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March 3, 2009
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Why so methodical? by bigbigtruck Why so methodical? by bigbigtruck
Just thought I'd make a post about this method.

When drawing the comic, I first write the script (I just scrawl it out on paper), then make rough thumbnails of each page, figure out how large each panel needs to be (1/6, 1/4, or 1/3 of a page, usually - my layouts are boring), and then draw each panel to scale on separate sheets of bright white printer paper. Backgrounds are drawn separately if they're used in more than one panel. I do this all without a lightbox because I am insane.

While the reader sees finished art that looks like this ([link]), in fact all of the hard copy final art looks more like what you see above. Using Col-Erase colored pencils, I draw the base sketch and perspective guides in pink and the tighter construction lines in red. I then draw over those lines in mechanical pencil (HB and 2B) and ink.

After scanning, I drop the Red channel in Photoshop, so all those pink and red lines disappear!

It's handy to have that 'invisible ink' - as you can see, I use it for making notes, marking page and panel numbers, placing dialogue and balloons (balloons and lettering are done digitally), marking areas that need correction... and snarking at the characters.
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:iconalwaysforeverdreamer:
I'm amazed by how much work goes into each and every panel of this, it seems like it's so simple at first glance (but then again, most things do).
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:iconzieberich:
Zieberich Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2011
I just had a terrible accident that involved strawberries and something I had put a lot of work in and... I can never thank you enough for this.

Also I am a huge fan of TJ and Amal and 9000% sure that I'll buy the books once they're published. (Even if the shipping costs will probably throw me into serfdom)
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:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2011  Professional General Artist
Hope everything got worked out! (or cleaned up) :-)
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:iconosanagokoro:
Osanagokoro Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2010
I added this to my favorites because I'm trying to figure out how to do this whole 'awesome drawing' thing. I'm learning. :3

Also you're awesome.
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:iconmangabaka:
Mangabaka Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I love to see this kind of explicative drawings and notes from artist.

That red note and the joker phrase make me smile, even harder adding amal's usual blank expression :XD:

Insteresting technique! I would had never tought of something similar D:
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:icona-drawer-4ever:
a-drawer-4ever Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2009  Professional General Artist
...and snarking at the characters.

That just made me smiiile.

Very informational and interesting to see how you do your work.
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:iconfreerangedorito:
FreeRangeDorito Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2009
I really appreciate this; I've been struggling with hand-eye coordination using a tablet for inking and was going rather insane, since I can ink pretty decently by hand, but on the computer...oh, man. It's like I've got a rabid frog for a hand, or something. Sweaty palms, shaking...pitiful line-def and wimpy stroke...yuck. /babble you don't need to hear

But this channel-dropping stuff is great. Can't believe I didn't think of it, since I use channels somewhat frequently. Deerrrrrrr....me silly. ;)

In short, thank you, thank you, thank you! <3
Reply
:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2009  Professional General Artist
Hee, rabid frog. Yeeaahh, even when I do digital balloons, my lines are shaky :( I had to turn down the sensitivity on my tablet.
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:iconfreerangedorito:
FreeRangeDorito Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2009
Oh, so you draw your own balloons? No ellipses tool for YOU!

Huh...I should probably turn down my tablet's sensitivity. I'm shaky mcshakerton.
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:iconshu-seme:
Shu-seme Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2009
Interesting to read how comic artists plan and do pages, it's always nice to read about different techniques.
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:iconzii777:
Zii777 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009
that was the most lead up to a joke that I've read in a long time.
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:iconartangst:
artangst Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009
It's so awe some to see your process :)
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:iconretrosushi:
RetroSushi Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009
Oh, I never thought about dropping channels to get rid of those pencil marks. I always did some crazy things with the other adjustments and it never worked the way I wanted.

But seeing what you do is really helpful. Maybe inking won't drive me so insane anymore!
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:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2009  Professional General Artist
I used to draw everything in 3H pencil and then erase... the lead was so hard it left indentions in the paper D:
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:iconzookero:
Zookero Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009
thats really interesting, doing comics sounds really hard though! oh i love these two characters <3

this might sound like a really dumb question, but how do you drop a colour channel in photoshop? that method of sketching and inking traditionally sounds wonderful ;;
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:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009  Professional General Artist
Go to Windows - > Channels and select the channel you wish to drop, then convert the image to Grayscale.

So if you drew in blue colored pencil, you'd drop the Blue channel, etc.
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:iconzookero:
Zookero Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009
oooh! thankyou <3 i didnt think to look in windows, gah
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:iconliralenli:
liralenli Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009
That's really cool to see and know. Thanks!
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:iconcacodaemonia:
Cacodaemonia Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
*SNORT* That's just creepy, Amal. :P

Yeah, it's awesome seeing some of your process. :D I'd love to see a shot of your table while you're working!
Reply
:iconbluemutantfreak:
Bluemutantfreak Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009  Professional General Artist
We have the same method, in a sense. Except I favour drawing in blue and dropping that channel. Though most of the time I go: Screw it! Simply digitally inking over the original..For me it looks worse but It looks better than the original..(that made no sense.)

My layouts for my work are awful. DX....sketchy a6 a7 mess on layout paper. Using Berol Markers to add spiffy colour. ;D...

I might try the red...that expresion is priceless. XD
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:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009  Professional General Artist
I used to use blue, but the one I bought a while back has too hard lead. :I
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:iconbluemutantfreak:
Bluemutantfreak Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009  Professional General Artist
The one i have is too soft. -.-
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:iconsnartha:
snartha Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009
Colored pencils/colored lead is so awesome and handy.
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:iconscribbits:
scribbits Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009
This is the most useful comic-making information. EVER.
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:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009  Professional General Artist
Be warned, though, this method will not fly in most places. I just... can't draw pages the industry standard way. They look horrid and lifeless when I try.
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:iconscribbits:
scribbits Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2009
Oh no, I could see why it wouldn't be considered "orthodox", but it's so...logical? IDK, it makes sense to me.
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:iconlilyjordyn:
lilyjordyn Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009  Student General Artist
Ah, that's a great method.

I'll keep it in mind. :> Awesome.
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:iconslimgoodbody:
slimgoodbody Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009
That's a cool idea, I'll have to remember it for when I stop being so fucking lazy.
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:icongodsaidshutup:
GodSaidShutUp Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009
OH U!

Still, this is really useful information to know.
As someone who has so much trouble with comic making, it's nice to see any glimmer of hope and light from the jumbled mess of pencil and ink.

Stupidly enough, I never thought of still INKING the colored mess traditionally. If I had known I could still do this with my traditional pens and then drop the color in photoshop, I would have been doing this a long time ago. Yeesh!
I always make it hard for myself, thinking I have to do everything digitally, or wholly traditional.

It's nice to see the creative process. :3
Reply
:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009  Professional General Artist
Oh god I hate doing digital inking so much D: Anyone who manages it amazes me.
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:icongodsaidshutup:
GodSaidShutUp Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009
Exactly. I just don't have the patience for it at all.
So thanks a lot for showing me the light!
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:iconpropensity:
propensity Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009  Student Digital Artist
this is so fascinating to me because I love hearing about artists and their comic methods and your art is so exception. mine is done ... oh so completely differently which makes me feel a bit lazy, but it's great seeing the bones and muscles of your work :D
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:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009  Professional General Artist
Haha, I feel like a lazy-ass for doing panelling and ballooning in Photoshop (and for generally just not using STANDARD ACCEPTED CAWMIKS PRACTICE)

But I'm not working for Marvel or anything so fuck it.
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:iconpropensity:
propensity Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2009  Student Digital Artist
DUDE, not lazy at all. I do most of my inking digitally and even when I do it trad I still panel/balloon in PS, so.
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