Friday, 1 July 2011

It's a Process, Part I

Right, let's get you all excited about Sugar Glider #2 coming out! The script and breakdowns are done, the pencils are drawn and I'm currently inking, so I thought I'd show you guys a little of the process. Part One will look at the traditional media and Part Two will cover what happens in Photoshop.

So obviously, Daniel and I have agreed on an outline for the book, he's written a brief breakdown of the plot points, followed by a full script. Usually I'd suggest changes or redrafts at this point, but Daniel's scripts recently have been pretty much flawless. Rest assured, SG2 will blow your socks off. We talk about things like pacing and try to get to grips with the flow of the whole book all the way down to the tiny details of dialogue. Once that's done, I'll breakdown the script into pages and panels, again, we're pretty much in sync with what we want from the book, so there's not a lot of guesswork here. At this point, we'd meet up for a chat about how the book's looking; we can now see if dialogue needs changing or removing, if the flow of panels works etc.

When we're both happy with the breakdowns, I'll draw out all of the pages and start drawing the comic. I use relatively cheap 135gsm paper and an automatic Parker pencil, emblazoned with my name and loaded with Staedtler Mars micro blue lead. I can no longer get it from the art shop in Newcastle, so it's purchased from Cult Pens.

I draw really loose in these stages and only need to tighten up if the scene is busy or if I'm doing a scene that is either unfamiliar or needs to repeated in a following panel. This image is probably a good example of how the majority of the book is pencilled.

When I posted this preview on Twitter, some mystery follower responded with this: 

"wow!! Epic reveal!! Susie is in it! Insane! From Your loving wife x"

Very cryptic.

The next stage is inking, but before that, again, we'll reconvene to see if anything needs moving around and changing. Minor changes aside, Daniel only suggested that three panels needed a major rethink; which was to the benefit of the whole scene.

I ink with a 0.8mm Uni Pin Technical Fineliner, I also have a 0.1 on standby but these days I favour the eight hands down. I must go through a ton of these, and I get them from the art shop in Newcastle. The majority of the heavy black tones are produced with my secret weapon, the brush pen. I use the Copic Ciao Marker Pen, which I favour because it's much more resilient than other bush pens I've tried, it's cheaper than others, it comes with a medium broad chisel tip at the other end and it's refillable. On the negative side, I must have went through hundreds before I found out it was refillable and they are a real pain to refill. The ink will spill land it will turn your hands black. Having said that, it's preferable to chucking the whole pen away and buying a fresh one. I buy my refills here.

And this is what the above panel looks like inked, as you can see, the blue lines are very much a compositional guide and the majority of the drawing is done with the eight and the brush pen. I don't erase my blue lines, Photoshop is my eraser, and I scan the completed page.

More on that later...

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