Hi folks! So I figured it might be fun to do a lil blog going through how I do things. First off I want to point out that I'm self taught and this is just how I do things. Not saying this is the right way, just how I do it and I'm still learning myself. Hopefully you might find some useful tips or maybe you might have some tips for me. So, let's get this shit on the go:
1. Inspiration. This can come in many forms and can the hardest part of the whole process. I can't really remember much about the inspiration for Ronin Dogs cos I've been drawing them since I was about 16. The best way to find inspiration is to just be opened minded all the time. Take in everything around you. People, books, films, music... You never know when inspiration will strike ya. On the loo, on the train or even in jail.
2. Designs. Once you've got some inspiration and ideas you'd best get drawing. Draw, draw, draw. Get everything that's in your head down. Characters, environments, items, vehicles. You need to design everything you're going to put into your comic.
3. Thumbnails. I don't really do a script. It's just how I do things. I go straight into thumbnails. If there's some important dialogue I need to use I may write that out, but I like to get into the layouts quickly. Also, I tend to make up Ronin Dogs as I go along so scripting the whole thing just takes up time for me. This isn't at all how you write well by the way, but Ronin Dogs for me is just about having fun and going where it takes me.
4. Pencils. Draw out your page in pencils first. Pretty simple really. I use a mechanical pencil with HB lead and I draw on some nice paper (A4). I've been drawing on A4 for a while and I'm finally feeling like I need to go A3. It's a bit more tricky in the scanning process but it's worth it to fit in all the details I want to in my art.
5. Inks. Once you've got your pencils down and your happy you move onto inking that shit up. I use just your regular cheap, disposable fine liner pens. You can get them in any stationary shop. I use a 0.1, then I erase the pencils. Then I use a 0.3 & a 0.5 to thicken up lines. Then I fill in the blacks with a sharpie. Pretty simple.
6. Scan and Illustrator. Okay so once I've got my page all inked up I scan it into my Mac. You should scan at least 300 dpi. I put the image into Illustrator and I turn the image in vectors. I like how it tightens up my line work and makes everything look super crisp. SUPER CRISP!
7. Photoshop. I don't really know how to use Illustrator so I put the image into Photoshop. First of all I'll do a bit of tidying up. Erasing lines I don't need, filling in parts I've missed, fixing mistakes in the inking process etc. Then I add some nice text. I would like to use my own handwritten text at some point but I don't feel it's quite good enough just yet. Plus you can easily find some cool free fonts online to make you comic look unique.
8. Layers and tones. Okay, so now I add a layer and then I use multiply on that layer. This way I can do what I need to without disturbing my inks. Cool hey? I use 2 or 3 different greys to add tone. It's nice to just add some cool layers to my black and white inks. I try not to overdo it as I like my work to be kinda simple.
9. So, after all that I've got my finished page. You can flatten the image or leave as it is, so it's easier to come back to and change stuff if you need to. At this point I tend to just spell check everything too. Just in case. Don't want a stupid typo making in there making you look like an idiot.
Okay, I think that's pretty much everything. It is just a quick run through really. I may go into more detail at some point about inks maybe or pencils etc if people have found this useful. I hope you found this useful or interesting in some way and like I said this is just how I do things.