Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Can someone please just tell me how to draw a comic?
Collossus at 10:56PM, June 13, 2007
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Alright I've tried so many ways to draw my comic and get it edited and finished and all that and my comics always look like crap. My drawings could look good but I feel like Im drawing the wrong way and my drawings end up looking like crap. If someone could please just take the time to tell exactly how starting from drawing the picture with pencil without making the picture sloppy and uneven to inking it in with an art pen and telling me how to get rid of the penicl marks and all that while inking it in. From inking it in to scanning it onto the computer and what I would have to do once I get it on the computer. Please for the love of God could someone help me and also tell me exactly what kind of art materials (pens, pencils,erasers,etc.) including what brand and everything I would need. I could draw good if I was doing it right. Please someone please take the time to tell me exactly what to do step by step without leaving any details. I've been trying to get good comic pages up for years on this site. But it gets frustrating and I'm about ready to give up drawing for good, considering how much time and effort I've put into a lost cause.Again if someone could please take the time to help me out with excruciating detail on every step that would be very well appreciated. Sorry for the long message but maybe you understand my irritation and anger.

- Randall Carbajal
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:43AM
OutofLine at 8:35AM, June 14, 2007
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Collossus
Alright I've tried so many ways to draw my comic and get it edited and finished and all that and my comics always look like crap. My drawings could look good but I feel like Im drawing the wrong way and my drawings end up looking like crap.

First of all, there is no right or wrong style; what might work for one person may not work for others.
There are a few basic points such as perspective, proportion and shading.
You can find some good drawing tutorials and tips in this forum and from using Google, but you must practice your drawing skills as much as possible.

Collossus
If someone could please just take the time to tell exactly how starting from drawing the picture with pencil without making the picture sloppy and uneven to inking it in with an art pen and telling me how to get rid of the penicl marks and all that while inking it in. From inking it in to scanning it onto the computer and what I would have to do once I get it on the computer. Please for the love of God could someone help me and also tell me exactly what kind of art materials (pens, pencils,erasers,etc.) including what brand and everything I would need. I could draw good if I was doing it right.

Some comics are done entirely digitally (e.g. on the computer without pencil and paper using special art programs).
Other comics are done using ink and all the professional tools you described, but the tools are very expensive and not intended for inexperienced artists.
Remember that although there may be fancy pens/paper/inks/graphics tablets and the like, they are only tools, just like the regular kind, and simply having them won't immediately make you a better artist. That only comes from practice.

Judging from your avatar, I suggest using a program other than MS Paint.
Some good alternatives (some free, others not free) are suggested in this thread.

If you want to do rough drafts of comics on paper and then scan them in for improvement, you will need a scanner.

Collossus
Please someone please take the time to tell me exactly what to do step by step without leaving any details. I've been trying to get good comic pages up for years on this site. But it gets frustrating and I'm about ready to give up drawing for good, considering how much time and effort I've put into a lost cause.Again if someone could please take the time to help me out with excruciating detail on every step that would be very well appreciated. Sorry for the long message but maybe you understand my irritation and anger.

- Randall Carbajal

Finally, NEVER give up.
Nobody makes perfect masterpieces immediately, again that takes practice.
Experiment with your comics and your artworks - making them should be fun!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:23PM
StaceyMontgomery at 9:31AM, June 14, 2007
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>

Alas, no one can do this for you. We can tell you what *we* do - but that won't work for you. In the end, you have to develop your own approach and techniques. For myself, i know i do lots of things in crazy ways that no one else does.

Still, i feel for you. i started out as a frustrated Author who wanted to draw.

These are some of the things i tried:

I bought a pad of tracing paper and tried tracing the works of my favorite artists (comic artists and otherwise). This was a revelation for me - when I did that tracing, i discovered how much detail the pros were using, compared to what I was doing. My art style still tends to be very simple, but I'm always trying to go back and add layers of detail to it. My tracing pad taught me to think about that.

Also, I think drawing is over-rated. I really do. The secret to good comics is not great art - it's great storytelling. You can do that with stick figures - and some people do, and it works!

My advice to you - think about it less. Worry about it less. Just do it. By the time you get to page 100, you'll be amazed at how much you've learned about drawing along the way.

That's been my approach, anyway.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
Darth Mongoose at 11:52AM, June 14, 2007
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You have to be kidding. You want to know EVERYTHING? We'd have to write a book to tell you everything! There is no ‘right way’ to draw comics, and no ‘wrong way’. We can't help you if you ask a question as wide as that because we all make comis in different ways. You have to ask SPECIFIC questions.

I'd like to know:

What kinds of materials/software/hardware are you using now? If we don't know, it's hard to tell you if they're good or bad, or if you're using them well, or to suggest techniques.

What EXACT problems are you having? (Post an example page or image, if possible).

What look are you aiming for? What are your favourite comics and artists, and what effect are you trying to achieve? If we know what you're trying to make, and can see how it differs from wht you're making, THEN we can help.


Don't give up just because it's not looking perfect. If you just stop, nothing will get better. Even if it's not perfect, practicing and experimenting will help a lot. Don't just give up because you're not picking up a pencil and instantly drawing professional-looking comics. I've been drawing my whole life, and I'm never satisfied, always trying out new things. At very least, try to get off your arse and take some initiative! Look for books and online tutorials. There are LOADS of them!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM
Hijuda at 12:12PM, June 14, 2007
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Darth Mongoose
We'd have to write a book to tell you everything!

Isn't there something you forgot to plug?

Seriously though, this is a pretty textbook question- there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to make a comic. You can ask just about anyone here, they'll give you the same answer. However, with a bit more detail on what exactly you want, we can help you more. Because asking someone to give you everything is way too broad.

But for now, you can try experimenting, and just putting up what you have. It'll be easier to critique, and from there, it will be easier to improve.
It's a comic!

LOLOL LAMFAO
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:48PM
Kohdok at 12:51PM, June 14, 2007
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Ah, yes, Scott McCloud's book. I took a peek at a copy someone else owned and now I'm trying to find a copy for myself.

Personally, I like the “How to Draw Manga: Amazing Effects”.

Judging by your post, your problem isn't really the artwork but more the actual construction of the pages. Studying that might help a bit.

Also, remember that “You are your own worst critic”. If you feel bad about your art, take a look at the Peanuts comic. Shultz's artwork doesn't hold a candle to Rembrandt, but it's still a beloved comic to this day. Comics aren't all about really awesome-looking art, they're just stories told with pictures. Just remember that and you'll do fine.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:19PM
Darth Mongoose at 2:28PM, June 14, 2007
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Hijuda
Isn't there something you forgot to plug?


HAHAHA, I was going to plug it in my post…then I thought ‘man, I bet everybody’s sick of me plugging that book…better not.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM
bryan at 11:41AM, June 15, 2007
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To practice drawing, I use to fill every page of my sketchbook up at a rate of 1 sketchbook/3weeks-1month.

Now, my pace has slowed down quite a bit and I'm at about 1 sketchbook/3-4months. Not because I'm not learning anymore (there is always something to learn whilest drawing), but they're a lot slower/more controlled drawings.

The cliche is: Practice, Practice, practice

But in truth, you have to practice drawing everything, otherwise, if you just practice drawing stick figures, then yeah, you'll have kickass stick figures, but everything else will suffer.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:35AM
confusedsoul at 2:03PM, June 15, 2007
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Your post sounds quite self-deprecating. If you think of your work as being crap, then you aren't going to improve. It's much more beneficial to look at your work and say “Okay, I don't like that, but how can I improve it?”. Constantly addressing the issues you have while drawing or inking will help you correct them and improve in the long run. Something I do is to look back at old work and see how I've improved (alright, it isn't that evident in most of my comics I've posted but they do look a little better than they did ^_^).
As the other people said, practise makes perfect. Nobody starts out with fantastic pictures coming out of their pencils (or other impliments) from the day they were born. It takes time and effort, but it should never feel like a chore. If it gets dull, then there's no fun in doing it.
Layout and the like really depends on the type of comic. You should experiment to get a feel for it first, or look at other examples in the same genre.
As for tools, it's all a matter of preference. I constantly change what I use for ease of use or because I like the effect. If you really want a recommendation though, a mechanical pencil is a good bet. I find them much cleaner to use than normal pencils, albeit the thinner leads have a habit of snapping off.
Maybe if you had some work posted it would be easier to give suggestions.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:44AM
marine at 5:56PM, June 15, 2007
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Move your hand using a tool against a surface that could be used to create. Either digital (a mouse) or using a pencil IRL.

Now can someone tell me how to breathe air?
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:52PM
Kohdok at 12:51PM, June 16, 2007
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marine
Move your hand using a tool against a surface that could be used to create. Either digital (a mouse) or using a pencil IRL.

Now can someone tell me how to breathe air?

First you lower your diaphragm, expand your chest and raise your arms up, then lower your arms and push up your diaphragm. Just make sure you're in air when doing this, air being that invisible stuff that makes funny noises when you move your hand through it really quickly. That blue or sometimes green stuff is called “Water” and isn't really meant to be breathed in by humans nor is that stuff called “Mayonnaise”. Another important thing to remember is that you can breathe in through either the mouth or nose.

Sorry, I just had to do it.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:19PM
Rori at 1:44AM, June 19, 2007
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Here's an exercise I did in a class once: Get an eggtimer (or friend). Start drawing one thing, cowgirl, pie, car, whatever, start at 5 minutes and reduce from there: 2 minutes, one minute, 30 sec, 10 sec. You'll start to not only notice a visual “shorthand” but you'll also be able to better gauge at what level of detail you're most comfortable with (and looks best for what you want). It'll also help you loosen up a little.

As far a technical stuff, have you tried drawing much bigger and reducing it on a xerox? You'd be surprised what a reduction can do for you, and tell you what you need to improve on. Also, if available, you may try taking you really loose sketches and tracing over them on a light table (tracing paper works, too) over and over. Also, try laying out your whole page very quickly, with stick figures and gestural strokes, try to see the whole thing, and not just the details.

And like others said, loosen up. If you're drawing with your nose to the paper and a death grip on your pencil, it's probably not going to look like you want it to. Best of luck.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
StaceyMontgomery at 6:16AM, June 19, 2007
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here's another one I've tried:

assume you're going to write the comic but not draw it. The artist, however, doesnt want to work from a script, but would prefer thumbnails. So take sheets of paper and sketch out panels, write in the world balloons, and put in thumbnail version of the art. Just do it fast with stick figures - just enough to show the artist what you want drawn. Feel free to write in notes to the artists like “Make this scary!” and “She should look cute!” and stuff like that.

Do a whole issue this way, but dont show it to anyone - after all, it's not the real art! It's just a guide for the artist!

Then do another one.

And another.

Eventually, you may like one of them so much you'll show it around.

The trick for me is - if this sounds like fun to you, then Im with you, it IS fun. If it doesnt sound like fun to you, you probably dont want to pursue drawing comics. Remember, the fun part comes first, and the skilled part (maybe) comes later. If you want the skilled part to come before the fun part… well, you're in for a disappointment.

I really miss doing my comics this way, btw, i may have to go back to it. It was so much fun!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
arteestx at 3:08PM, June 20, 2007
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I'm not going to touch the idea of “how to draw.” Waaaay too broad. In terms of getting rid of sketch lines and inking, here are some ideas:

1) Draw with a blue pencil. You can ink on the blue pencil, scan it, and the blue won't be picked up by the scanner. So however sketchy or uneven the blue pencils are, it won't matter.

2) Sketch lightly then draw heavy. What I do these days is make a sketch on a separate piece of paper, laying out the page (and reworking any problems). Then I make a light sketch on a piece of paper, and then draw on top of that sketch with darker pencils. Then I scan that paper in.

Depending on how you draw, you can try scanning at a lighter level (so only the heaviest lines show up in the final scan). You can also scan the entire paper, and then play around with the lines. In Photoshop, your scan will appear as a layer. Use the magic wand tool and select any white area on the page. Invert the selection (Ctrl-Shft-i), and you've just selected all your pencilling. Create a new layer, and then you can use the paint tool to fill in your pencilling with “inks.” However, I like to go to the menu to Modify… Selection. Smoothing the selection will get rid of some unevenness (at 300 dpi, I smooth at a radius of 3 pixels). You can also Contract to get rid of small lines and dots (if I do that, I choose 2 or 3 pixels at most). Then use the Paint Tool to fill in your inks!

Hope that helps!

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
Hijuda at 4:39PM, June 20, 2007
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I forgot about this, but this video will instantly teach you everything you need to know about drawing.

It's a comic!

LOLOL LAMFAO
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:48PM
Rori at 5:27PM, June 21, 2007
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Re: the “sketch lightly…” advice, you might want to use a harder pencil. If you have a heavy hand and are using a 4B, the lines are going to be really hard to get rid of. Try getting a 2H, 4H & 6H and see how those work.

Also, non-photo blue can be dropped out using channels (I believe by deleting the Green & Red channels). Scanning in Grayscale is tricky, because it may pick up some of the lines, and brightness/contrast can distort the inks for some styles. If you scan in bitmap, you can set the threshold to about 140 and get them out, but remember, bitmap (B&W) scans need to be at least 800 dpi (but you halve that when you switch to Greyscale).
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Kohdok at 7:57PM, June 21, 2007
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Hijuda
I forgot about this, but this video will instantly teach you everything you need to know about drawing.



M… My god! I have been truly enlightened!

I followed his instructions almost to the letter and behold my results!



*Sniffle* I'm, so proud!
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:20PM

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