Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Behind the Scenes - "Nesting Instinct"

I admit I have an ulterior motive here.

Usually, I would post this kind of behind-the-scenes thing on the Glyphs & Glitches blog. But if you aren't following that blog, or the Comic Blog, I want you to know what you are missing! ;-D

If you'd like to see more like this, and learn about interesting artists that visit my school, then you still have time to back my Indiegogo project. You'll also get pdfs and fun stuff throughout the year. Take a look HERE and share the link with your friends (Thanks!)

Here's a behind-the-scenes for a recent comic page, "Nesting Instinct"...

I start with a rough sketch of the panels (boxes) and what I want to happen in each box, then I begin adding more details (in pencil)...

I used to make the lines with a ruler and also rule out all the lettering guides... but now I just freehand them. Either I am lazy or I LIKE the slightly wonky look.

My favorite part is the inking. For these journal-type comics, I use a PaperMate ballpoint pen (sometimes a BIC Crystal pen). I Trace over the pencil lines, but also add more details and refine (look at the lines on the squirrel's purse). I put in some "shading" and crosshatching with the pen now - I will add more later, after the pencil is erased.

When I erase the pencil lines, some of the ink gets rubbed off too...

... so I go back in with the pen and add the dark areas and shading. Compare the acorns in the panel above, with those in the panel below...

I work in a Moleskine journal that has very thin paper and it is creme colored. The book is lightweight and convenient to carry with me everywhere. But it's a pain for scanning. If I were working on bright white paper with dark black ink and no grays... I would scan it, threshold it, and call it a day!

But I insist on doing things the hard way - and I really like the "sketchy" look of the ballpoint pen and the many grays it creates. That means that I have to eyeball it when I'm adjusting the lights and darks. I want to get rid of any stray pencil marks, but not lose the grays from the pen. Then I have to zoom in and do a lot of careful erasing and adjusting. Lastly, I'll straighten any seriously wonky panel boxes or off kilter text.

Here's the final comic page:

If you'd like to read these comics as they are posted, please back my Indiegogo campaign!
If you are reading this after it has ended, take a look at my Patreon page.

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