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Evil Evil Penciling

bittertea at 12:46PM, Jan. 28, 2008

From beginning to end, a wee ‘In the making’ documentary of Scorch, comicking in pencil 101


(4 star average out of 26 votes)

I have to start out by saying this isn't much of a tutorial since its pretty basic stuff. This is more of an inside look at one way of going about how I do comics. It deals with page layout, enveloping figure, line variation, and adjusting levels in photoshop. (yes nothing you're not unfamiliar with) ;p ENJOY.


Here they are, the weapons of choice. .03mm hard lead, .5mm soft lead, click eraser, micron pens, and SHARPIES! I work with 8.5 x 11" for this particular series because smaller workspace lets me capture motion quicker and because of the style I'm not to concerned with detail as opposed to ‘bigger’ projects.


LAYOUT! Pacing is numero uno in storytelling-FX and so while you're working on an entire sequence, actions are going to get mauled into individual pages, poo. Sometimes things can get extremely lengthy, especialy in action scenes which are supposed to be quick. So I try to make each page stand alone by figuring out a main agenda/motion for the page, if not two, and start on that. My advice there is keep stuff… in the words of Mighty Mark Nelson, “stupid simple”.

without the previous pages, I have the main character doing a hand-stand on our zombie dude, grasping his collar. Two more zombies come running up looking shocked or pulling back, or ‘reacting’ so I've left them open for another action on the next page. Finally I've made it to the last frame, my main idea and whole reason for this page. The character dropping from a handstand and flipping zombie dude head over heels. I've even kicked out her foot to create as much motion as possible since she's CONTSTANTLY moving.

This process is done the quickest and slowest of everything else. It takes the most time to plan out the page and then it's the quickest to sketch. I don't give myself to much time to over think motion. I think of how a stick figure would move and keep that to it's honesty and quickly envelope the figures into place. SUPER IMPORTANT NOTE, draw lightly at a stage like this. I mean it. As if you wouldn't be able to erase it later! *points angirly at you like the evil monkey living in chris griffin's closet.

So this is the first Draft (which I darkened in photoshop, ha):


believe or not if that page alone doesn't do it for you then It's all over because I dive into details right after. hahaha. well I start small…bring out the .03mm lead. (very frustrating for people who like to press on their supplies, breaks easy. But ideal for working in tiny areas and getting a really clean fragile line.



In comparison you can see how I work on small details from the gestured/enveloped/fast sketch figures. They serve as instant visual information for me to work with:



So I'll be at this for a while, only really working on main focal points to draw readers attentions. This is now how the Draft looks:


now's the part where I go absolutely bonkers on LINE VARIATION/WEIGHT/QUALITY. .5mm lead (which I know is supposed to be tiny) I use to thicken my line work and draw out the rest of the page. I use soft leads so its more like chalk and very easy to lay down quickly. I can be messy and fluent with it so Its easy to block out shadows and darken outlines and ‘undersides’ of objects and characters to help pop things out ect. ect.



It's like COLORING!! so now I've been at this whole thing for about two hours (documenting included):


…and the benefit of being such a line quality NUT… I bypass inking the whole damn thing and only use the micron pens to block out hard to reach areas. I love the microns so much I'd rather not use them. XD



NOW it's time to breathe in the very essence of a finishing peice, litterally. I block out my ‘sectioned’ off areas with sharpies. (this is where I sometimes wish I had assistants to fill in the spaces for me hee hee) The smell…oh god the smell….



when I'm all done, SCAN IT…


Photoshop Level it…


There! now you all know my secret personal level adjustment code!! 131, .91, 214 *shrug

and here's the last draft:


complete in a little over three hours. greyscale, text, resize, save, post.

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