Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

How to draw pages FASTER?
Plague Doctor at 5:35PM, Aug. 16, 2010
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I have no work habits and most of my drawings were random notebook doodles once in a blue moon(whenever I feel like it).
And I feel dumb cause it takes me 6-7 days to do 1 page.
Ok,I did make a mistake for not doing atleast 10-20 pages before I started posting but I didn't know if I would be able to post it for tehnical reasons.
And yeah,pubertal apathy still doesn't show any signs of letting go so…please,people,any advice?
BTW-what music could make me speed up my drawing.I usually listen to softcore/melancholic stuff so perhaps metal would help me?


last edited on July 14, 2011 2:46PM
Ryuthehedgewolf at 6:08PM, Aug. 16, 2010
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Yeah. I know what you mean. Sometimes my pages take a while (a day or two) because I get really un-inspired and such in between.

A little hint: anything with a fast tempo, or anything that keeps you interested, is a surefire way to keep focus.

Like techno music, metal (I'm beginning to get into power metal), as for the interested thing, check out different podcasts, or movies, or even shows.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:16PM
alwinbot at 6:18PM, Aug. 16, 2010
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Well you should write out a script so you know what to draw and so you don't draw without a plan.

Don't listen to music while drawing. It's better to keep focused on one thing at a time. The guy who animated bugs bunny used to say this.
Read this comic. It is the greatest journal comic ever written and drawn. Trust me.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:50AM
Koshou at 11:41PM, Aug. 16, 2010
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Yeah, try writing some scripts and drawing out some thumbnails beforehand. A little extra time spent at the beginning will really help once you get down to doing the actual page.

Other than that, sometimes you just have to power through it. Speed comes with experience, too, I've found.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:21PM
BffSatan at 2:54AM, Aug. 17, 2010
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alwinbot
Don't listen to music while drawing. It's better to keep focused on one thing at a time. The guy who animated bugs bunny used to say this.
That really depends on the person, some people focus better with music, some focus better without.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:21AM
Ryuthehedgewolf at 4:08AM, Aug. 17, 2010
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BffSatan
alwinbot
Don't listen to music while drawing. It's better to keep focused on one thing at a time. The guy who animated bugs bunny used to say this.
That really depends on the person, some people focus better with music, some focus better without.

I agree with BffSatan. Mostly because everybody's different in how they work.

I can work with or without music, but music generally makes the experience a lot funner. Although I tend to concentrate more if I don't have any. For me, I tend to make a lot of little mistakes when I'm drawing pages a few weeks after drawing the last one, and listening to music. Like I'll draw something one way, then on the next page, BAM. So that just makes more work for me in the digital stage.

However, I have managed to make that mistake without music.
So it really depends on the person, and a lot of other factors, too.

But it seems like you get pages done faster.
Also if you push yourself. Not too much, but just enough to where you can get one or so done a day.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:16PM
Asbin at 4:56PM, Aug. 17, 2010
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To draw faster, just get used to drawings your characters and your style, once you nail that down, it gets a lot quicker. When I started my webcomic it would take me about four to five hours to get a single page done. Now I can get one done in about fourty minutes
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
YuiPweeLi at 9:37PM, Aug. 17, 2010
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My advice, if you are a digital artist like me, is to really learn your programs. Especially learn the keyboard shortcuts, that helps you quickly move between the tools.

It also helps me to find a rhythm and break down my steps to smaller more manageable steps. Music helps me a lot, and I can't focus and find my rhythm without it.


last edited on July 14, 2011 4:53PM
Plague Doctor at 8:15PM, Aug. 18, 2010
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YuiPweeLi
My advice, if you are a digital artist like me, is to really learn your programs. Especially learn the keyboard shortcuts, that helps you quickly move between the tools.

Ditto on that.I should check out more tutorials.
Thanks to everyone who replied.I'll try everything you suggested :)
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:46PM
Genejoke at 12:31AM, Aug. 19, 2010
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listen to music that you are either familiar with or doesn't have lyrics. film scores are good.

Also what is taking you so long? as in which part?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
Plague Doctor at 4:12PM, Aug. 21, 2010
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Genejoke
listen to music that you are either familiar with or doesn't have lyrics. film scores are good.

Also what is taking you so long? as in which part?

Bloody layers and adding curve by curve -.- Guess it takes practice
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:46PM
patrickdevine at 10:22PM, Aug. 31, 2010
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What works for me is getting into a pattern when drawing comics pages. My personal pattern is penciling a certain number of pages, usually three or six, before starting inking. When inking I start with panel borders, balloons and lettering. Then linework, solid blacks and hatching. With such a pattern I'm averaging something like one to two pages per day. Although you might want to try setting a different routine for yourself to see what works for you.
Same thing for music too– One person I know puts on Chinese pop music, (the fact that she doesn't understand the lyrics keeps her from being distracted,) I've also known people that like to put on NPR while drawing, I even know a guy that watches movies while doing comics. Hopefully that's helpful.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:41PM
ozoneocean at 10:02PM, Sept. 1, 2010
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Asbin
When I started my webcomic it would take me about four to five hours to get a single page done.
That's slow? O_o
My last page took 4 months.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
Jabali at 8:31AM, Sept. 10, 2010
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ozoneocean
Asbin
When I started my webcomic it would take me about four to five hours to get a single page done.
That's slow? O_o
My last page took 4 months.

I don't want to start a controversy but why the need of drawing fast? I rather take my time and do the best I can.
Speed is for cars and baseball fast-ball pitches, art takes time.

IMHO.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
Ironscarf at 3:47PM, Sept. 10, 2010
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Jabali
I don't want to start a controversy but why the need of drawing fast? I rather take my time and do the best I can.
Speed is for cars and baseball fast-ball pitches, art takes time.

IMHO.

Reminds me of that joke/quote “Yeah, I'm really great at sex - got it down to 45 seconds”!

Some things are definitely worth taking your time over.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:02PM
Elixia_Dragmire at 8:38AM, Sept. 21, 2010
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once a week isnt such a bad thing, mines once a week.

for one, you shouldn't rush it. it'll show in your pacing. and two, you'll burn out faster. if you can set yourself a pattern then you'll progress and wont love outta love with the comic and your readers will have a stream weekly flow of comics.

though i update weekly i run a 2 week process. sketch one week then colour the next. and while i'm colouring page 1, i'm sketching out page 2 ready for colouring. (its hard to explain but it leaves me with enough downtime to do other art or other things like social and gaming)

remember its quality over quantity ;)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:21PM
Frae at 3:45PM, Oct. 18, 2010
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One thing that helps me to work on my projects is creating a playlist for the comic. I call them my dream soundtracks. Basically find songs you like that seem to fit the mood of your story and listen to those as you work.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:30PM
JazylH at 3:16AM, Oct. 23, 2010
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Thumbnailing is a very important aspect. it's a bit of initial work, but trust me it'll speed up the final process. Now, I usually do a rough in photoshop, final line art with Pain Tool Sai & then again toning in Pshop for my manga. I started that process after issue three & it works wonders.

Updated Mondays & Fridays
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:07PM
daftcrunk at 4:52PM, Nov. 5, 2010
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for one thing, you need to be focused completely. For this I listen to either no music or Jazz. For some reason jazz relaxes the mind. Basically dont listen to music with singing.

No TV or movies. like it or not, its a distraction. A huge distraction. Even if you think it makes things fun. Your art is more important that whats on TV. Drawing fast is a discipline.

Anyone can sit down and be inspired and ready to kick ass. That may last maybe 20 minutes to maybe an hour at the most. Those disciplined artists who LOVE art and want to draw fast, will sit down and draw for hours on end. Inspiration gets the artist to sit down. LOVE of art, keeps the artist planted in that chair forever.

Its work, but if you really love art, it isn't work.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:03PM
ozoneocean at 11:12PM, Nov. 7, 2010
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daftcrunk
for one thing, you need to be focused completely. For this I listen to either no music or Jazz. For some reason jazz relaxes the mind. Basically dont listen to music with singing.

No TV or movies. like it or not, its a distraction. A huge distraction. Even if you think it makes things fun. Your art is more important that whats on TV. Drawing fast is a discipline.
I draw much faster when I have something else to focus on and stop me getting distracted, so TV or movies helps me amazingly! :)

Art takes very little for me intellectually, so my mind wonders a LOT when I draw or paint. If it wonders too much then the wanderings demand to be acted upon! Having something to focus on lets me distract the over-active intellectual part of of my mind with the fun story on the TV or radio (or whatever), while the drawing part of my mind gets on with the work.

I draw slower now because it's getting harder and harder to keep the wondering part focused. But with a good movie or Radio show I work like the wind! ^_^
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:37PM
Kanothae at 10:30AM, Dec. 6, 2010
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ozoneocean
I draw much faster when I have something else to focus on and stop me getting distracted, so TV or movies helps me amazingly! :)

I know I like to pick easy-read type audiobooks when I paint. It's because painting for me is a visual experiment - I see whether it's right or not, there's no deep intellectual process going on in my head. Easy-read book doesn't take much thinking, either. The attention is perfectly divided into the two, so I don't give either more thought than it needs. It doesn't work like that for sketching, though. That piece requires deep understanding of what I'm doing, so more often than not I find sounds around me annoying.

Anyway, back to the topic - two methods of improving:
a) understand how stuff works
b) draw a lot.

Nail you problem, think of the solution.

If your technique is making it take too long, think of ways to simplify the process. Eg. when coloring a piece of lineart consider creating an action in Photoshop that would first expand selected area (to avoid ugly pixelation on edges of fills) and fill it with color and lock transparency of the layer, then add a keyboard shortcut to that action. Voila, now one click to activate the action saves you all the time you would spend coloring manually with a brush erasing the edges.

Also, nobody mentioned, break down to simple shapes like cubes and cylinders. Don't be afraid to draw a series of many very quick sketches before the “clean run”.

(And watch Lar deSouza, I don't think there's much I know he hasn't covered yet…)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:13PM
Evil_Hare at 1:47PM, Dec. 9, 2010
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I'd agree about the scripting bit, and thumbnails, but another key is to simply draw more. Sometimes it helps to think of places or situations where you characters might go or be in, and do sketches accordingly, so you get used to drawing them in different poses, actions, and so on… this will lead to a swifter process of laying out pages, because it will become easier to visualize it all.

I hate to quote Dave Sim, but he was right when he said, “First you become fast, then you become good, then you become fast and good.”

Admittedly I'm kinda good and only sometimes fast, but I can now do up to 6 pages in one day if I have the time on my hands, and it only takes me seconds to draw Jake, Sticky, Nadine, Wendel, Alpha Male, or the Belgian Hare…


So draw, draw, draw, and then draw some more!

PS Read Jake the Evil Hare, it'll make you feel better about your comic :P
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:24PM
maycroft at 10:31PM, Dec. 10, 2010
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Also, a smaller format would help if you hand-draw the pages like me. a smaller page means less stuff to draw. My rate is still slow, but with smaller pages I got to do 5 in about 2 days (without rest.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:56PM
chriscomic at 8:20AM, Dec. 11, 2010
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Definitely drawing more helped me speed things along. It just kinda trained my brain and my hand in how to move the pencil along, and sort of memorize how things should look so I don't spend so much time trying to get it to look right the next time around
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:42AM
roma at 1:25PM, Dec. 12, 2010
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Practice doing gestrue drawing of everything as much as you can 5 - 15min a day doing 30second drawings really will improve your speed.

Also you have to think about how busy you are its really unrealistic to expect to put quality into your comic. If you have school, work and/or other obligations you have to do the best with what time you have. Also, find a balance with quality and quantity. Its best to put your best effort into something and be proud than regret 10 pages of poor work.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Skullbie at 4:32PM, Dec. 14, 2010
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Drawing panels separately and composing them in photoshop really worked for me. I also put restrictions on my layout so there'd be 3-4 panels per page normally.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:48PM
demontales at 10:20AM, Dec. 21, 2010
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Someone
“First you become fast, then you become good, then you become fast and good.”

Actually, I would agree with the opposite: first become good, then you become fast. Unless you MUST ABSOLUTELY make pages faster. When I began my comic, I put myself no time restraints, even knowing that it would get less readership in the beginning. It took me one month to make a page, but I was proud of it, and I wanted to keep doing more. After a while I was able to do one by two weeks because all the time I spent practicing and fixing mistake, and trying not to be lazy on the drawings started to pay off. Then life got in the way and I am in hiatus -_-

Usually, becoming “good” also comes with becoming faster because you pass less time looking at references or trying to figure what's wrong. I am not saying that becoming faster is only a natural process, it is also a skill to develop for maximum performance. Depends what your main goals are.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:10PM
Beelzy at 10:25AM, Dec. 21, 2010
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Be careful with trying to go too fast. If you do it, and you look back at your older pages, they get old quickly, and you'll wonder whatever inspired you to draw them the way you did. Now that's not a problem if you're using certain mediums or styles; they might be very simple and easy to do anyways, and going faster won't affect the quality of your work.

There's an additional problem with getting better, which is that you'll start to notice more details, which means you'll actually bother to draw them in, and while you may be faster, you'll still be spending time remembering to add those details.
Pauca sed matura.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:16AM
Eddie Jensen at 11:01AM, Dec. 22, 2010
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my best advice (one that I cannot follow myself) is just, do it faster. Sure it'll look crappier than it usually does for a while, but eventually you'll get to where you were before but at a far faster pace, and then you'll start getting better again, it's kind of like throwing your artistic progress back a while for the sake of speed, but you'll be faster.
if I was a teapot I think I'd be orange.

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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:19PM
Hunchdebunch at 1:58PM, Dec. 22, 2010
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I try to get pages made as fast as possible. I just make sure that I don't get too hung up on any one part of the page, and get on with it really. There's not much else to it for me really lol.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:51PM

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