August has been a busier/more stressful month than I expected and because of this I'm probably not going to be able to add a comic a day for the rest of August but to make up for that I thought it might be interesting to show the working process for the cover of my new comic which I'm hoping to get finished for SPX in September. Maybe this is boring and pretty basic but I'm interested in seeing this sort of thing so hopefully some people will enjoy reading....
1) First I decide on a theme and title, this comic is going to be next in my "At The..." series titled At The Theme Park. So, I start with a rough plan in my sketchbook of the idea and how it looks in my mind. This is my favourite part of the process, I like the way the rough sketches look more than the final thing usually:
2) From this I draw a more detailed full size rough using a "Happy Days" jumbo ink tank gel ink pen in 0.5mm on thin cheap printer paper. I usually draw at double print size, this will be an A5 cover so in this case I'm drawing at A4:
3) I then use a lightbox to draw a final version of this using an extra fine Rotring art pen on a thicker better quality paper. Here I draw the layers of the drawing so for a complicated cover like this there are four separate A4 pages each with various parts of the final drawing:
5) I use the second rough drawing to check everything is in place and label each layer to make things easier:
6) Next step- I spend a while editing any mistakes and making sure each layer is in place:
7) Now the least fun part, colouring. I don't really enjoy this bit but that's probably because I haven't got a drawing tablet at the moment which would make things easier. I prefer colouring things by hand rather than on a screen. I generally look at things for colour inspiration like this Walt Disney World "Treasure Book of Memories" (ha) and refer back to my original colour plan. I usually start with a background colour which will be the main colour I use for the interior of the comic too (in this case purple) and then I build up a colour palette that is usually pastel rainbow colours of some kind:
8) Hours later (crying) I end up with something presentable that I will probably look at the next day and completely change before it goes to print:
If anyone would like to colour this design themselves I'm going to be sharing the files here for your enjoyment. I'd love to see any alternatives people come up with, feel free to grab the files and do what you want with them (but please don't sell them of course) You could even print it out and colour it in by hand. Send me a link or email me with anything you do- I'm interested in seeing other people's techniques!
I will be resuming the One A Day comics on my website as soon as I can get back to it. I'll probably put a couple up when I can....