Wednesday, May 16, 2018

LINE WEBTOON & TAPASTIC panel specs

I just found out yesterday that Line Webtoon's specs for posting a comic is:

800px wide x 1280px long for each panel
File size 2MB or lower
JPG format

Tapastic's specs are:

940px x 4000px per panel
2MB
JPG, GIF, PNG

Since my webcomic panels are all the same size, in an ideal world it won't be too much of a problem to resize them. Fingers crossed.

BUT...my graphic novel is formatted to a graphic novel page. UGH! I'm guessing that resizing them to these cell phone size specs is going to be a major pain! *banging head on wall* Why does life do this to me!

Some Creative Every Day Blog Hop Drawings

I've been posting drawings every day for the Creative Every Day blog hop, but I've been posting them on my other blog which was geared more toward my writing. Since I'm combining my art and writing into comics now, I have one for art and one for writing that I've sort of melded into both.

These are some of the drawings that I posted on my other blog, but not all since I deleted them from my phone and don't want to retake them again. All of them except for the first one are drawings of characters for my comics that I'm trying to get the right design for. I haven't found the right look yet, so I'm not going to use any of these designs.








Tuesday, May 15, 2018

First 4 Colored Panels

I printed my webcomic in black and white to show some friends and kids to get their opinion on the ending. There were several spots I could have stopped the comic and I needed feedback, especially from kids.

Many of the panels were unfinished, but most of it was complete. I just had to go back in and draw smoke and teeth. Small stuff like that.

I had two different fonts to see which one they liked better. After getting their feedback, I didn't use either one. I re-created another font based on their feedback. I used Calligraphr.com to create the fonts.

I didn't think it would take a long time dropping the color in and adding the fonts, but it took hours! I had to resize the fonts, create new bubbles, choose the right colors that fit the 70s, but still went well together, etc.  I didn't like the standard oval speech bubbles, so I used the curve balloon tool in Clip Studio Paint to get a more uneven bubble. It looks much better. Every bubble is different.

This is what the first four panels look like:
I might go back in and add hair shine. The couch might be a little dark, so I'm thinking of muting the color. I don't want it to get too close to the color of the kids because I want to have a contrast so the kids stand out more.

This is not what the page is going to look like. This is going to be on Line Webtoon, so the panels will be displayed individually since the reader will swipe up for the next panel. The number in the bottom right corner is only for my reference. It won't be displayed in the final version.

I like the way it's turning out so far!  I decided not to use all caps for the font because instead of bolding the font for emphasized words, I'm going to use all caps. It's easier for me to do it that way than to go in to physically bold the letters. The program I use doesn't allow me to bold my font unless I create another font. Time is of the essence, so it's easier not to switch fonts anyway.

Once the colors are established for sure, I'm hoping the process goes quicker. Otherwise, I won't be able to churn out many panels to post every week.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Free Comic Book day loot

Did any of you go to Free Comic Book Day?

These are the comics I got for free that I'm looking forward to reading. I already read Casper. I chose most of them so I could look at the drawings for reference. They are not too far off from the way I draw anyway. Some of the drawings of today remind me of the Casper style in some way. Chris Sanders, the Lilo and Stitch artist, has a style that I was reminded of when I was reading Casper. He draws sexy girls that are very roundy and I wondered if he drew Casper as a kid.


These are the books my husband bought me while we were at the comic shops:

I already read The Lunch Witch. I like the whimsical writing and the way the drawings are put together. Deb Lucke has a YouTube video where you can see her process. She doesn't draw in panels the traditional way. She just draws on pieces of paper and then puts them together digitally. For the backgrounds, she throws food and drinks or whatever on the paper to give it a unique look. After watching her video, I realized that I don't have to stick to a precise panel size or even draw in a panel. It's a very free-ing idea and process.

I already read most of the Moomin comics from the library, but this is the first time I've seen a Moomin comic in a store. I like studying them to figure out the magic of their success. It seems obvious that Miyazaki got a lot of his ideas for Totoro and Princess Mononoke from Moomin. This book is one of the more popular Moomin stories. It highlights how irrational people can be during a natural disaster.

I have never seen The Short Con before but the drawings look appealing to me. I kept picking this book up, putting it back, then picking it up again. I did this about four times. The story and reviews sounded interesting, too. I haven't read it yet but I'm looking forward to it. It's small and easy to get lost among the larger books around it on the shelf, but I'm glad I found it.

Okay, I've got to get back to working on my comic. It's almost ready for coloring! I can't wait. I have to draw one more panel, ink 6 panels, and then it's color time!

Monday, May 07, 2018

My Webcomic Process or Stuff I'm Figuring Out - thumbnailing, ink brushes, panel templates, Lunch Witch

Above is an example of my thumbnailed roughs. I section the panels this way. I'm not getting fancy with the size of the panels because I plan on posting this to Line Webtoon where the majority of their readers will read it on a mobile device and swipe up to read the next panel. I'm just using old, yellowed paper that my uncle gave me when he was cleaning his house. It's throw-away stuff, so it works for me.

If I want to add panels in between others, I just write "insert" where I want to add a panel and draw the panel on another sheet. I letter the panels to indicate what order they should be in. Here is an example:

I've been using different brushes for inking. I guess I haven't settled on any one particular one, yet. I recently found an old Japanese brush pen that I've had for ages, but hardly ever used. So far, I like working with it on my comic. The ink never flowed very well, but I cleaned it out and also dip it in Speedball ink. I replaced the red sable brush tip a few years ago, but since I never used it, it's still good.

In the picture below, it's in the center. I don't remember the name, but I think it started with an O. I couldn't find it online, but the one it closest resembles is the Kuretake.

The Pentel pen on the top has a very fine tip which is hard to control. You have to work very carefully with it or else you'll get a squiggly line every time it touches the paper. You have to lie it flat and pull it along the paper. If you can get used to it, it can draw very fine details.

The brush on the bottom is, of course, the Winsor & Newton Series 7 sable brush size 0 that most comic artists seem to like to use. I think the size
2 or 4 is the one that most people use, but my drawings are small, so I have to use the smaller brush.
I've been drawing on 4"x4" panels for my webcomic, but for my graphic novel the panels are much bigger. I'm not sure if I mentioned this before, but I use a 4"x4" illustration board cutout to draw the borders in my roughs. I got the idea from Lincoln Peirce who does the Big Nate comics. His brother made him a wooden template that he uses instead of measuring all the panels out.

I don't have a way to cut a template in wood, so I use illustration board. The problem with using a frame cutout is that paper boards move when you trace in the center. I was getting crooked borders until I figured that it wouldn't move if I used a solid shape and traced around the outer edges. This is what I use:

I hand ink the borders and resize them on the computer.

Deb Lucke, author of The Lunch Witch, has an interesting and inspiring video of her process on YouTube. Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cIeGlChrNo

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Random art stuff I discovered


Up until a few weeks ago, I had never heard of a Lettering Guide. I posted about getting one a few weeks ago. I used up a whole pad of Bristol board for my webcomic and look what I found on the cover! There was a picture of the lettering guide right in front of my face this whole time! It's right next to the grasshopper. Weird synchronicity!

My dad passed away a few years ago and he was an engineer. I took home some of his drafting supplies and kept them in a drawer. While I was looking for something else, I found his old drafting pencil and sharpener along with red pencil lead. I had just switched to using red lead instead of blue. Score! Maybe he's helping me from beyond the grave...


I found this useful life hack by chance and thought I would share it with you. You can resurrect old, hard erasers by sanding off the surface. Once you sand it down, you can use it again. What an awesome find! I love life hacks!


Friday, April 27, 2018

My Graphic Novel/Webcomic Process - Paper, Ink, Drawing Style

To clarify, the graphic novel I'm working on is a separate story from my webcomic, but using the same characters. Instead of trying to find a publisher for my graphic novel, I'm going to post it as a free webcomic. I think publishers want to see if you have a following before they invest in contracting your graphic novel.

Right now I'm going to write about my webcomic. I'm drawing it on comic strip style Bristol board. It's 5"x17" Strathmore 300 series Bristol board. It's hard to turn the paper around on my small desk, so I now cut the paper in half to fit just 2 panels per sheet. I took this photo a few weeks ago, but am showing it for size comparison. The panels are 4"x4". It doesn't matter that it's not in a graphic novel or comic format/layout because I plan on posting these on Webtoon where the reader will swipe up to view each panel.

The drawing on the lower right corner doesn't have an inked border yet. You can digitally add your borders if you want so you don't have to ink them. I chose to ink my own borders because I want the shaky line look as opposed to the clean, even digital lines. I want the thick and thin line variation. It's just more visually interesting to me.

In the photo above, the pile on the left contains finished, inked panels. In the pile on the right, I inked them with the Micron PN#49 pen, but am going to go over the lines with a Winsor & Newton sable Series 7 size 0 brush and Speedball India ink. The Micron pen is thin, but good for small details like the face, hands, and feet. I don't go over all the lines with the brush. I just go over the parts where I want line thickness variation and the borders.

My intention was to draw quick, sketchy drawings so I can get the comic done faster, but I can't seem to be okay with leaving my drawings like that. Right now, I'm averaging about 4 inked panels per day. Another reason why I'm not leaving my lines sketchy is that when I go to color it, it'll take longer if I have to compensate for the gaps not being closed.

I wanted my comic to look more like my drawing below because that's how I normally draw, but it's the coloring that's restricting me. If anyone has any advice, please let me know in the comments section. If I didn't color my comics, I could draw it this way, but well, I like color.


I'm learning as I go along and posting my experience. Everybody goes about it differently. If you have any tips or advice, please feel free to share it in the comments.

Thanks.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

My Graphic Novel/Webcomic Process - Colored pencil transfer, ink

Since the Saral transfer paper I'm using is blue, I decided to use red pencil on the tracing paper so that the lines show up better when I'm transferring my drawings.

I found a tiny ~2" jam jar that I had around the house and used it to put my ink in. I have a small desk, so space is limited and I don't want to spill a huge jar by accident on my desk. I bought a 16 fl. oz. bottle of Speedball India Ink because I read that a lot of people ink their comics with it.

I have # 0, 2, and 4 sizes of Winsor & Newton Series 7 sable brushes, but the 0 size works best for me on 4"x4" panels. I wish I had a size 1 brush. I think that would give me a thicker line for the borders without having to go over the lines to make them thicker. The art stores around me don't  carry the Series 7 brushes even though I live in a big city, so I had to order them online.

In the picture above, before I had the Ames lettering guide, I drew a fence on tracing paper. I went over it with ballpoint pen so that it couldn't be erased. The reason I did this is because I was planning to use the same fence for different panels and drawing characters in front of it. When I transferred it, I didn't add the wood grains or blemishes in the wood because I'm planning on adding those digitally.

I figured out later that I didn't have to draw the fence in pen. I just use another sheet of tracing paper to draw my characters over/in front of the fence. Also, I don't have to re-draw the fence in another panel because I'm going to copy or move it around digitally later. I can draw the characters on a panel without the background and then just superimpose it over the fence. They can be resized digitally as well.

If you're not that digitally savvy, like me, it might be faster to just Saral transfer the fence to another panel, then transfer the character in front of it the way you like it. All you have to do after that is ink it. You'll save time rather than trying to digitally move everything around. In a sense, it's moving the images around with tracing paper versus doing the same thing digitally. The good thing about doing it digitally is that you can shrink or enlarge the images.

When I first started inking my comic without much experience with inking comics, I used a Micron PN#49 pen. I went over the lines with a Pentel brush pen to give the lines some thick and thin variation. I'm still using the Micron pen, but I just saw a tutorial yesterday where a guy said the tips on those don't last very long. He recommended using Copic pens.

The tip on my Pentel brush pen is so thin and sharp that when I touched the paper, most times I'd get a squiggly line or little "tails." I love the pen for sketching because of that thin point, but for inking my comics, I think I need more practice inking with it. That's when I switched to using the Series 7 brushes to go over the lines with ink.

The borders in the picture above were done with the Pentel brush pen. When I scanned the drawings in, they were too thin. Now I make the lines thicker which I will show in a future post.

Comic on!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Lettering Guide For Drawing Parallel Lines






This week I discovered the Ames Lettering Guide. Have you seen this before?! I don't remember ever seeing this in art school or seeing it in my high school drafting class. I had to draw three different kinds of fences in a panel for my webcomic. It took me probably over an hour with all the measuring and stuff.

AFTER all that, I heard someone mention it on a podcast. It's for drawing straight letters and words for comics, drafting, and other architectural type stuff. You can draw parallel lines with it for FENCES. I watched a tutorial on how to use it and was amazed. It was like the clouds were opening up above me and angels were singing.

My late father was an engineer, so I was sure he must've had one, but when I called my mom to see if she could look for it, she was on her way out the door. (Argh #1) I called the art store near me which is about a 5 minute drive from me, but out of all the days in the week, they were closed that day. (Argh #2)

I looked at my thumbnails and there were more fences I needed to draw. I thought of drawing a closeup of the character and eliminating the background, but realized that it would confuse the reader and mess up the continuity, so (Argh #3) I had to drive to the next city over to get it at the art store there.

I was able to get a good parking spot (yay!) and the guide was cheap ($3.35), but I took the one on the top of the pile. My gut was telling me to choose another one in case it was cracked, but I ignored that feeling and just took the one on top. When I got home, I discovered that it was slightly cracked so the wheel was hard to turn. (Argh #4)

The next day, my mom told me that my dad actually did have one that she found. (Argh #5) I told her I would take it anyway because the one I got was cracked. So, that's a yay. It's exactly the same, but that one is a Staedtler brand. I love their products, so that's a yay!

None of the tutorials I found explained what the fractions on the right side of the tool are, but everything else is explained. I didn't understand the explanation on the instruction sheet.

After I bought the Ames lettering guide, I discovered that the last fence I drew was crooked, so I erased it and re-drew it using the guide. It took half the time or less.

I didn't use a T-square. Instead, I looked for the angle I wanted and taped a ruler down at the bottom. I placed the guide on top of the ruler and slid it in equal increments to the width I wanted to draw each section of the fence. I used the angled side, but you can use the perpendicular side as well.

The tool is small and doesn't take up much space on the desk which is a plus. I use it as a straight edge as well and it helps that it's transparent.

If you have trouble writing words evenly across, this tool would help you keep your lines straight and keep the height of your letters consistent.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

My Graphic Novel Process 5 - Comparison Chart, Model Sheets, Tracing Paper

To help me with keeping the height of my characters consistent, I drew this size comparison chart. I drew it on tracing paper. To add characters, I just overlay another sheet of tracing paper over it and draw on that.

I didn't do a turnaround model sheet for each character because I have a lot of characters and it would take too much time. What I mean by "turnaround" is a sheet of one character that shows them from each angle (front, back, and sides, and three-quarter views) as if they are turning around in space on a swivel.

Instead, I drew each character on a sheet of paper smaller than 4"x6". I just cut an 8.5"x11" sheet of paper into 4 pieces. This way, I can refer back to my drawings to make sure I don't change the way they look from panel to panel. I pay attention to hair length, hair style, type of clothes they would wear, and overall look. Since the sheets of paper are small, I can prop them up next to my drawing board to refer back to as I draw each panel. It's a space saver. Once I'm done with that character, I switch it out with the next character. They're like cards.

Here is an example:
They're very rough. Just an indication of what I'm going to have them wear sometimes or a reminder of their hairstyle. Not necessarily in proportion. lol I fix that in the final drawing. Sometimes I'll draw them more than once on the same sheet. Whatever I need to refer to.

As I stated before in a previous post, I draw my final panels on Strathmore Bristol Board, 300 series, smooth surface, 11"x14".

I started out drawing directly on the board with a light blue Col-erase pencil, but I was erasing so much that I was damaging and staining the surface. At the time, I didn't know how to drop out the blue pencil digitally later on, so I laid a sheet of tracing paper over the board and drew on that. Even though I know how to drop that background color out now, I still draw on the tracing paper.

I transfer the drawing to the board with blue Saral transfer paper. Using the tracing paper allows me to make changes to the drawing before the transfer. If I want the neck shorter, I can just move the character's head on the tracing paper down before I transfer the drawing. It also helps with transferring repetitive patterns. If I want to move an object somewhere else, I can do so easily and quickly using this process without having to erase and redraw it on the board.

If I just have to draw a face or two on a panel, I'll just draw it directly on the panel because I'm more confident with drawing faces. After drawing these characters over and over ad nauseum throughout the GN, I'm sure I will get confident enough to draw them directly on the board without using the tracing paper. I definitely need the tracing paper for the backgrounds since that is not my forte.

I also use the tracing paper to retrace the panel borders so I don't have to measure them again. In the final, I will draw the borders in digitally, so they don't have to be perfect.

Here are some examples of my tracing paper drawings:

By the way, the Saral paper goes a long way. I use the same sheet of paper over and over again countless times.

I don't include the word bubbles or text on the board because I'm going to add those in later digitally. Sometimes I'll write the text on my tracing paper to remind me what's going on in the panel to keep the expressions consistent with what the characters are saying and to make sure the story is sequentially consistent. If I change the dialogue, I'll write it there because I will refer back to these sheets when I add the text. I also number the sheets of tracing paper so I can find them easier later.

I hope this was useful in some way. Everybody works differently and my process might change later. Follow whatever procedure is most comfortable for you.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, March 23, 2018

My Graphic Novel Process 4 - Webcomics and Webhosting

The plan for my graphic novel was to find a literary agent who would shop it around to publishers. What I've discovered is that publishers are reluctant to sign someone who has no online following for their comic. So, I started working on thumbnails for a webcomic that I intended to use to drum up a following and get my name out there while I continued to work on my GN. Once I got a good following, I thought it would be easier to shop my graphic novel around. It made sense to me before, but not now.

What I decided to do is to post my graphic novel online for free, a page per week. This would get it out there right away while I'm still working on it. The plan now is to get half a year's worth inked and colored before I start posting them. That's 26 pages. There are 52 weeks in the year, so 26 pages will cover half a year of posting once per week.

Just about all the cartoonists I researched that got published by big name publishers had posted webcomics for free. They got a following, were discovered, and offered publishing deals. If I'm not mistaken, Raina Telgemeier started posting Smile as a webcomic on a paid comic site. That site would offer the current page for free, but in order to read the previous archived pages, the readers would have to pay a low monthly fee of around $2/month. She got very few readers there. The site had a one-day special where the archives were free, but just for that one day. Her readership spiked to the thousands. She moved her webcomic to a free hosting site and gained a bigger following which led her to a publishing contract for The Babysitters Club and later Smile.

After learning that, I decided to post my webcomics on a free site. I like these two web hosting sites: http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/ and http://www.smackjeeves.com/. They seem to handle graphic novel page layouts the best. SmackJeeves has nice looking templates for your personal webcomic page. So exciting! I'm planning on signing up for both sites.

LINE Webtoon will probably get you the most amount of readers and feedback/comments than any other webhosting site for webcomics out there right now. The drawback is their formatting. Standard graphic novel layouts don't work well on this site. The majority of its readers read webcomics on their phone. They like to swipe up to read each panel. So, they would be reading the comic vertically as opposed to reading from left to right or right to left. You have to post your webcomic with this in mind.

If you are chosen to be featured on LINE Webtoon, they will give you a monthly salary, give you free marketing and publicity, and you could possibly get a deal to turn your comic into a movie or TV show. However, if they feature you, you have to agree to post only on their site. If your webcomic is on other sites such as The Duck Webcomics or SmackJeeves, you will have to remove them from those sites. You would have to post exclusively to LINE Webtoon.

I plan to post to these three sites and hope for the best. As long as you're not featured on LINE Webtoon, you can post anywhere you want.

As I was saying, I wrote and drew thumbnails for a webcomic intended to introduce the characters of my graphic novel and tie my other comic ideas together. However, I love the characters and stories I created for this "secondary" webcomic! So, I'm going to do a whole series on them. I'll continue to work on them while I post my GN. They are going to be friends with my GN characters, so they will be under the same umbrella/series name. Like how Archie comics characters have their own comic book series. Archie, Betty and Veronica, Jughead, etc.

As usual, this post is getting too long, so I'll post more later. I hope I've given you some helpful information.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Shecember Day 12

I really like the way this one came out. I used Conte pastel pencils and a little bit of colored prismacolor pencil on a cheap pad of marbled paper that I got from Michael's Arts and Crafts Supply for $1 a couple of years ago. The Conte works really well on this paper.

I missed a couple of Shecember days because I ran out of ideas that would be interesting enough for me to draw. A few years ago I painted an ACEO card of a plump lady in an old fashioned striped bathing suit. It came out really good and I want to draw something like that. I have to find a good swimsuit and think of an interesting pose.

I've been listening to dogman podcasts (Dogman Encounters and Dark Waters on YouTube) while I draw. Land Between the Lakes and Taylor, Mississippi seem to be scary places to be after dark. Yikes! I shall remain in the city.



Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Shecember Days 8-11

Shecember day 8, done with blue Crayola pencil which was too light for my taste. Prismacolor is better.:


Shecember day 9 done with crayons and pencil:


Shecember day10 done with red and blue pencil on marbled paper:


Shecember day 11. Vintage swimsuit:

Friday, December 08, 2017

Shecember Days 6 & 7


I tried to turn Marilyn Monroe into a Fred Moore style drawing, but they didn't really turn out that way. They didn't turn out bad, but I have to keep at it.

I still have to do my Shecember drawing for today. But first, I have to make dinner...


Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Shecember Day 5 - Looking Through The Rock Wall

I drew this with crayola crayons and white pencil. She had a mass of wavy hair, but I thought it was more interesting just to show her face because it looks as if she could be looking through a hole in a rock wall.

Monday, December 04, 2017

Shecember Day 4 - Morticia Addams

It's hard to find interesting things to draw. I go with what I'm in the mood to draw and Morticia Addams was it for today. I kind of made her less sinister, but that was not intentional. I don't think people would know it was her unless I stated it.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Shecember Day 3

No crayon today. Just the flat pencil lead. Trying something different today. Sort of trying for the Justin Sweet style.

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Shecember Day 2

I posted the pencil sketch without color to Facebook and Instagram, but I thought I would post the colored version here. The color takes something away from the drawing for some reason. I don't know why. The color isn't bad, but it didn't have the effect I thought it would.

Yesterday, I tried using crayon and I liked it, so I'm going to be using it more often. I used just regular red Crayola here, but it looks more like cadmium red on my computer.


This is the pencil I used which is from a shop at the mall called Morning Glory. It's a chain. I've seen it at several malls. I actually spent two hours shopping for art supplies there, but that's beside the point. I always thought it was Hello Kitty type of store, but they sell other types of super cute stuff there. It's not an art store, but they have a lot of cute, cheap stuff you can use to draw with.

Anyway, this pencil has a flat tip and is a 2B, so it's soft and draws dark which is awesome. I used it to create the drawing I posted yesterday for Shecember Day 1.

Happy drawing!

Friday, December 01, 2017

My graphic novel process 3 - Paper and Fonts

I heard that several graphic novelists use Strathmore Bristol Smooth, 300 Series so that's what I am using. My scanner is standard size, so the biggest I can work on is the 11"x14" pad. You can stitch the scans together with the scanner I have, but I don't want to try it. I have an Epson Perfection V370 Photo scanner. I don't even remember why I bought this scanner, but I think another artist recommended it. If I had more money, I would buy a scanner with a bigger bed so I can draw on bigger pads of paper.

Raina Telgemeier draws as small as 9"x12" I think, if I remember correctly from reading her blog. That happens to be the biggest size my scanner can handle, so that's the size I'm drawing my pages. The drawings get pretty small in the panels when drawing at this size. I try to draw the figures as big as I can while still fitting the characters and word bubbles in.

If you haven't figured this out yet, you need to draw toward the bottom of the panels in order to fit your word bubbles in.

I wanted to write my own text in the bubbles, but sometimes it's hard to fit all the text in there so I created my own font using my handwriting. The web site I used was https://www.calligraphr.com/en/. My thinking is that if I need to make quick changes or corrections, I can hand-write it without having mismatched fonts.

I initially wanted to use a free font from a website like Blambot, but I didn't want to have to worry about copyrights or using something that a lot of other people use. With free fonts, you can use them for personal use, but not business use. All that is confusing to me, so going with my own font is a better option for me. No hassle, no worry.

With Calligraphr, you may not be able to make fonts for numbers. I had a problem with making question marks and exclamation points, so I had to do the process over two or three times. I wanted those symbols to be slightly slanted to distinguish them from the other letters. It's probably a personal preference, but it's something to think about if you want to make your own font.

If you're getting the free font, only one font can be saved at a time on your computer. If you want to make a different font, you'll have to delete the previous one.

When using fonts for comics, there is a rule I found out when using the "I" with and without serifs. If it is used as a standalone word, "I" has serifs which are the horizontal dash-like marks on the top and bottom of the letter. For example, "I am" would have serifs. If using the "I" in a word, it would have no serifs. I'm probably not explaining it very well. You can read a clearer explanation at the Blambot website: http://www.blambot.com/articles_grammar.shtml

That's it for now. Happy drawing!

Costume Drawing at the CTNX (Creative Talent Network Expo)

It was so crowded and hot at CTNX a couple of weeks ago, so I went outside and finished filling up my sketchbook with costume drawings. Here are some of them:




Since it was the end of the day, I didn't have time to draw the other models.  I heard someone say this model models at Art Center in Pasadena.

There were two other stands nearby with a woman dressed as a witch (I think) and a man in a top hat. I would've liked to draw them, but I filled my sketchbook and it was starting to get cold. The day was unusually hot for November, but when the sun went down it got cold. My jacket was at the Animation Mentor booth where my husband was meeting his students, so I had to stop drawing and go get it.

I was going to bring two sketchbooks to the expo, but didn't think I would draw that much and didn't want to carry it. D'oh! I wish I had brought it.

Shecember Day 1

December snuck up on me real quick! I'm participating in Shecember which is an informal challenge to draw a woman every day in December and post it on social media.

Drawing females is usually my forte, but a week or two ago I tried coming up with something early for Shecember and all the drawings of women that I drew pretty much sucked.

I forgot about Shecember after that until my friend texted me yesterday reminding me of it. Thinking that December was next week, I didn't prepare for it. When midnight hit, I realized that it was December 1! What!

I grabbed a flat-lead, carpenter style pencil ($2) that I got from Morning Glory which is like a Hello Kitty store (in my mind) and a few of my kids' crayons that they never use anymore and went to work on a quick sketch.

Here is what I drew in different stages:




In the first drawing, she looked like a troublemaker, so I kept going. I still wasn't satisfied with the second one. I used some cheapo generic crayon which didn't have rich color, but worked perfectly for the cheeks. I think I used Crayola for the rest. It came out way better than I thought. Now I know how I can make good use of these crayons besides giving them away like I was doing.

You should try it!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

My graphic novel process 2 - Thumbnails

This is a picture of the stack of thumbnails I did the first time around. I almost used a whole ream of paper. I don't remember the exact number, but I think it was around 180 pages.

I didn't write a manuscript before I started. I just drew out my ideas for scenes and revised as I went along. I went through it again and added and deleted drawings. I tried to cut the story down as much as I could. I asked myself whether or not each scene needed to be there to move the story along. If not, it was deleted.

A lot of people write a manuscript before they do the drawings, but its easier for me to draw it out so I can easily move scenes around. I've written a novel before and it's hard to have to sift through pages of text to find a scene you want to alter. With thumbnails it's much quicker. If I want to add drawings, I just write "* insert" and add a letter after the page number. For example, "* insert page 32A" then I would add it after page 32.

For pages or drawings I want to delete, I don't throw them out. I just write an "X" in the corner of the page and put it in another folder. Sometimes I'll look at those pages again and decide that I need them after all.

I've looked at how other people go about creating their graphic novel. I've looked at how Raina Telgemeier, Colleen Coover, Faith Erin Hicks, Sarah Glidden, Kazu Kibuishi, and other artists go about creating their books. It's best to look at how other people do their graphic novels and use what works for you. I've modified an idea from Fran Meneses of "Frannerd" to organize my thumbnails. I would post the link here, but I can't find it. She has too many videos to count on YouTube, but I'm sure there are many helpful things you can find on her vlogs.

Since I have so many pages, I needed a system that would be more manageable. I thumbnailed out the whole book again, but this time thinking about the design of the pages. I cut a sheet of 8.5"x11" paper into 4 sections. I laid out my pages on these small sheets of paper and used a glue stick to paste them lightly onto a sheet of 8.5"x11" paper. Glue sticks don't adhere very well, so by using them lightly allowed me to remove and add pages easily if I wanted to make changes along the way.



I learned that you should have a sort of cliffhanger at the end of the pages where the reader will be turning the page so they will be compelled to keep reading. Laying the pages out this way helps you to see how your pages flow.

That's it for now. More next time. Ciao.