The character contest mentioned in the previous blog entry will end on the 20th. I'll release the sketches then.
Today I'll share the basic process of one of my comic pages.
I've been doing webcomics for ten years, though I hit a rough patch of updating while I was in university. However, Spidersilk will celebrate its three year anniversary in September and has been going strong. It was promoted to "featured" on inkblazers.com in February.
Each Spidersilk comic page takes about three and a half to four hours. A very detailed page can take up to five. Since I tend to do scripting and storyboarding altogether before drawing, it is hard to determine the exact amount of time in each page.
The bulk of the comic is monochrome, but first page of each chapter is in color to help readers visualize the world. It is the page that sets many of the colors for the rest of the chapter, and this page is usually more detailed to help set the scene.
I had to draw horses and a city scene for this page. I have drawn only one horse in the past four years and have little experience with city scenes. I've been doing horse sketches to prepare for this chapter, but for the most part I didn't line or color them. I just needed proportions and to get comfortable. (I am not comfortable with them, but I suspect by the end of this chapter I will be!)
Though each step for this page took longer than usual, this is a fairly normal process. After the script I storyboard - lay it all out. I add the dialogue in this step, then hide it. Depending on comfort level, I do two to three sketch layers before inking (digitally).
After that comes inking. I then add black, and position and fill in the word balloons. From there I add the colors, but since my lines for this comic are not tight I don't use the magic wand bucket-fill option. The coloring process can be time-consuming, especially for the first page.
Below is a slideshow of the image coming from the storyboard/roughs stage to completion. This is the opening page of chapter eleven.
Because I was consulting images of horses and cityscapes often, this page took a few hours longer than usual. As I go through the chapter I will become more comfortable drawing the city and horses.
Below I'll share a sketch compilation of horses (in general) I did around the beginning of the year in anticipation of this chapter. Last, there is a compilation of reference images I used for this page. I generally don't need reference images for most pages (other than ones I made of characters to be certain of facial features/profile/details are correct), but I ended up using quite a few.
In the city scene second from bottom I used green lines to highlight the angles. I have been looking at tutorials on perspective and making cities look organic. Being able to see how this was at work in such a picture helped me draw the basic idea.