Art Process 101
This group has a pretty wide range of cartoonists, and I’m noticing that some of you are very interested in topics that cover the basics. So every now and again, I’m going to take a few minute to brush up on rudimentary skills and processes.
Try to work in an area that has as much natural sunlight as possible. However, a good, adjustable drafting lamp is a must-have if you’re working in ink. Here’s a Pro Tip: If you’re right-handed, position the lamp to your left. (And vice versa.) This way, the shadow from your working hand will be cast away from your drawing — and not on top of it.
If you’re working on multiple comics (for example, a week’s worth of strips), don’t work each individual strip to completion one-after-another. Instead, set up an assembly line.
First, do the pencilling for all of the comics. Then do the lettering. Then the inking. Then the scanning. Etc.
You’ll find that you get into a natural rhythm, and the work actually goes faster as your mind eases into “lettering mode” instead of jumping from penciling to lettering to inking to scanning and back to inking.
Lettering then inking?
Yeah. Doing the lettering first allows you to do the following:
- Create legible lettering without trying to cram it into predetermined balloons
- Adjust balloons to account for any lettering changes (edits, re-wording, etc) that arise
- Adjust the final composition of the panels before setting them in ink