Pencils

3 July 2012

It seemed like such a good idea at the time – print the thumbnails on a nice big sheet of A3 paper, do the pencilling on the thumbnails printouts, scan the pencils, mess with them in Photoshop, colour them up and, voilà, a comic book page is born. What could go wrong?
I think I’ve scanned these well enough to demonstrate how the pencil drawings are spilling out over their respective panel borders, a habit I just could not break. Which meant I then spent hours in Photoshop trying to assemble a jigsaw puzzle where none of the pieces fit.
I eventually decided that the process would work much better if I drew them at A4 size, and indeed it did do the trick, but only at the cost of not having such nice pencils.
So nowadays I’ve abandoned most of this computer nonsense and returned to pencilling and inking on Bristol Board, where, of course, nothing can go wrong…

9 Responses to “Pencils”

  1. Martin B Says:

    I don’t want to discourage you from using the old traditional processes we have all seen produce such amazing results, buuuut, once you get the thumbs to A4 and do what you you can at that scale, could you not then scan the A4 and enlarge it and print it at A3 so you can get in more detailed work? That could then be scanned for the digital work. Personally I do it all in PS now and work on layers from rough to clean up….

    • mick mcmahon Says:

      Ostensibly, the whole idea of doing all this printing and scanning is to save time by removing the inking part of the process, which, for me anyway, it patently doesn’t. An extra round of printing and scanning would be going from bad to worse, I think.


  2. I once scanned my drawings and printed them very lightly at a larger scale on fine quality art paper with my Epson. It really helped. There is something about the way we process thumbnails, not sure why it is, but they are better assembled, composed than often larger drawings. I’ve been scanning and expanding them for years for this reason. Anyway. Not to add to the workload…but could you perhaps paint on a printed scan and submit both that and the black & white digital scan to be used as an overlay?…or maybe this is just adding to the workload.

    • mick mcmahon Says:

      Thanks, but I feel sure that for me the way forward (some might say back) is to draw thumbnails, rule up the pages, ink the panel borders, and then proceed to draw inside the resultant boxes. Then, and only then, do you go near a scanner.


  3. This sounds like a formula to live by! :)
    …and to make sure technology knows its place.


  4. Hootsmon! Is that top page a glimpse of a new Dredd strip??…?

  5. nulsh Says:

    Hey Mick. You posted Manga Studio stuff a while’s back.

    You didn’t get any joy doing roughs as a pencil layer and then inking on top? Saves a lot of time for me. That said I’m sloppy as hell, so it suits me.

    I’ve only just started using it mind thee.

    Martin B is spot on – really nice female character, really stands out.


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