No seriously. How do you do it? I had taken a small break from the getting the site up and running, and getting the first comics posted to take care of some promised pages for another comic. As I got back to Velocidad, I realized that I’ve had a bit of a learning curve to doing the webcomic all digital. I am normally a traditional pencil to paper comic illustrator, but being able to work on my tablet when and where I can afford the opportunity, has enabled me to keep the pace, especially since I am doing it all. I think 16 pages in that I’ve settled into a process that’s starting to work for me, and I thought it would be fun to share. I’m sure it will continue to evolve.

process_all

What’s not shown in this image is my thumbnail. Normally I will begin with a thumbnail. It’s usually about a third traditional comic page size to just get the major framing laid out. I’ve been generally plotting what needs to happen each page, but don’t always break it down by panel. Here’s where I start to get a feel for breaking it down into major beats, and then breaking that into panels. After this layout, I’ll lay down some dialogue, and then readjust the panels to make sure there will be room for the dialogue baloons.

THUMBNAIL

process_thumb

Once I’ve settled on the thumbnail, I’ll move to digital and layout my page. I usually create the panel layout first so I know where I’m working. I then use Sketchbooks pencil tool to do a first pass on the page. This is where you’ll see a lot of my framing lines. Building up the skeletons of the characters. The guidelines on their faces so I can draw the faces correctly. Sometimes I’ll go ahead and do a quick shading pass if I’ve settled on where i want the heavy blacks to be. This can sometimes be fairly loose, or i can sometimes go straight to a tight pass on the image. Yo ucan see some of that in a lot of the faces. Many of these didn’t change a lot from the layout.

LAYOUT

process_layout

The next stage would be the pencils. So here’s one of the lessons I’ve learned even in the limited span of these 16 pages. Normally on a traditional penciled page, I would draw the layout lines very lightly, and then do a second more detailed pass with a pencil, but with heavier lines and and line weight. After the first few pages of Velocidad, I started skimping on the tighter penciled stage, and moved right into inks. I think some of it was an ” I got this!” attitude, and that I thought I could make up some of the detail work in the inking stage, and save time. I think I should just stick to what’s worked for me. It’s helped me to keep things a little cleaner, and made my inking  more confident. I will admit, I kept some of the tech stuff a little loose still. What can I say, I’m still evolving!

PENCILS

process_pencils

Almost there. Think how I feel when I’m drawing it! At this point I’m pretty locked in. Sometimes I’ll play around with resizing an element or two, but at this point I’m pretty ready to move onto inks. The tracing stage! Inks are always intimidating as it’s pretty final….on paper. Ah the nice thing about working digitally! Fortunately in this stage there isn’t a whole lot of wiggle room. it’s just a matter of getting it done. As I mentioned before, I think doing the tighter pencils pass has helped to keep my inks cleaner, and has actually made them go  little quicker. The one thing you might notice, I ended up flipping a frame(bottom left) on a good recommendation from a coworker to help the flow of the page.

INKS

process_inks

And MOSTLY last is color. For Velocidad I chose a limited color palette. I wanted to keep things simple, and add a certain style to it all. This has actually helped speed the process up for me as well. I can usually just pull in elements from previous pages, and use those for color sampling to keep things consistent. The other important thing I try to keep in mind is not to work against the flow of the blacks in the page.

COLOR

process_color

And there you go. the last part not in here is the lettering……ya, ya I’ll get to it :P . I thought I’d hold off  on that thought, since this is technically a sneak peak to a couple months down the road. Anyhow. Hope you enjoyed the ‘behind-the-scenes’ look. As I said it’s an ongoing evolving process, so maybe I’ll find something that works better for me down the road. Don’t forget to come back every Monday for a new page, and you can check back during the week too for more sketches, behind the scenes looks, or sneak peaks at upcoming characters!