21 April 2011

PREVIEW: Oxygen, ch5, pg.3 - (part-1)

Some of you have been asking for me to show more of my process... so here's some steps that lead to a completed page.

Once the story and scene are fleshed out, I begin thumbnailing (very quickly and loosely) panels onto scrap paper. They're glorified stick-figure doodles. Literally taking only 10 seconds to do as I brainstorm ideas. When I'm satisfied with certain 'shots', I mark them in bold to let me know which ones 'worked' for me (above left). I then produce more fleshed out sketches (until I get the forms and proportions working), and this will end up being the basis of the drawings on the page (above right).

I draw the final compositions on a sheet of blank paper or a sketchbook (rather than on the actual artboard itself) because it frees me up to just let my mind sketch without any pressure or constraints. (ie. I don't have to carefully draw within a panel border and make sure everything will fit at this stage (ie. Word balloon, space for other elements, etc) or be too careful.) That used to really stunt me. Now I just have fun. If the sketch isn't working, I just start again right next to it until I get it right (see above right). And I can just keep fleshing out the sketch with bolder and thicker lines if I wish without worrying that I'm pressing too hard and I won't be able to rub the pencil lines out. It was a weight off my shoulders when I realised this method.

I scan the sketches in and arrange it all on a rough (lo-resolution) image. It's probably the 'graphic designer' in me (which is my day-job by the way), in that arranging a composition on the page comes naturally to me. I shift and scale my skecthes around until they all fit in regard to proportion, camera angles, and captions/word balloons.

When I think it looks right, I'll then print this lo-res page out on my Canon Pixma inkjet (in cyan only) on my final artboard.

Coming up next time... Tight-pencilling.