you ever wondered just how this comic gets done? Are you wondering
what the artist is doing all week? In this section of the website,
I will go through the process it takes to create a single page of
I - Rough Layout [click
here for a pic]
This is a step I try
to do all the time, but that doesn't necessarily make it the case.
It is the only step not done directly on the computer. I take
my sketch pad (8 1/2" x 12"), or loose sheets of paper
if I'm not at home, and start to flesh out the new Dedos page.
In this step, I get to play with the layout and how I want things
to look, without having to worry too much about how it will turn
out in the end. I don't own a scanner, so forgive the quality
of the photo.
II - Sketching [click
here for a pic]
I boot up my computer
(if it's not already turned on) and load up Painter
6. I open a white 800 x 1000 pixel canvas. If I have the rough
layout done, I'll start redrawing it all again. This gives me
time to rethink the layout as I put it down again, much like rewriting
a term paper (only, fun). I typically only use the HB Pencil
tool and black, allowing for the tones to come across with the
pressure sensitivity of my Calcomp
12" x 12" Drawing Slate II.When I'm reasonably happy
with how I want the page to look (elements range from just a gesture
to a fully detailed countenance, there really isn't too much consistency
in this phase of the comic), I'll start finishing the art.
III - Finishing [click
here for a pic]
In the end, a sketch
might look nice, but it's still a sketch. Finishing it will strengthen
my lines, add contrast, and fully define any elements of the page
not fully described by the sketch. If I'm not using color for
the page, I will also start shading and using more gray tones.
In addition to the HB Pencil, I use the Scratchboard
Tool for most of my lines and the Smooth Ink Pen for
extra strong lines or large areas of black. Shaded areas will
usually be done with the HB Pencil, and maybe an undercoat
of water color (Simple or Broad Water) as well.
I try to do all of the inking on a separate layer than the pencils,
so my clean-up is a snap (make the pencil layer invisible).
IV - Words and Stuff
Once the drawing is
complete, it's time to add words! Back in the rough layout, I
will also lay out the word balloons and throw in some (very preliminary)
text. All the word balloons are in a single, transparent layer.
Draw the balloon, fill with white. I then choose my words carefully,
and place them in a 16 pixel Comic Sans MS font. If this is a
black & white page, I'm done, and now upload it to my server.
V - Color
here for the final result]
Sometimes, Dedos will
be in color. This is the easiest step: find someone willing to
do it for you! ;) But seriously, folks... The color I have done
is mainly water colors (still done in Painter, mind you), and
pencils/inks (very little brushwork, but I have a feeling I will
be using more of it soon). Again, these are in their own layer,
so you dont mess up the original lines. I take the ink layer and
place it on top of the new layer, with a multiply layer method,
so the white is transparent. Now I can color underneath the lines
without wondering how it will look when I'm done.
And that, gentle readers,
is the front and back of it. Feel free to email
me if you have any questions about this, or anything else that's
on your mind.