Friday, 30 September 2011

My workflow (a.k.a. let's save some face)

So, I was working on a little Buffy The Vampire Slayer comic (love that show!). But it's taking longer than I expected... pro-tip: never, never, NEVER do anything stupid on your file without saving first! Otherwise you'll regret it! Sigh...

Ahem! So I pictured that this could be a good moment to show you guys my workflow. A little behind-the-scenes kind of thing.

Here's a screenshot.

The secret is revealed! I use a computer that draws for me!

Note: Pretentious hipster art terminology ahead! Read at your own risk!

Anyway, I work on Manga Studio. It's a software created with comic book artists in mind. It allows you to use a whole lot of tools and exports the finished drawing in bitmap format (b&w only), creating smaller file sizes and better reproduction when you print.
It also has a lot of cool features like virtual rulers and perspective tools. Those are really useful, but a little more difficult to explain... the rulers can be of any shape, and will make curves and the like very easy to draw.

When I'm drawing I like to use references. In this case, as you can see, I added some pictures of the real actors in their own layers, so I can draw the cartoon characters more accurately (still have a lot of work to do with Will and Buffy!). That's a great advantage in digital media, if I was doing this traditionally I would need to look at pictures and at the paper once and again, over and over, disrupting my workflow.

After the sketch is done (like you see up there), I start inking on a different layer. I usually lower the opacity of the sketch layer to 30% or so, and start going over the image. Sometimes I draw things that weren't there in the original sketch! It all depends on how adventurous I feel.

Whew! So there's that! If you have any questions, go ahead and ask! I use a Wacom Bamboo Pen Tablet to draw in the computer. And remember that no amount of software or hardware is going to make you better at art--you just have to practice daily!


The contest is STILL on! Come on, comment and tell me what you'll like to see me draw!