Monday, September 7, 2009

Drawing comics (according to me)

I was asked the other day to show how I draw comics, from sketch to finished page, so here goes :

I usually work from very small, very rough thumbnail sketches, which I then scan and enlarge to the size of my originals (for the curious, I usually work at or around 10 x 15-inch format or A3 format, but on my current project I'm using the smaller A4 format, which is pretty much the same size as a sheet of 8.5 x 11-inch paper).

I then print out the page on a sheet of typing paper and pencil over the rough sketches, making quite a few changes as I go. Then I lightbox the finalized drawings onto a sheet of smooth-surface, 250-grain bristol paper using a non-photo blue Col-erase pencil (although you can’t tell that by the following image, since I greyscaled it for better readability. Sorry...guess you’ll have to use your imagination if you want to see blue pencil linework this time around). Once the pencils are finished, I ink the panel borders and do the lettering (not shown) with an Ames lettering guide and Staedtler Marsmatic technical pens.

Now comes the fun part: inking. By far the part of drawing comics that I love the most. I ink my pages with a no.4 sable hair brush and Pébéo india ink, a relatively inexpensive ink that scans very well.

Once I’ve finished inking, I scan the page again, clean it up, do any tweaking that my brush or white-out didn’t catch, then color or greyscale the page. I should mention that the above page is far from finished, though, as I’ve just noticed about a half-dozen things that bother me, and which, in hindsight, looked better in the penciled version... so I need to go back and fix them. Soon.

But anyway, there you have it : the Cliff’s Notes version on how I draw comics!


Tobias Schwarz said...

thanks for sharing! great blog BTW.

Dan C said...

Glad you liked it, Tobias! Thanks for stopping by!

Mike Hawthorne said...

Great post, man!


Dan C said...

Thanks Mike!