I posted an abbreviated version of this on my Tumblr, but this is (because I’m procrastinating getting ready for work and wanna blog instead), a more in-depth look at how I made A Lonely Walk, a little one-pager I wrote and drew recently.
A) Ballpoint pen and pencil in the sketchbook. Some days I just randomly go with an idea out of my head though, it’s not always this organized. Then the pages of the sketchbook fill up with with practice drawings and other weird shenanigans like essays and straight writing. My thumbnails tend to be pretty big and detailed, although on occasion they’re smaller and more abstract. Depends on my mood, I guess.
B) Pencils on the drawing table, then inks. The sketchbook’s there as a rough guide, but I tend to deviate from the “thumbnails” quite a bit at times. Still, if the point’s dependent on a particular visual gag or is flow-of-action-dependent, I rely on the thumbnails more. This was one of those cases, and also allowed me to catch visual mistakes (I had to end up mirroring Panel 3 to maintain the flow of action in the final comic, which looking at the rough thumbnail version helped me do).
C) I actually do the panel borders first, sometimes before even doing the pencils. Then I ink the letters (I do hand-lettering in all my comics), then the rest of the comic, AND THEN texture and solid black fill-ins. I learned this the hard way, especially the “do the lettering first!” part. I got the idea from reading the art blogs of Dustin Harbin and Jan Eliot, and it helps A LOT.
D) My current load of regular pens and markers. I’m trying to use Sharpies more and more to outline panel borders and do large fill-ins of solid black, instead of relying on the Pentel Pocket Brush for those fill-ins, which I feel is sort of wasting ink. I’d love to ink more with the brush(es), but I suck at it, so I tend to fall back on my pens. I’m trying to force myself to use the Pentel though these days, so we’ll see.
So there you go. My process tends to change and evolve depending on what I wanna try, what I read, and what works after experimentation. Currently I’m figuring out new and better ways to do panel borders and my lettering, something I always struggle with but want to do well (especially hand-lettering). Maybe I’ll do a blog post on that. We’ll see. OK, off to teach a class, see you nerds later.