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