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Submitted on
March 3, 2009
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76 (who?)
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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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).
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)
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Aug 29, 2011  Professional General Artist
Hope everything got worked out! (or cleaned up) :-)
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.
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:
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.
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. silly. ;)

In short, thank you, thank you, thank you! <3
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.
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.
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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