The wonderful thing about comics is the broad variety of ways in which they can be created. Almost as much fun as looking at the finished comic is seeing how each artist creates them. I thought I’d share my process here.
I start by thinking about a scenario or some daily life event or about some interaction I’ve had and consider how I can turn it into a comic. Once I have at least a vague idea of a concept, I’ll usually begin writing out dialogue. Writing out the dialogue helps me to shape the idea and begin to visualize how it might look on the page. The comic on this page was about a dinner date Jeff and I had one evening.
My next step is to rough sketch the idea on a piece of notebook paper.
I’ll play around with how the sequence will go, where the dialogue will be placed and what the panels will contain. I also write out what reference images I may need and any spellings I need to check on.
My next step is to mark out the pencil lines of the panels on a piece of 8.5in x 11in white card stock. Using a ruler, I mark the lines by hand as a way to relax into the act of drawing. My panels are always 4.75in high. The width varies, but my total width can not exceed 7.5in. (The width is limited by my paper size.) My gutter is .25in.
Once I have my panels drawn, I use my Ames guide to draw lines for my dialogue. (You can read about the Ames guide HERE.) I lightly pencil in my dialogue, then mark out the rough shapes inside each panel.
I refine my sketches using my reference materials and imagination. Sometimes the drawing process will change the dynamic of the comic. I try to relax into it and often visualize drawing before going to sleep. It’s important to allow the comic to morph.
Here’s my final pencil drawing:
Once I’m happy with the pencil drawing, I ink. After the ink dries, I erase the pencil lines.
Then, I color. Mostly I use Copic markers. Sometimes I add acrylic paint and on rare occasions, I use colored pencils.
A finished comic is always better than a perfect comic. The more I can finish, the better I become at creating sequential art.
And here is the finished comic:
I scan the final colored comic in on ‘color document’ at 300 dpi. I resize and I’m ready to post.
A finished comic makes an artist happy!
So get back to creating, why don’t ya? And I will too.
Until next toon,