Page 2 of my webcomic ‘The Ravens and The Wolves’ is on Tapastic now.
Hey there, and welcome to what will be a regular feature on my blog on Tuesdays. These step by steps will be concise descriptions with images of my process making a comic page, hopefully giving a glimpse into how theyre made, as well as allowing me to analyse my own work.
SO LETS BEGIN! I first started this comic back in December 2012 and for a variety of reasons (including poor draft of the script) only the first page made it online. With hindsight, I’m glad, as it wasn’t a great example of my work. in the year and a half since the first version, the script has changed dramatically, and I’ve improved an awful lot as an artist. I’ll share a comparison shot at the end.
First thing when making the comic is to have your script. If you feel you can’t write a script, then work from someone elses. If you’re trying to do test pages for your portfolio to apply for comic jobs, its best to get an already existing script, which are easily found with a simple google search. If you’d like to write one, by all means do! I’m not a great writer, but I like the control over the story, themes and world it gives me.
Once you have your script, you should do some prep work, time allowing. By this I mean collecting reference for things you might need to draw, character designs, and environment sketches. Not every project will allow you the time for this but if you have the time, use it. Next step is to thumbnail out your pages. This is important. Thumbnails can be any size but its best to work small. Keep them rough, easily changed, try different things and try not to settle on the first layout you think of, as the first design is rarely the best. Thumbnailing is an important step for any comic page, illustration etc. For me, I work digitally, using a Wacom Bamboo tablet. My thumbnails are done using a rough opaque brush so i can build up images and shapes. You can see below just how rough I start.
The Next step is your finished linework, There are various ways to do this, be it with actual ink over pencils, using the pen tool in photoshop, or with brushes in photoshop. I use brushes in photoshop, and my technique is far FAR from perfect but I’m learning as I go. You want all of your line work to be clear, and consistant. objects in the foreground should have thicker outline than objects in the background. For this page, and for all of my comics, the line work may seem sparse in parts, but that is because I plan the page as a whole, which is to say, if I think I could detail or render something better with colour rather than linework, I will leave that till the colour stage. A good example is the blood coming from the arm, which is no where to be seen in the linework, but is an important part of my page.
Finally, for this page, as it had no lettering, the last step was the colouring. For this, its good to either get a colourist (if your not confident in your own colouring ability or choices) or colour yourself, but make sure you choose your colour palette before hand, and choose your colours carefully and thoughtfully, Think “Why am I choosing this colour”, “What is the theme and atmosphere” and “what does this colour represent”. Then use whatever colour theory you know to mix colours beforehand to make a palette of colours you expect to use. Heres the one I chose As you can see on my finished page, the red is meant to draw your eye and lead it across the page, panel by panel, to the points of interest (what I want you to focus on). The saturated bright blue is used as its a contrasting colour and I wanted to draw you to the eye of the white raven. As for colouring, you flat out the colours, which is when you isolate each section of the illustration and colour them with one flat colour. Next you add shadows, light, texture etc. This is nearly worth its own step by step. Then youre finished!
Final page can be seen here at Tapastic, and new pages will be uploaded every friday.
As promised, heres a comparison between the original page from a year and a half ago, and the new page from the revised script. Thanks for reading!
Hi! My name is Ian Fay, I also go by DirkPower, and I am a freelance artist/illustrator based in Dublin city, Ireland. My education was 3 years of art college, 2 of which were in the Irish school of animation in BCFE. I spent a year in retail, working in a comic shop (Which was… interesting) and since April I’ve been full time on art, working on my comic ‘The Ravens and The Wolves' and other projects.
My workspace is a sort of makeshift studio in Temple Bar in the center of the city. I work with my parter Squidgesketches, who is a lead animator, storyboard artist and comic artist. Nothing compares to having a second pair of trained eyes to look at your art in its infant stages to point out any mistakes and give unbiased and honest feedback, improves my work tenfold. We work great together and in fact the comic is based on her characters and world.
Artistically, my interests are sequential art, storyboarding and illustration. Some of my goals include drawing a full issue of Batman for DC Comics, being an art director for a videogame and working in film, perhaps directing a short. I’m also very interested in storyboarding for film and animation. Obviously I’m super into comics, at the moment I’m super into Saga. Some of my artistic inspirations are Frank Quitely, Declan Shalvey, Fiona Staples, Mike Mignola and Mahmud Asrar.
Aside from art, I love webshows like Rooster Teeth and Achievement Hunter's output, particularly the Lets Play series, Game Grumps and Hat Films. Theyre perfect for short breaks, or just before bed. As you can guess, I’m a big gamer, and we have a bunch of consoles set up in the studio to play and help decompress. Mario Kart 8 has been barely been turned off since we bought it. A lot of you are following me because of Game Grumps/ Starbomb fanart, and don’t worry, I’m always drawing more in my free time so there will be more soon, as well as Achievement Hunter fan art.
I am available for all kinds of work, including (but not limited to) commissions of characters (OC’s included), poster designs, comic work, storyboarding etc. If you have a project you’d like to work with me on, send an email to ianfayart at gmail.com. I will NOT, however, entertain offers of working for free. Art is a skill that takes hundreds of hours practice and study, and if you genuinely like my work or the work of others, don’t insult the artist by asking them to work for free (or way under-priced). If its not clear, heres the example I use, you wouldn’t ask a plumber to fix your toilet, then tell him you cant pay him, but you’ll tell anyone who asks that he was a great plumber. It doesn’t work, and ‘exposure' does not put food on the artists table.
As for my comic, The Ravens and The Wolves, I’m going to start posting that on Tapastic.com. It offers a far better layout than my tumblr for following the series and viewing the art. New pages (at least one) will be uploaded every Friday at this link http://tapastic.com/series/tratw
I'll continue to upload snippets from it here, sketches and on tuesdays I will do a step by step of the previous pages, showing my process.
I think thats enough for now, but hopefully you have a better understanding of who I am and who it is you’re following!
'The Ravens and The Wolves'
Based on characters by Squidgesketches
Story and Art: Ian Fay
I originally drew these guys nearly a year ago, but I was never happy with how the finished version i put online came out. It was coloured from a photograph (taken with a terrible phone camera) and it just never looked great, also Donatello had a terrible face!
I decided to scan the page properly this time and make a poster/ print design out of it, as I always liked the designs. Might actually print a couple of these if anyone was interested.
Starbomb album cover design.
I listen to these guys CONSTANTLY while drawing so it makes sense to design an album cover for them for fun. Second time I’ve drawn Danny Sexbang, first version can be seen here http://dirkpowerart.tumblr.com/post/77304814874/nailed-it-danny-sexbang-of-ninja-sex-party
I’m so happy they’re doing so well with the album.