Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Promised Process Post

Sorry ladies and gentlemen, The Tao of Snarky pg 15 will be delayed a week. Unfortunately last weeks page threw off my production schedule and instead of cranking out a mediocre page I wanted to give page 15 the time it deserves.

However, I have a consolation prize... As you can see by the title I'm going to go over the process I follow to create a page of The Tao of Snarky: The Cutting Edge.

I'm going to start the process from the point where the script is already finished, in this case penned by Brad DaMaagd. After going over the script I create a thumbnail drawing of the page, getting down the main shapes and panels for the page. This thumbnail was done at a 2"x3".

Sometimes my "thumbnail" is done on a folded piece of 8.5"x11" paper, it all depends on what I have on hand at the time. Once the thumbnail is completed I scan it in and print it off on a standard sheet of letter size paper. When doing this I use a blue "screen" to turn the black lines to a light blue.

Now I tighten up the image using Red and Blue pencils. Red I use to create rough objects and shapes. Then I use blue pencil to define details. Once I'm comfortable with the details I use a technical pen to identify what's commonly called the"pencils". I then scan the image and remove the colored lines so only the pencil lineart remains.

This lineart is printed onto an 11"x17" comic art board using a light blue screen to make the lines print light blue as shown here.

Onto the next step... to put this simply I ink the page using the light blue lines a guide. For those wondering why I go through all these steps I like to work with a clean board when I ink. That means no pencil lines to erase once the inks are completed. I find it provides a crisp line that doesn't need much if any cleanup.

After the inking is done I'll scan in the page and start the coloring process. this starts with color "flats".

With the page having a very flat gray-toned look to I then go though and add shadows to the panels. To give the page a little more flair I added a texture to the gray outside of the panels.

With the page art finished I place the image into illustrator where I add the text, the balloons, and sound effects.

There you have it , that's the basic process I use to create every page of Snarky that you see posted here weekly... well maybe not weekly but as close to it I can come.

See everyone back here next week for page 15.



Denver Brubaker said...

I love seeing process stuff. It's so interesting to see how all of our weirdo cartoonist brains are wired the same, but different...thanks for sharing!

Ryan Claytor said...

Hey Jay,

I second Denver's sentiments. It was interesting for me to see how many times you pencil. There are a lot of refining and "tightening" stages in your process. Pretty inspiring. I'm not sure I'd have the patience for all that.

I thought it was also really fascinating to hear about how you try to avoid any pencils on your original inked boards. Personally, I sort of enjoy seeing all the blue pencil and construction lines on the originals, but this is one of the reasons I love to read through process posts; there's always a different method/opinion/approach to learn about.

Thanks for putting this together, my man!

Ryan Claytor
Elephant Eater Comics

Jay Jacot said...

Too true Denver... Too true.

@Ryan, I've been working on eliminating the thumbnail to pencils to ink stage. Well not eliminating but streamlining it making it less tedious.

As for the final inked page, I think the anal retentiveness came from having to clean up other creators pages for production.

I'm going to tweak this process a little bit as the weeks go on, maybe do a thumbnail/rough straight to comicboard, tighten up with blue line then ink. It should greatly reduce the production time and still make the final inked page easy to work with post scanning.


Unknown said...

I really appreciate this post. Process as the others said, is very interesting to me. I think I'll be practicing with various methods of this ilk. I really do like the cleanliness of it. Though seeing other artists with all their blue lines and such is something I enjoy, myself, I get frustrated by the "dirty" page as I work. course I'm of the ilk the rest of you artists are. But as a writer attempting to add art to my repertoire, I love seeing what you artists do.

Thanks for the post!