Monday, February 18, 2013

BFA page 2 Process

I decided to document the process that I go through when I draw and finish a comic page.  I don't necessarily feel like I'm one to be giving tutorials or showing people how to draw/color/make art, but I do think that someone might be interested to see the process.

First I start with the blue line drawing.  I use two steps at this part where I draw the gestures and basic shapes using my 2mm lead holder with the Turquoise brand lead.  It's not as soft, and it's really waxy, so it's hard to get dark lines.  It's also actually turquoise colored, so when I go over the gestures with my .5 mm blue mechanical pencil, it doesn't show through much.

After that, it's inking.  It's pretty self explanatory, but I try to make sure I get as much line weight as I can.  I also try to make sure that there's a balance of black in the pages because I don't want the structure of the forms and the drawings to rely on the coloring to be completed.
 On coloring, establishing the color scheme takes the most time.  I tend to use a gamut masking technique where I keep things desaturated unless it's very important.  This page is very desaturated without the high point because I wanted it to have a very particular tone.  The flats are also useful because you can select all the colors and change them as you need to.  This is the second page, so I didn't actually do that, but on the first page, I just copied the original character design colors and adjusted them to fit this tone and color scheme. 
After the flats, I add a multiply layer and establish the values and shadows.  I usually try to have pretty sharp lines on the shadows, but for these pages, there's sand blowing and ambient light, so there isn't a strong light source casting strong shadows.  Another thing I did a little less on this page was framing the panels with the values.  If I were going to make something into a silhouette, I would be doing it at this stage.  I do add a layer that is a black gradient to help direct the eye around the page.  If I don't want the viewer to look at the outer parts of the panel, then I will make that part a little darker so it's less noticeable.  After that, adding the textures helps make the page look a little more lively, as well as avoiding that airbrushed-I-colored-this-in-photoshop look that so many comics have.  It can really ruin good pencils or inks to have crappy flat colors and gradients.  I've made very high resolution watercolor textures that I apply on top on the overlay setting at about 35% opacity.  Finally, I add the effects and some halftones.

 And there's a finished page :)

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