Penciling a Page for a Comic Book

Today I did some work on my 3rd comic book in the series called ‘Rejected Breakfast’. It took me several hours to get this one page penciled to the point that I can ink over. I made the panels yesterday and got right into the penciling stage today.

It takes longer than I want it to, and time seems to fly by, so it’s fun, but it’s also a chore sometimes because I feel like I am not getting much done. I wish I were able to get more done in one day. I am currently trying to wake up earlier to fit more drawing time in.

I started this with no idea what it would turn into. This comic series is done in a stream of consciousness approach. Above you see the basic sketch that I started with. I sometimes do several pages like the one above before turning to the finished pencils. I leave some room to improve so I can fuss over it later.

The initial rough sketch is not accurate in perspective so I brought out my ruler and tried to do as good a job as I can. I worked on getting the two point perspective right so that it looks more realistic and so the finished inking will be accurate as well. There’s always room for changes and improvements when I get to the inking stage.

Two point perspective is complicated to explain, but to sum it up, you use two vanishing points that are positioned on a horizon line, and all the straight lines should end at those points. There’s so much out there that explains what it is, so I would just say that that is what I loosely followed when I got to the perspective. I’m not too good when it comes to perspective drawing, I usually prefer abstract art and perspective drawing is really involved to work on. Each panel should have its own vanishing points, horizon line, and its own perspective.

Below is as far as I took it today. It feels like it will take forever to get it all done if all I can do in one day is a penciled drawing. I may work on it some more later tonight, but I think I may want to do some other things. In total, I probably spent 3 hours on this. I will most likely add more to this in pencils, but again, it doesn’t need to be perfect before inking and even that can be edited later when I scan it in, so there’s room for error. It’s sloppy and messy, but I can work with this.

Busy Work for Comic Books- Penciling and Inking Panels

I decided to do some prep work today since I had some free time. This is work that is necessary though not very creative. I’m using comic book Bristol paper that already has guidelines on it specifically for comic book work. It makes the process a bit easier than a blank sheet, though it is possible to add your own borders etc. It is 11×17”, the standard size as far as I can tell for comic books. I’m adding lines to create panels for the drawings I will do later.

I always draw in blue when doing penciling for comic work as I can filter out the blue when I scan it. I will ink over the blue drawings before scanning of course. Using the blue will save a few steps. I won’t have to erase all the pencil work because it won’t scan in, the computer can just block out the blue and only see the black ink work.

I am using a small t-square ruler that allows me to easily make 90 degree angled lines. It’s not so important to get it exactly right as I will draw over them with ink later and the designs may extend past the outline of the panels, but it’s good to get it as close as possible. They are more like a guideline than a precise dictate.

Above are some pages with panel outlines ready for the penciling stage that will come later. I do these in batches because it’s simple work but annoying and boring and takes some time to do. I like to have a lot to work with when I sit down to draw. I think it is good to set aside time for blocks of the same type of work. Getting all the paneling done at once is a good way for me to work.

I use the sides of the paper and the tops of the paper to line up the t-square and lock in the 90 degree right angle. I do this for most panels, though some pages I decide to get a little creative with, adding odd angles to make it a little more interesting. I put the ruler upside down so that the flat part of it is against the paper. It makes the process a little more interesting, though not as wild as some other comic creators.

The ruler has a cork back on it which makes it so when using ink pens, the ink will not be smudged over. There is a gap between the drawing and the ruler so that the ink has space to dry.

As I have my t-square ruler out and ready, I decided to get some other monotonous work done as well. The penciling stage was already finished for some pages and I figured I might as well prepare for the inking stage. I guess I did ten pages of panels in the penciling stage and ten in inking stage. To get ready for inking, I go over previous panel outlines and run an ink pen over the penciled lines, taking care to avoid areas where the image extended past the original blue paneling.

Please check out book one and two of this comic book trilogy.

A Small Sampling of Progress on Rejected Breakfast Book 3 and strips.

I’ve been keeping busy with all of my projects. Having just completed a novel, I’ve been getting more work done on book 3 of my comic book series, ‘Rejected Breakfast’. I’ve started some comic strips and hope to get some regular posts in by the end of the year. There’s so much work to do. It all takes time, but I haven’t forgotten about this site. I want to not burn out so I’m taking time to rest and go slow so I can keep getting stuff done.