grid with an orange Prismacolor pencil, so things make sense when I use a lead holder with HB lead.  I make sure to finish my entire grid and see that it looks right before I start penciling.

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There’s another way to create a grid without the use of a vanishing point (which I use every day), but it’s a bit hard to explain over a blog post.  I want to do a video tutorial about it, but until then, you should check out THIS BOOK.  It helped me tremendously when I was just starting out, and I still refer back to it today.  It breaks down perspective in a way that’s easy to understand while also mapping out how to best re create it on a 2D plane.   Also, I always use a ruler that is see through, so I can create paralleled and perpendicular lines without the need of a T square all the time.  I love this ruler, (just a cheap one from Hobby Lobby) but it does the job and I don’t plan on ever using another one.


And last but not least, here’s a shot of my in-apartment studio.  It’s a bit messy, but good for the creative juices.  I have a Cintiq 21 UX that I use for thumbnails and for more corporate-esque client work, and a LOT of comics.  I had an Akira comic out on my desk today for inspiration, and it did wonders for my work ethic.

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That’s about it for a behind the scenes look!  In other news, I did a pin up for the trade paperback of the Image Comics series UNDERTOW, which you can see below.  Please consider ordering it!  The Diamond Order code for UNDERTOW Vol. 1  is JUL140518  You can also pre order it on Amazon HERE.


Undertow Pinup DWJ web




Okay!  See you all wonderful people with the COMPLETED page on Thursday!