What’s your process?

Everybody has their own way of doing things, and the Webcomic Alliance folks thought it would be neat to compare the different ways we approach our artwork. So I thought I’d get the ball rolling and share with you a video I’d made earlier of my storyboarding and sketching process! (I hope you’ll forgive the dual-purpose use!)

Scripting & Dummy Book

I like very bare-bones scripts – if I’m illustrating for myself or others. I enjoy the freedom of a brief script, and it makes picking out overly-wordy dialog easy. I also rarely script out more than a scene or two at a time. I know where the story and each chapter start and end, but I like flexibility in actually crafting the pages. It keeps things fresh for me, and I get to revisit my themes many times over as I progress through a chapter.

My “Dummy book” is like a more developed series of thumb-nail sketches. It lets me get an idea of how the final product will look in the book. That way I can plan for pages to flow well not only online, but in the printed book format as well. Here’s an example of how that concept works in application. The two pages below will appear side-by-side in the printed book. Even though they were created to stand on their own, they can also work as a 2-page-spread:

Naked Sketches are the Best Sketches

I always focus on the anatomy beneath the clothing rather than starting with clothed characters. It has really helped me envision how the body works as well as how cloth will fall on a form. The only downside is the judgmental looks of people that can actually decipher the chicken-scratch that is my drawing style.

Perspective and Backgrounds

I used to hate backgrounds, but that was before I picked up one of my favorite books for perspective drawing of all time (~$14 on Amazon and well worth the price):

Vanishing Point: Perspective for Comics from the Ground Up
by Jason Cheeseman-Meyer

What’s your process?

What kind of scripts do you write? How do you translate that into storyboards or pages? What are your favorite drawing resources?

Robin Dempsey is addicted to storytelling, despite all logical reasoning against this irrationally glorious pursuit. By day she works as a Mechanical Engineer, and in every spare moment outside of that she is making comics. Including in her sleep, on occasion. Addicted to world-building, character crafting, and language making, you can find the results of her sprawling storytelling pursuits at LeyLinesComic.com! Or drop a line on Twitter at RobinofLeyLines.