Comic Talk, Tips and Tricks

questions for those of you who draw on paper and scan
bongotezz at 5:36PM, Aug. 16, 2007
(offline)
posts: 451
joined: 2-13-2007
just a few questions for you guys if you don't mind. i have an idea for another webcomic that is completely different than superteam. its way more serious and the simple silly style i use for superteam wont work for it. i dont have all of the details of the story worked out yet but i want to hand draw it on paper and scan it in to the computer and then ink/color it with photoshop. so now for the questions.

1) about how long does it take you to draw up a page, scan it and ink/color it?
2) what kind of paper do you use? i plan on only using pencils on the paper and all ink and color with photoshop however if i suck at inking with photoshop i might ink on the paper and it's been forever since i inked anything and i dont wanna use paper that bleeds a lot.

thanks in advance for any responces.

Bongo
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:32AM
poinko at 6:01PM, Aug. 16, 2007
(online)
posts: 31
joined: 6-17-2007
To do an entire page, it's usually dependant on what goes into the page. Generally though, it only takes about 45 minutes to complete an entire page and get ready for scanning.

I use just regular 8.5x11 A4 paper to draw on. I print off comic templates with light blue lines and just draw over those. I ink everything on the paper too, and when I scan it into Photoshop, I do it as a black and white file at a high resolution (300 dpi), so the template lines aren't picked up and the pencil marks get washed out, leaving only the inks behind. Looks really nicely scaled down for web, too!
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:46PM
kytri at 6:27PM, Aug. 16, 2007
(offline)
posts: 62
joined: 1-8-2006
A page for me takes about three to five hours, depending on complexity and how many panels I have.
For paper I just use cheap printer paper, it works fine for pencils and some inks.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:24PM
EmilyTheStrange at 7:24PM, Aug. 16, 2007
(offline)
posts: 156
joined: 1-5-2006
Pages generally take me one to four hours on and off. ^_^
I just buy those “Academe” spiral sketchbooks (I love the spiral sketchbooks, they keep your stuff from falling apart more so than the glued together paper tablets, plus I like to have all my stuff on me at once so that I can look back at previous pages. :3) Also the paper size is perfect for my scanner. :3

Also I scan a 600 DPI. O:
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:21PM
FoxmanZEO at 7:56PM, Aug. 16, 2007
(online)
posts: 317
joined: 2-20-2006
If you're only scanning black and white images, try the ‘Grey scale’ setting. I used to throw hissy fits when finding random blue, red and green bits on things. Adjusting the contrast/brightness in Photoshop before shrinking the image can also keep things sharp without leaving things looking jagged.

Also don't forget to clean the glass. Oh, and sometimes it's the pen that causes problems with blobbyness/scratchyness/nessness.
'Who must do the hard things?

He who can.'


-Confucius.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:30PM
Locoma at 8:12PM, Aug. 16, 2007
(online)
posts: 449
joined: 1-2-2006
I tried different kinds of paper for my comic. I loved the regular A4 paper, but it was difficult to work near page borders, and it was a bit small for complex panels (with backgrounds and details). I switched to 106 gsm A3 drawing paper which is thicker and less shiny. It is great for penciling, and you can set your own margins. Ink also dries faster in it. Where I live is a standard drawing paper that you can buy in any office supply store.

A3 (it's bigger actually)


A4


EDIT: oh, using A3 you will need to join two scans in one using photoshop or any other editor. It's easier than it sounds.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:38PM
dueeast at 9:49PM, Aug. 16, 2007
(online)
posts: 1,093
joined: 5-6-2007
I just use regular 8.5 x 11 paper (I see a pattern forming here) but I may experiment with larger paper in the future.

Sketching with non-photo blue pencil takes 1 - 2 hours. Inking takes 1 - 2 hours. And coloring with prismacolor markers takes about um, 1 -2 hours. After I scan, I adjust gamma correction and shadow tones. Then I make other minor computerized adjustments and send it to TitanOne for some photoshop blurring and other skintone adjustments. After he sends it back to me, then I make final tweaks (including lighting effects, if needed) and computer letter the page. So when all is said and done, each page probably takes about 9 - 10 hours to completely finish.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:17PM
Vindibudd at 10:45PM, Aug. 16, 2007
(online)
posts: 416
joined: 1-29-2006
I use Strathmore bristol smooth 11x14.

Ink on the paper.
scan 300 dpi.
color in photoshop.
finish.
reduce width to 600 pixels.
save for web.

Upload.
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:42PM
poinko at 10:58PM, Aug. 16, 2007
(online)
posts: 31
joined: 6-17-2007
Vindibudd
I use Strathmore bristol smooth 11x14.

Showoff.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:46PM
maritalbliss at 11:51PM, Aug. 16, 2007
(online)
posts: 1,045
joined: 4-15-2007
From Sketchbook to color; anywhere between four to six hours, depending on the project.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:53PM
SteveMyers22 at 11:56PM, Aug. 16, 2007
(online)
posts: 300
joined: 6-17-2007
Interesting. Can't wait to see what else you're cooking up.

bongotezz
1) about how long does it take you to draw up a page, scan it and ink/color it?

Pencils for me vary from a few hours for a page to multiple days. It really depends on the detail and the panels. Inks take me a couple of hours no matter what. They're pretty consistent. Colors take me again, a wide variety of times. I can usually get a page done in about a week when working a 40 hour week at the night job. I can crank out 2 pages a week fully colored and lettered and all when I wasn't working.

2) what kind of paper do you use?

Blue Line pro. Out of habit. But strathmore bristol board works fine too.

i plan on only using pencils on the paper and all ink and color with photoshop however if i suck at inking with photoshop i might ink on the paper and it's been forever since i inked anything and i dont wanna use paper that bleeds a lot.

If you're gonna ink, any kind of illustration board or bristol board is what you're looking for.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:58PM
Darth Mongoose at 1:02AM, Aug. 17, 2007
(online)
posts: 488
joined: 1-7-2006
I use regular A4 printer paper. It's really cheap and works just fine with my materials. In fact, the earlier pages, drawn on expensive IC manga card don't look as smooth! Pages take a long time, about 6 hours in extreme cases. I do the drawing with a mechanical pencil, ink with fineliners and colour with Copic markers and CG. Copics are expensive, but they're refillable, re-nibbable and the quality of the colour speaks for itself. Much nicer than Lettraset or Prismas.
Oh, but the MOST important piece of kit for non-CG comics? A drawing board. I use a rotoring with a clip-on slide rule, but for larger projects I use a drawing board with a T-square and a set square. Getting your pages perpendicular is important unless you're not using conventional panels, or are scanning panels as separate pictures or something.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:08PM
spacehamster at 1:08AM, Aug. 17, 2007
(online)
posts: 504
joined: 8-3-2007
Penciling an entire page usually takes me around 4-6 hours, depending on difficulty. That's not counting layout and other preliminary sketches and finding reference, the amount of time that takes up varies greatly. If a page is particularly difficult, it takes longer.

Inking always seems to take about 3-4 hours per page no matter what, and the amount of time coloring takes up will depend greatly on your style. Back when I still colored my pages, it took me two hours just to do the flats and then easily another 8 for the colors, which is why I, uh, stopped doing that. *cough*

I use Blueline Pro as it's really good paper and I like the fact that it's pre-formatted, but basically, what you want is paper that's really thick and really smooth. Even if you're not going to ink your stuff, you'll find yourself working on one sheet of paper for a long time, and it becomes incredibly annoying if the paper doesn't hold the graphite well, so good paper is money well spent.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:50PM
TheMidge28 at 4:27AM, Aug. 17, 2007
(online)
posts: 6,847
joined: 7-5-2007
I reuse coversheets from a work printer…the backs of them…so regular printer paper. I pencil first then make a copy of them so as to retain the original pencils and also the ink looks terrible over pencils usually…then ink… then make another copy so everything looks a crisp black I then scan into computer and color with MS Paint…pencils take normally 20 to 30 mins…then inking another 30 mins then coloring and tweaking on computer 2-3 hrs…
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:21PM
bongotezz at 6:06AM, Aug. 17, 2007
(offline)
posts: 451
joined: 2-13-2007
thanks everyone. i read what each of you wrote and compared it to your finished comics. some really nice stuff. i'll have to experiment with the different things people mentioned and see what works for me. not sure if i'll be able to ink with a mouse. i find it hard enough to draw streight lines. i think i've decided to make this comic black and white because if i color it, it will get wrecked. i'm terrible with color.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:32AM
Hapoppo at 9:53AM, Aug. 17, 2007
(online)
posts: 241
joined: 1-26-2007
Me, I use an 11x17 sheet of bristol board, and pencil it in with mechanical pencils. Then I ink in and erase all the pencilling; I also ink in the word balloons, but not the words themselves (That part I take care of on the computer). It takes about 3 hours from pencils to inks, then another 1 1/2 or so for coloring, which I do in Photoshop CS2.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:42PM
JillyFoo at 10:25AM, Aug. 17, 2007
(offline)
posts: 626
joined: 1-2-2006
1) about how long does it take you to draw up a page, scan it and ink/color it?
Just finding time to do everything um two days. One day for planning and penciling one for inking, scanning and photoshop.


2) what kind of paper do you use? i plan on only using pencils on the paper and all ink and color with photoshop however if i suck at inking with photoshop i might ink on the paper and it's been forever since i inked anything and i dont wanna use paper that bleeds a lot.

Bristol board is my personal favorite. Some people suggest card stock because it's like bristol board but cheaper.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:08PM
Tantz Aerine at 10:28AM, Aug. 17, 2007
(online)
posts: 1,616
joined: 10-11-2006
bongotezz
1) about how long does it take you to draw up a page, scan it and ink/color it?

To pencil a page of Wolf, it takes me anything between one and a half hours and three hours. Scanning takes but a few seconds :) Inking takes about an hour more, and colouring an hour more. If it's a page that requires background or any special handling, add a couple of hours total more. So I usually take around 6 hours for every page to complete.

2) what kind of paper do you use? i plan on only using pencils on the paper and all ink and color with photoshop however if i suck at inking with photoshop i might ink on the paper and it's been forever since i inked anything and i dont wanna use paper that bleeds a lot.



I never ink on the paper, so I use either plain photocopy paper, or heavyweight sketch paper. I think the latter would suit you well for inking, but I have never tried it, so I can't really say.

Inking on photoshop needs practice like everything else- and a tablet. You need a tablet to do work without much more pain than necessary.

And did I mention practice? lol!
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:07PM
j giar at 4:03PM, Aug. 17, 2007
(online)
posts: 63
joined: 9-28-2006
From pencils..lettering and inking approximately 4-8 hours depending on how much is on the page and how much lettering there is to do….cause I hate lettering!!!

“Sometimes to get to the bottom of something, you have to kill your way to the top.”
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:05PM
arteestx at 7:20PM, Aug. 17, 2007
(online)
posts: 285
joined: 6-1-2007
For me, I don't take my comic too seriously, I just enjoy learning and refining the process. But here's what I do…

1) once I have my sketches, I pencil a comic in about 20-30 min using an ordinary pencil and printer paper, 8.5 x 11“
2) I scan that pencil drawing at 600 dpi
3) I open the scan using Photoshop, importing it in at 11 x 14” and 300 dpi
4) I select the pencils, then expand the selection 2 pixels and smooth it 3 pixels, fill in the selection with black, and I've got my inks, takes about 5 min
5) add a layer, add borders to all the panels, erase any inks that have spilled over
6) add a base layer of color in Photoshop, takes about 30-45 min
7) add another layer for highlights, shadows, etc., takes about 15-30 min
8) save it as a jpg, 72 dpi, 500 pixels wide
9) use that artwork in Macromedia Flash, add text, word balloons, etc., another 15-20 min, final document is 550 x 700 pixels
10) export the image as a jpg, trying to keep the quality high but the file size to less than 100 kb

And that's it. Like I said, I'm trying to learn a good process for me on a throw-away comic, and will hopefully spend more time on drawing, inking, coloring, etc. on a higher-quality comic. Eventually. :)

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
deletedbyrequest03 at 6:33AM, Aug. 19, 2007
(offline)
posts: 815
joined: 8-13-2006
1. It usually takes me 15-30 minutes drawing and scanning. It depends on how long it takes me to draw it (which is usually just a quick rough sketch)
2. I use printer paper.

The reason why I don't go crazy with the traditional part is because I don't need to. It's just a rough sketch.

This year, school's full of BS!!!
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:05PM
Runosonta at 7:53AM, Aug. 19, 2007
(offline)
posts: 176
joined: 7-23-2007
DancingChaos
1. It usually takes me 15-30 minutes drawing and scanning. It depends on how long it takes me to draw it (which is usually just a quick rough sketch)
2. I use printer paper.

The reason why I don't go crazy with the traditional part is because I don't need to. It's just a rough sketch.
Yup. I'm the same.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:12PM
Nicotine at 8:13AM, Aug. 19, 2007
(online)
posts: 494
joined: 6-18-2007
Here's how I do every page.

1. Sketch it out on 8.5 x 11 inch paper in my sketchbook. I find that keeping all my pages in a sketchbook is very handy. Everything stays in the same place. It only takes me about 30 min. - 1 hour to sketch out a page.
2. I ink the page with PITT (Faber Castell brand) artist pens. The pack I have came in four sizes: Small, Fine, Medium, and Bold. If I remember correctly, it cost be about 8 dollars. I ink all the bold lines, then medium, ect. This takes about 30 min. - 45 min. to do. I then erase the pencil under the ink and re-ink the lines that look funny. All mistakes are fixed in Photoshop CS
3. Scan in the page and resize it.
4. Import the page into Photoshop, fix the mistakes in the lines, and make the lines darker.
5. I then color the page. Everything I color is put on a different layer. This is helpful because I can manipulate different parts of the picture without disturbing anything else. Color can take anywhere from 2 hours to 4 hours, depending on how picky I'm feeling that day.
6. When the coloring is done, I create the dialogue boxes on a layer on top of everything.
7. I blur all the layers once so everything doesn't look so harsh.
8. I upload. :D
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:16PM
bongotezz at 9:59AM, Aug. 19, 2007
(offline)
posts: 451
joined: 2-13-2007
thank you guys again for the info. i have made some preliminary sketches and found out 2 things by doing it.

1) i need some place to draw where i'm comfortable. lying on the floor doesn't work well.
2) since i haven't actually drawn anything serious in like 10 years i'm way out of practice and often find myself drawing in 2D. everything looks flat. the picture in my mind doesn't translate to the page correctly. i need practice. :(
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:32AM
romulux at 2:13AM, Aug. 22, 2007
(offline)
posts: 19
joined: 5-24-2007
The whole process takes me about two days (i'm easily distracted). I used to write a script, but I realized I was trying to describe what I was visualizing and since I write and pencil and ink I decided it wasn't worth it. Now what i've started doing is I sit down with an el-cheapo beinfang sketchbook and draw a grid (usually 3x5 boxes) then I start telling the story visually, adding in a few words to remind myself what I was thinking the characters would say. This way sometimes my characters' expressions affect what I ultimately write.
I number each frame on my sketch page, then I draw up a quick sketch of how the page will be laid out, I write the numbers in the new frames (often times I throw some out and discard others).

Paper: bristol's nice, but scanning and storage (not to mention price) can be a bitch. Instead I use 18x12 drawing paper (you can buy a pad of it at Walmart I think, or sometimes if I'm on the road I tape together two A4 pages.

Pencil: I am a zealous believer in Prismacolor “non-photo blue”. I don't understand why more people don't use these, even the DC and Marvel “how-to” books I've seen talk about inking and then erasing your pencil and then whiting out the pencil marks that didn't come clean enough. With non-photo you could literally colour the whole page in and it would still photocopy white. No fuss, no muss. A lot of places sell non-photo Prismas, but they're the soft lead kind. The “Verithin” version has harder lead, erases easier, and is usually about a dollar cheaper. You can order them online from www.unitednow.com.

Ink: Let me just say, I love to ink. I often over-ink. As a kid I obsessed over Garth Williams' work and as a teenager I aspired to be Dave Sim, so I love a lot of crisp lines and neat hatching I use Micron felt-tip pens sizes 005,1,2,3,5and8. I tried some cheaper brand for a while and they were total crap. I'll never forsake Sakura again. I also have started using P.H. Marten's Bombay India Ink with brushes for drastic shadows and nice textures. The great thing about both is; they are lightfast, waterproof, acid-free archival quality inks that dont bleed or soak through so you can use cheaper paper.

Scan: Get yourself a photocopier/scanner/printer combo. They may not be the best printers in the world, but they can do a black-and white scan at 1200dpi, which is totally bitchin'. I scan @ 600dpi on b&w, save as TIF, then clean up in Photoshop. If it's a colour illustration, I go to Image/Mode/RGB Colour then use the magic wand tool to Right-click “Select Colour Range” then select white and delete. Then I can paint on the layer BEHIND my inks, which looks more natural than using the Paint Bucket method.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM
Kohdok at 8:14AM, Aug. 23, 2007
(online)
posts: 776
joined: 5-18-2007
I actually don't do thumbnails. I probably should.

1) I do my pencils wherever I happen to be: At my desk, on my bed, in the middle of class, etc. This is forever known to me as “The easy part” and usually takes between half an hour and an hour, depending on the number of panels and the details.

2) I am insanely accident-prone, so I'm not brave enough to ink it by hand. I scan it at 300 dpi and ink it using the paintbrush tool at 300% zoom on a new layer. It works well enough. I use another layer for panel lines

3) I lay out my flats with paintbucket set at 99 tolerance on another layer. That keeps it from developing that little white halo around each chunk of color.

4) Another layer for speechbubbles, right underneath the text.

Overall, I'd say my method takes about 3-4 hours per page. Then again, I color only in flats.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:20PM
Kristen Gudsnuk at 4:26PM, Aug. 23, 2007
(online)
posts: 1,340
joined: 10-4-2006
I use bristol board. It really is nice– pencils just erase completely from it!!! and I used computer paper a little, but it kept ripping… maybe I'm just a brute ^_^'!!
bristol's kind of expensive, but my frugal solution is, I cut the pages in half, and use both sides.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:22PM
Disgruntledrm at 2:19AM, Aug. 24, 2007
(online)
posts: 298
joined: 6-24-2006
1. I really shelled out some dough for my scanner, about 200 bucks. Okay, more like 180, but nonetheless…I spent most of my money I had at the time. Because I'm poor. I would not suggest using a 40 dollar scanner, they break easily. But the point is, it depends upon the scanner. From my experience, the cheaper ones…are slower. So I can't tell you how long it would take to scan on your own, but mine takes about 10 seconds. Now coloring depends on the page. If it's simple, coloring could be really quick. I think, the more experience you get with coloring a scanned page also increases the speed. But normally my coloring process goes from 5-15 minutes.

2. I use basic printer paper and ballpoint pens. They work just fine for me. Normally, unless you draw with a heavy-hand (meaning…sometimes break the lead because you press so hard on the paper) I would not suggest using a pencil. A friend of mine draws very lightly, and doesn't ink. It's always a nightmare when he draws a page and tells me to scan and photoshop it for him. Using ink mainly just simplifies the coloring process; because it's darker…at least that's how it is for me.

Now I'm nobody to judge by, considering I'm a very quick drawer (half-ass if you will.) I don't draw well. If you've got real talent drawing, your coloring could take much longer. It's also a good idea to put a border around the bottom and right side of your page, in case the paper is slightly larger than the scanned result (it might cut off those bits.)
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:12PM
crazyninny at 8:14PM, Aug. 24, 2007
(online)
posts: 1,457
joined: 7-20-2006
Depends on how much detail is in the picture. It takes me a couple of days to get just one page done, but I ink, and color by hand than on a computer.

As for paper, if your only going to draw on it, then any paper should work, if you ink on it, than you should use proffesional art paper.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:48AM
spacehamster at 3:34AM, Aug. 25, 2007
(online)
posts: 504
joined: 8-3-2007
crazyninny
As for paper, if your only going to draw on it, then any paper should work, if you ink on it, than you should use proffesional art paper.

I dunno, I've found it's actually the penciling where good paper helps the most… on cheap copier paper, pencils smudge like hell, which is a nightmare if you're doing comics and working on the same sheet for a long time.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:50PM

Forgot Password
©2011 WOWIO, Inc. All Rights Reserved