Blogs:

The process.
by Draginbeard

Howdy folks,

I've been pretty busy on the comic for a while, the last few weeks have been especially busy as I get pages through the process and into the buffer. Each page seems to go a little smoother as I learn my way around the block.  I thought I would share with you some of the things I do right now, and list the goals I have for myself as things progress.

Writing.

 I jot down every idea. Some I sketch in a storyboard, others I just put down in the many notebooks I have scattered through my place. Once I have a solid idea for an adventure, I look at the big picture and see where it might fit. Always I take the two most important questions and apply them to everything. "What if?" and "Why?" Everything sort of flows from there.

Art.

Sketch. Observe. Practice. That's my routine and there is no getting around it if I want to get better.

Right now every page starts with the script. Then I storyboard it with a practice page. I like to play with angles a lot. I have multiple pages for a single frame. Once I have a strong notion of how I want the page to look, I do the final pencils.

Lettering is done by hand, and I am still rough at it. Inking the page comes last, and for that I have started simplifying things. Only basic shading instead of overly detailed hatching. I love detail, and while cartooning is very forgiving, I still want things to at least be grounded in the natural world.

Clean up and final shading is done in Photoshop. This is the newest process and the most intimidating. The program is amazing with what it can do. I have become obsessed with brushes and the kinds of texture and patterns I can lay out. You will see this more and more as the strip evolves.

Coloring.

Yes, I do want to color my work, but that is going to have to wait a little bit.

The goal I have is pretty basic. I want to tell a story that would interest me. I like fantasy best, so that's the kind I'm going to put up. The art is going to go through its growing pains, but then I like seeing how other artists improve from where they started. I have embraced my own similarly.

I have no formal schooling or training. Everything I do now, I had to learn through books, video and lots of practice. It hasn't been easy, and if it wasn't for  the encouragement of family and friends, I'm not sure the strip would even have made it this far.

There you have it in a nut shell. I will leave you to your browsing, and I will go back to work.

See you next update!

Gavin