Creating a cover

Thursday comics! I get asked often what my process for drawing is. I wanted to show my process for creating a cover or comic page. The cover featured is from my Wandering Vagrants digital issue 1 cover. It features my trio of doom, Kazo, Ella and Enzo. Here’s a step by step process.

Step 1: thumbnail. This is basically a quick sketch of what the cover will look like. I tend to do these on copy paper with a uniball pen. In this stage, you’re fingering out composition and character arrangements. For the cover I wanted it to focus on the main three heroes.

Step2: Non-photo Blue/red pencil. After the thumbnail is finalized, I can work the illustration up on a 11×17 Bristol board. Here I setup everything, placing the characters in composition etc. in this stage it allows me make any adjustments from the thumbnail. I try to get the red line right where I want them, so all I have to do is pencil in detail afterward.

Step3: Pencils. Technically, you can combine step 2 and 3 into one step, but I personally like using blue line as my setup/layout. I put in all the detail now that I know the layout is right. I can also change anything that needs adjusting at this point.

Step4: Inking. Once the pencils have been finished, I can go in a bring those lines some volume. It also give me, a last chance to make any adjustments to the pencils—since I ink my own work. I work with Faber caster pens and brush pens. They vary in sizes from small, medium, and large etc. Which give me variety of line widths. I use Japanese Sumi ink for the dark areas. Sometimes artist will mark and area with an X (spotted black areas)to indicate that it’s an all black area. Like Kazo(guy with sword) jacket or Enzo’s hair/ shirt.

Step5: Color. Here I translate all the light and shadows through color. I can create mood and atmosphere using the digital program photoshop. They’re are other coloring applications, like Manga studio and painter, etc. find the best one that suits your needs.

This is my process for creating comics. I follow 4step process, but you don’t have to. I know some artist who do only pencils and inks. Some do blue line to inks. They’re artist that work all digital with a tablet. It’s just a matter what system works for you. More to come have a great day!

Marc

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