Trying a new step where I make a med-fi pencil mock-up after doing thumbnails
I’ve been working on a new 28-page comic called Lost Ship over the last two months, and it’s been enjoyable to work on a project that’s pretty small in scope. It’s about a small crew that explores space to try to discover new things.
I tried something new with Lost Ship where I made a medium-fidelity pencil version of the entire comic after I finished the thumbnails. I drew this version at the size I intend to print the comic at so that I could get a fell of how it read. It’s super cool to be able to page through it before the actual comic is done. This makes the process look like:
Create low-fidelity thumbnails to figure out the panel layouts and who is in each panel. The art is very blobby and rough at this stage.
Create a medium-fidelity mock-up of the comic. The art is still rough, but I try to make it somewhat clear what the camera angle, dialog, and other stuff in the panel will be.
Pencil and ink the full-size pages and then eventually clean them up.
So Step 2 is new for me, and it’s been a huge help with Step 3 because when I go to layout the page and draw each panel it’s a lot less of a mystery.
Here are some photos of the med-fi mock-up:
As you can see, the art is pretty rough. But that’s okay since it’s just for me (and you too now I guess 🤓). Here’s a mostly finished page for comparison:
I think I’ll continue with Step 2 as part of my process for future projects. It takes a bit of extra time, but it’s been worth it so far. I’m going to share more pre-production designs and sketches from Lost Ship soon. I’m aiming to publish the comic this December.
My art and thoughts from my second time participating in the month-long challenge
Hooray, I just finished the Inktober challenge this year. I drew a different illustration each day in ink based on the prompts provided by the challenge. I also made each illustration space themed since I’ve been working on a sci-fi comic.
Last year I didn’t follow the prompts which made it difficult to figure out what to illustration. I’m glad I stuck with ’em this year.
Here are some of my favorite illustrations from the challenge:
Finally, here are the prompts:
I had a blast adapting each prompt. Inktober was a fun way to start each day. Participating in Inktober again builds my confidence because I can pretty clearly see how I’ve grown as an artist since last year. I’ve still got a lot to learn, but I’m getting better and truly enjoying it.
I made this little comic called NINA over the last few weeks as a way to get back into drawing page-sized comics traditionally and experiment with some new tools. It’s inspired by Blade Runner and Tsutomu Nihei’s Blame!. It was drawn on 9″ x 12″ bristol with technical pens. I added tone in Clip Studio Paint. I hope you enjoy it.
I was picking up a book I had on hold at the library and a manga on display caught my eye. Dementia 21. What a strange name. The bright yellow letters really stood out. I decided to check it out and give it a shot.
Wow, am I glad I did. It’s the best comic I’ve read this year.
How it’s been going and my aspirations for the next year, plus a collection of my art from the first year
I started making comics seriously a year ago in September 2017. It was an intentional change from exploring the world of filmmaking with the hopes of being able to tell visual stories entirely on my own. I can’t believe that a year has flown by. I’ve been enjoying the process of making comics and growing as an artist. It’s been slow going at times but ultimately rewarding.
You can also read Lunar Space Colony on Tapas and WEBTOON, both of which have dedicated phone apps.
I can’t believe it’s already July and that LSC is launching. I’ve been working on it every day for the last few months, and I’m going to do my best to stay ahead and hit the weekly release schedule. I hope you enjoy the comic and stay tuned for where the story goes.
A peek at my process for iterating on a comic panel
When making the art for a comic, I do a rough sketch, letter the text and sound effects, ink over the rough sketch, and then add Color.
Here’s what a panel from Lunar Space Colony looks like in the rough thumbnail stage:
And then after inking:
I’ve tried skipping the rough sketch to see if I could speed up my process, but then I end up lost when trying to figure out what goes where at the inking stage.
Once the inking is done, I go in and add color:
Lunar Space Colony has a pretty limited color palette since I’m still learning color and need to work relatively quickly with the weekly deadline.
That’s the evolution of a panel from sketch to ink to color. I’m sure that evolution will only get better and better as I improve as an artist.
I’m going to start publishing Lunar Space Colony in only a few days! On Tuesday, July 3rd, I’ll publish the first three episodes and then publish a new episode every Tuesday after. I’ve hit my stride with the project and am enjoying working on it. I’m excited to share it publicly soon! 🙂