Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

Need Help: Traditional Comics?
piercedfox at 5:15PM, May 3, 2010
(offline)
posts: 8
joined: 1-13-2010
Main point: How do I make my comics look clean and nice without computer programs?
What medium do I use? Graphite, charcoal, markers? HB,2B,4B,6B?
What is the best way to get the cleanest look?

Plus, I have simple programs on my PC. The best art program I am permitted to have is MS paint. When I scan pages, a window will pop up, asking me how it would like to read it: color, grayscale, or black/white.
Which one do I choose, considering my comics will feature no colors outside of black, white, and gray?

IN DESPERATE NEED OF HELP.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:43PM
Mettaur at 5:40PM, May 3, 2010
(offline)
posts: 2,716
joined: 1-19-2010
Just a tip, before you scan anything, make sure to erase any smudges or something from pencil or charcoal. Clean it off before you scan it. Or is that not the problem? Because I just use GIMP, and it works dandy for me! Like my avatar I made.
Been years since I was here. I've been at rehab since. So uh. Yknow, things got interesting.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:00PM
piercedfox at 8:55PM, May 3, 2010
(offline)
posts: 8
joined: 1-13-2010
That's not really the problem, but it's a good start. I should probably start paying more attention to those things, huh?

See, I tried to use GIMP, but my sister deleted it before I could get my hands on any of those tools. She always claims that I can't download any ‘mysterious’ programs because they will infect our computer.
That's why I'm trying to find the best way to make everything clean because computer programs are completely out of the picture for me.
But thank you, I appreciate your advice!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:43PM
Genejoke at 7:25AM, May 4, 2010
(online)
posts: 3,090
joined: 4-9-2010
sounds like your sister is a pain in the backside.

Gimp is a well regarded free alternative to photoshop, I have never had any troubles with it or where I downloaded it from.

Still MS paint can still be used to clean up your art, it isn't bad for what it is, there are some good tutorials online for getting the most out of it.

As for scanning I scan in things as a photo then use the contratst and colour sliders to clean up some of it. then I get out the eraser if I can be bothered.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:33PM
DrBob at 8:14AM, May 4, 2010
(offline)
posts: 24
joined: 8-19-2007
piercedfox
Main point: How do I make my comics look clean and nice without computer programs?
What medium do I use? Graphite, charcoal, markers? HB,2B,4B,6B?
What is the best way to get the cleanest look?
The big question is, to get the cleanest look for WHAT? The strategies for scanning and making comics look good online are different than the strategies of making comics look good in print. For example, at the risk of overgeneralizing, using alias in art programs makes comics look smooth and natural online and really smudgy and crappy on paper. Not using alias makes comics look pixelated and awkward online and good and clear on paper.

piercedfox
Plus, I have simple programs on my PC. The best art program I am permitted to have is MS paint. When I scan pages, a window will pop up, asking me how it would like to read it: color, grayscale, or black/white.
Which one do I choose, considering my comics will feature no colors outside of black, white, and gray?
It's been a long time since I scanned with MS Paint, so I cannot speak to particulars of that program. But ultimately it all depends on your style. If you want clean, crisp lines, then scan with extra brightness and extra contrast (if that's an option), and the small smudges will disappear. If you want a sketchy look, then don't mess with the brightness and contrast. I use Photoshop, so I tend to scan in grayscale, and then manually adjust the brightness/contrast to get the level of cleanness I want.

The only reason to use color is if you want to preserve some different hues in your drawing, like browns in a graphite drawing for example; otherwise I wouldn't bother with color. Scanning in black and white will definitely make the scan bolder and somewhat crisper, but I have found it to be problematic because every stray line, dot, etc. ends up as stark black in the scan. I suspect grayscale would be your best bet. Ultimately the best thing to do is to do some practice drawings, and then scan the same drawing in different ways and see which method gets you the results you want.

If you're asking about making it clean pre-computer, then for me, I sketch things out in pencil, and then ink with a clean Sharpie, and then erase all pencils. If you sketch with a blue pencil, however, you probably won't have to erase anything. And then scan it in keeping in mind the things I mentioned before.

I hope some of what I said applies in your situation!

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:16PM
Air Raid Robertson at 5:46PM, May 6, 2010
(online)
posts: 292
joined: 5-7-2009
I don't use all that much digital muck when I do my comics. I use digital lettering and I throw on a lightly applied filter, but for the most part I do everything by hand.

I color my stuff with prismacolor markers. You can also use these markers for greytones if you wish. I think it gives things a clear, polished look that is very complementary to an internet format.

If you want to do straight B&W I would recommend Faber-Castell pens with a reliable brush for your solid blacks. You're going to have to use a whole lot more black if you're going to leave your comics uncolored. The contrast has to be sharp for the images to remain engaging.

Once you scan your pages in, you should only choose “color” if it's actually in color. “Black and white” on pages that have greytones is your biggest no-no. It may treat the page like a photocopy, which means that it'll make everything on the page either black or white. Any greys will either disappear or be rendered jet-black.

I hope you find this helpful.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:48AM
patrickdevine at 9:47PM, May 9, 2010
(online)
posts: 759
joined: 4-26-2007
If you only have very basic programs to clean up I'd say pencil with a hard lead, (2H, 3H maybe?) and ink using India ink or something similarly very dark. This way erasing your underdrawings should be easier and you should have to erase less before scanning. Personally, I think the less you can erase the better because it will lighten the inks.
Hopefully that's helpful
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:41PM
ozoneocean at 10:32PM, May 9, 2010
(online)
posts: 25,067
joined: 1-2-2004
Air Raid Robertson
for the most part I do everything by hand.
Same as a typical digital artist then. ;)

Speaking from my species of that group, it's pretty painstaking, careful, intricately done hand-drawn work.

—————————————–

Work done on a computer is clean because it doesn't pass through any transitory stages:
- You don't damage it by rubbing stuff out.
- The pencils won't smudge
- Inks won't bleed.
- Scans won't make it go off-centre or too dark.
- You can't crease it.

If you want clean work without a computer, all you have to do is minimise all the damage that can happen to your page in the process of creating it.

The way I used to do it was firstly to get all the best tools:

1. I used a special pen-style eraser that you click out like the lead in a mechanical pencil. You can hold it like a pen and get fantastic accuracy and cleanses when you rub stuff out. Far better than those laughably crap kneadable erasers.

2. I used a large seagull feather to sweep away the mess after I'd erased my work. That's better than using your hand of course, because you avoid smudges, but it's also better that brushes because it's cleaner (brushes pick up and retain more mess). Blowing is BAD because you may accidentally spit, even just a little, and that can help smudge work.

3. Light tables. A light table or even a transparent perspex drawing board are invaluable your reusing elements of drawings without damaging the original. You don't need to ink over the original this way- you can simply trace in ink while the original is on a light table, or transparent drawing board.

4. Fixative. If you're happy with your nice clean drawing and want to make sure it stays in that state, then use drawing fixative to preserve it and prevent further smudges.

5. Cover work to protect it. When you're finished for a while on a piece of art you're still working on, especially if it's in a sketchbook, use a thin sheet of plastic (like the stuff you get fruit in at the supermarket) to cover it. Using paper to cover and protect pencil artwork is bad because it actively smudges and lightens the art. Plastic is also great to use to protect the work while you're actually drawing, to stop your hand smudging the rest.

6. Mechanical pencils are much cleaner and more accurate then the old fashioned kind- greener for the environment too since they use far less thickness of graphite and no wood! You can get them in different thicknesses and also all the different harnesses, just like old style pencils.

7. Inking… Inking is a transitory stage, we do it in order to make the art darker and clearer. You can do away with it entirely if you're good enough at scanning. It has a lot of potential for damage to the work. But if you must;
- Use a light table.
- Use nice accurate pens that give a line you're happy with and don't burr or bleed. Using a good heavy paper is a good way to prevent bleeding.

8. The scanning process. Make use you scanner is as clean as possible each time you use it! Line up you pages as accurately as possible.
Inking can degrade the quality of your drawing style quite a lot in many case, you can avoid that transitionary stage by simply scanning your pencil work and then adjusting the levels in the scanner or some other program to make them darker and the white paper lighter.- if you're not confident at that then you're best off inking (with nice accurate pens!).

9. Size! The bigger you work at, the better it will look when you scan it and reduce it in size on your computer. This is the best trick going. Lots of little errors and rough marks will just disappear.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:36PM
patrickdevine at 10:28AM, May 10, 2010
(online)
posts: 759
joined: 4-26-2007
ozoneocean
7. Inking… Inking is a transitory stage, we do it in order to make the art darker and clearer. You can do away with it entirely if you're good enough at scanning. It has a lot of potential for damage to the work. But if you must;
- Use a light table.
- Use nice accurate pens that give a line you're happy with and don't burr or bleed. Using a good heavy paper is a good way to prevent bleeding.


You're partially right, not everyone handles inking like that though. If you're the sort of person that thinks of the drawings in comics as ink-drawings then the pencils are really just a guide for the inks. You are right that if you pencil very tight you can probably not bother with inking.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:41PM
Randal at 5:33PM, May 14, 2010
(online)
posts: 377
joined: 1-4-2006
It sounds like you either need to school your sister on Gimp being an acceptable open source program designed and tinkered with by well meaning geeks… or drum up about $100 and get Paintshop Pro (or drum up even more money and get Photoshop CS3, which means paying for flash and all that stuff too.) I'm sure she's not going to stand for a ps or psp crack, which is probably what over 90% of the people here use.

I personally use Gimp. Scanned it for malware and viruses. Works fine for what it is. It's been my understanding that most malware comes from email and porn downloads. Your less likely to get it from an opensource geek project unless you download it from a site that hasn't got a good geek rep. There are people who add viruses to these open source projects, but they don't usually get uploaded to a good site. These sites don't want the bad rep.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:01PM
Joneko at 8:40PM, May 22, 2010
(online)
posts: 31
joined: 4-23-2007
Part of my biggest problem with a clean page usually have to do with the pencils and inks themselves. The things I've found that work best:

- Do your initial sketches lightly with a soft, blunt pencil. You can either ink straight over these, or use a finer, slightly harder pencil in between. I'm not as confident about my inking skills so I use a mechanical .5mm pencil – the point is always fairly sharp no matter what.

- Use the right inking pen. Yuko of Johnny Wander has recommended fiber-tip pens; the line is more consistent than a rollerball, and lasts longer than a felt tip. And it still allows for fine line work. I highly suggest looking in to one of these, as it's given her some really prime results – you would think the scans had been done digitally to begin with.

As for the software issue, when I couldn't use a program on my laptop for technical reasons I had a friend put it on a USB, and used it at the local library. Check out your resources – if you don't mind hanging around in an internet cafe for a few hours, it might be worth your while depending on how badly you want digital work.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:10PM

Forgot Password
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved