Tuesday, July 31, 2012

An Interesting Process...


Greetings PNR friends, peers, and (frequently) fantatics!

As many of my beloved stalkers...er, Facebook-savvy fans know, I have been hard at work creating the comic book version of my PNR urban fantasy/adventure novel, Black Dog and Rebel Rose. This dark paranormal has just about everything: sex, tattoos, motorcycles, vampyre slaying (resplendent with blood splatter and awesome horror gore), angels, demons, a headstrong Nephil huntress who likes things done HER way, and a half-demon bad boy known for rocking a woman's world (note the illustration above--;-). A story I loved writing and that I STILL love in prose...and yet one that I always felt would work BEST as a comic.

I have begun posting the fruits of my continuing labors on my Facebook page, and the response has been awesome. Lots of folks are asking: how does it work? What is the process of creating a comic book page? Even those who have no interest in comics--which, I'm sure, involves much of the PNR reading world--are still interested in the process. So...*drumroll please**...here you go! Creating a comic...in pictures!

Now, I will not be illustrating this using all the same page artwork each time...hopefully this will make things more interesting and still be easy to follow.

STEP 1: THE SKETCH


Not too impressive, I know...but this is just the beginning. :-)
To give myself an idea for how a page should be laid out, I will create a very scribbly looking sketch of where characters should be placed, how panels should work out, etc. In this case, my heroine is riding her Ducati Monster along a dirt road, where she spots a vulture eating roadkill and proceeds to have an intense flashback regarding her mother's death. Can you see that in this drawing? HELL NO! But I can, and that's all we need at this point.

STEP TWO: FINAL PENCIL SKETCH



Now, in the "old school" of comics, pencils would usually be tighter than this. Some artists still make their pencils as tight as any finished drawing for a comic page. I do not, since I am working digitally in a program called Manga Studio, a program specifically designed for comics creation and publication and allows me to create cutting-edge artwork demanded by the industry standard, and I don't need pencils to be so final. Dialogue bubbles are added as a "guide".

STEP THREE: DEFINING PENCILS/ INKING

Here you will see a definite "in process" shot. Again, not super impressive, but important nonetheless. :-) In this particular example, I have eliminated parts of the pencil art and drawn in sketchy areas in blue--these would be called "non photo blue" sketches (because if you are doing this art on paper rather than digitally, sketches would be done using a special blue pencil that would allow you to sketch parts of the drawing that won't show up when scanned/printed). You can see part of the page has already been inked a bit. The red line allows me to plot the flow of the page to make sure it will make sense before it is finalized in ink.

STEP FOUR: FINAL INKING



We're getting there! Clean inking is applied digitally, and a grey background is applied (this particular comic is being created in black, grey and white tones with eyes in color only). I have also already colored the eyes in here, and applied the final panel layouts.

STEP FIVE: FINAL COLOR



Here it is!!! The final colored page! All we need now is to add dialogue bubbles and narration and...presto!!! We have a finished page! :-D

Looks pretty different from the first example, huh? :-) 

--Danielle


TAG!! You're it! Find me online:
http://www.danielledsmith.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/danielle.d.smith.10?ref=tn_tnmn
Twitter: @DaniDSmith
Check out the original Black Dog and Rebel Rose story on Amazon (also available everywhere else):
http://tinyurl.com/BD-RRKINDLE


1 comment:

Angela Evans said...

I wish I had your talent sweets. I reckon it's great you show us how these are done, shows just how much hard work it takes for you to produce something so awesome.