This was an older process blog that I had done in early 2006. It was sitting out there lost in the Myspace archives. I had a lot of fun putting it together so I dusted it off and put it back up.
I wanted to discuss the process behind a page that I drew for my online graphic novel.
Things were about to get rather violent in the story and I wanted to create a dramatic page using techniques I either hadn’t explored before or at least hadn’t used in years.
I layed out the basic page in pencils using an HB lead in a STAEDLER MARS 780 mechanical pencil holder. I use those for all of my pencils.
You have to constantly sharpen these babies or have a rotation of 2 or 3 lead/holders going at all times. They get dull rather quickly. I don’t fill in the pencils but will sometimes leave x’s where large surfaces needed to be coated in black ink.
I stick closely to the pencils for inking. I draw in the thinner lines with a Hunts 102 Crowquill nib dipped in KOH-I-NOOR drawing ink. Then I follow that with thicker lines drawn in with a Hunts 108 nib.
I follow that with a piece-of-crap number 2 watercolor brush and go to town on the heavy black areas.
This is where the fun really starts.
I went to Kinkos and made four or five 11×17 photocopies of the inked page.
I hadn’t played with ink spattering for a few years and I didn’t have the balls to try it on the original art page so I went nuts on the photocopies.
1. I took an old toothbrush and filled it with India ink. I let her rip. I had to try it on several of the copies as my first attempts were disastrous.
2. I then took some of the scratchboard tools that I had in my inventory and ferociously cut lines through the SWAT trooper’s arm and torso.
3. From yet another photocopy of the original art I cut out the hand and gun from panel one and scotch-taped it onto panel two in front of the SWAT trooper’s head.
4. Finally I scanned in the results of the scratched, pasted and spattered 11×17 photocopy into our huge 12×17 inch tabloid scanner.
Here’s a closer look at the hacking and slashing I did on the ink work with a scratchboard knife.
I didn’t like the anatomical head that I had started pencilling in panel 1 so I drew another one on a separate piece of paper and scanned it in.
I pasted the scanned-in anatomy drawing page twice on the page. For the upper left corner of panel 2 I “Inverted” the image in Photoshop for the photo-negative effect.
And for the final stage I added in the sound effects and lettering.
I use a vector program to do this (such as Adobe Illustrator or CorelDRAW) and religiously use Comicraft fonts for dialogue and captions.
Then I posted it HERE
With my comic Battles, I’ve been keeping it pretty experimental, mixing media, adding digital elements but 90% of it has been hand-drawn using traditional methods. As it progresses into Chapter 3 and beyond I expect that to increase to 95% hand-drawn artwork as those are the pages that I’m happiest with.
It’s been a lot of fun so far.