Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Black and White" -The Process

The first of 60 pages is complete! Actually, it might end up being shorter than 60 pages (God willing). Jared, the writer, is going to go over the script again and maybe give it a rewrite in spots. Hopefully it'll reduce my work load.

Upon looking over pages and pages of drawings it was nice to reflect on how the whole process took shape. It all started with reading Jared's 60 page script several times to get a good feel for the characters. Then of course designing the characters followed that. The design stage was probably the most challenging part for me. I almost felt like I had to relearn how to draw. After a few years of drawing caricatures and cartoony illustrations, I had to get back into a more realistic style with accurate anatomy and gestures. After the character designs were completed, I started going through the script again to do thumbnails for each page of the graphic novel. They started off pretty rough, but were refined as I went along.

The process from there starts to get a bit more exciting (well for me at least).

Carter character design

Rico character design

Devil character design

Here's the rough for page 1. Initially I had started to do these just with a pencil and paper, but I think it may have worked better for me to do it in photoshop (which is shown above.) From here I blew it up to 11"x14". This is standard procedure in the comic book industry. After the final image is completed, it gets shrunk down to print size. In this case print size was planned on being 8.5"x11" while comic books generally are a tad smaller.

After I blew it up, I printed it off and traced it onto bristol board. It's called the pencil stage, and its the point where any final revisions are made. The drawing gets tightened up. The pencil artist is a very important position in the whole process for comic books (the pencil artist, inker and color artist are often not the same person). Depending on if the penciler and inker are the same person, sometimes the pencil drawing can be a little looser and less detailed.

The inking stage is a lot of fun for me. This also a very crucial point, but more on a technical level rather than conceptual or compositional level (this was all figured out at the pencil stage). After the inks are done, all the pencil lines are erased and the ink drawing gets scanned in. Then the photoshop fun begins...

After many hours have already been invested by now, the tediousness of painting in photoshop can be a little draining. Never-the-less, you can start to see a light at the end of the tunnel, and if you stick it out, you'll end up with a finished page.

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