Materials and Techniques Part 1: Introduction to Comic Craft
A presentation by Becca Hillburn and Heidi Black introducing the basic materials utilized in creating comics. Covers pencils, leads, papers.
- Intro to Comic-Craft Or, all the stuff you need to know to make some manga
- So lets make some comics! Lets start out with the tools of the trade...
- Paper You mean there's more than one kind? & copy paper (20lb, 24lb, 28lb, 32lb also in sizes of letter, legal, a4) & thicker papers (cardstock/presentation paper) & manga papers (deleter, maxon, copic) & bristol board (canson, strathmore) & other media/illustration boards (for wet media/paints)
- pencils & Graphite pencils mechanical, wooden, drafting/lead holders & Varying lead hardness gives you different values
- Non-photo blue pencils & nonphoto blue pencils are a favorite of comic artists because they can be easily dropped from art & great for working out perspective, anatomy, etc before committing to a line with pencil or ink & jetpens.com sells nonphoto blue (soft blue) mechanical leads & other colors can be used use hue/saturation/lightness in photoshop to drop that color
- Inking tools & tech pens: copic, pitt, micron, rapidograph & brushes: watercolor/sable brushes are great & brush pens: felt tip or synthetic bristle & nib & ink (dip pens) & fountain pens
- Other tools & ruler/t-square/triangle/straight edge & french curves & circle and ellipse templates & eraser (vynl, plastic, kneaded)
- Computer programs & adobe photoshop considered the standard & adobe illustrator difficult to learn & corel painter better for illustration & manga studio offers a lot of templates, screentones, used by many professionals & paint tool sai cheaper alternative, also good for coloring & free alternatives such as gimp, open canvas
- That's a lot of stuff! Relax! You don't need all of those things Start simple. Find what works best for you. It isn't the same for everyone!
- Now we have stuff, so lets make some comics! Where do we start?
- Everyone has a story to tell & short stories are usually best to start with & many artists do autobio comics about events that happen to them & gag cartoons/comic strips are also good first comics & try to avoid your 2000-page epic as your first comic
- Starting with a script & a script will keep you on track with your story & a script can be very simple such as bullet points and actions, or very complex & scripts are also much easier to revise than art
- thumbnails & thumbnails are your first draft they help you visualize what you want on the page without committing too much time/effort & thumbnails can be very simple (stick figures) & making multiple thumbnails using different camera angles can help you create more visually interesting pages
- roughs & a tight rough is usually page size & refining what you worked out in your thumbnails & this is the place to work on things like perspective
- Pencils and inks & some artists will make another pass at the pencils before inking & if you mess up, you can use white paint or a white gel pen to erase mistakes. & or photoshop.
- screentones & screen tones are often used in manga & tones can be bought and pasted on original art, or applied digitally & other ways to make grey values include hatching/cross hatching, dry brush, watercolor/ink wash, and copic markers
- Colored comics & various techniques to make colored comics digital media, markers, paints, colored pencil, mixed media & its your comic, do what makes you happy!
- So what's the secret to being an awesome comic artist? Practice. A lot. Read comics. A lot of them. A huge variety of them.