Today we’re going to take a look at the horrible means by which I create a comic page. We will be using Hob #19.
– Wacom Cintiq 21X monitor-tablet
Each PSD file has a resolution of 5100x6900px, or 17×23″ at 300dpi.
As far as Photoshop brush settings go I usually only use the regular circular paintbrush with maximum hardness. Sometimes when I’m doing the pencils and details I’ll have the pen pressure control the opacity as well.
Step 1: Thumbnails
This is where I work through the basic layout and structure of the comic. I try to draw only the most essential details, and it’s here where I tend to use the selection and transform tools a lot to figure out the position and prominence of different scenes.
Step 2: Penciling
Naturally no actual pencils are used, but this would be the digital equivalent. This is where I work out most of the images and important details, as well as figure out the exact dialog that will be used. I usually type in the text with a font at this point and “ink” over it when I am doing the final lines. I don’t have a steady hand for smooth lines, so these pencils are much more polished than a lot of other artists’. The more confident I am with a figure or panel, the less polished the pencils need to be. This whole step is by far the most extensive, and consists of about 70-80% of the entire comic process.
Step 3: Blocking
I establish the borders with the selection, fill and line tools. Also I drop the opacity of the pencils to prepare for inking.
Step 4: Inking
The closer the objects are to the imagined viewer, the deeper the lines and so forth. Here’s where a lot of the polish comes in, and I usually add a lot of the little details in at this point. It’s one of the easier parts of drawing the comic, but it still at the very least takes about a day.
Step 5: Coloring
I usually allow myself about three color layers: background, foreground and an extra in between. I screw around with color balance a lot and can get more than a little anal retentive about the appropriate lighting. This generally takes about two days, more if I go crazy and delete a section of color.