February 5, 2016 Chess No Comments on How to make your own comic
How to make your own comic
Need some brain exercise that will help you hone your creativity and extract new ideas? Why not make a comic? Even when you’re bored or want to take a break from your everyday routine, making a comic will always be refreshing – with endless ideas for stories and interesting characters that allow your imagination to run wild. If you’re a designer then you already have the skills to make a comic; it is also a good addition to your portfolio. It is also very doable even without using a computer.
According to Scott McCloud (on the non-sequitur in comics), “There is a kind of alchemy at work in the space between panels which can help us find meaning or resonance in even the most jarring of combinations.”
And even if you’re not a designer and wants to make a comic, then go ahead! It’s really not that hard. Getting into the groove of making a traditional comic, some of the materials you might want to have on hand include A4 copy or printing paper, HB pencil, dip pens and waterproof Indian ink, and a Bristol board or any card with a smooth, strong surface.
Interaction designer Rebecca Cottrell gives a step-by-step guide in making a comic:
- Getting the right ideas – Jot down everything that you think can think of, including dreams, funny conversations, and events. It is a good idea to roughly sketch out the story first but be prepared to make a couple changes as you go along. You may want to keep a sketch diary so you can keep track of ideas whenever and wherever.
- Editing stories with the use of thumbnails – Editing drawings can be harder and slower compared to editing words. Splitting your comic draft into thumbnails makes it easier as you can rearrange them or remove a thumbnail that you think won’t work. Tear up an A4 paper into squares where one thumbnail is equal to one panel. You don’t have to worry about the quality of your drawing on each panel, as you’re just in the stage of organizing thoughts. Now you can move the scenes around or cut scenes as you see fit.
- Planning a layout – Now that you’ve probably got the comic’s story down pat, next is to plan out your comic layout or how they will look on the page. Divide an A4 sheet into equal panels and play around with the comic layout, scale, story, etc., and arrange the thumbnails into the layout.
- Drawing the comic – For this part, Rebecca Cottrell recommended drawing on an A4 Bristol board paper for its smooth surface. It also holds ink pretty well and tolerates rubbing out. To start drawing, use the thumbnails as your reference and only draw lightly with an HB pencil. This is so that the lightly drawn lines can be easily erased.
- Comic inking and coloring – When you have finished drawing your comic and are ready for the finishing touches, the next step is inking and coloring. Use a dip pen and waterproof ink for inking your comic. Make sure you practice with the dip pen first since it’s easy to smudge and mess up. If you don’t have a dip pen, any good quality pen will do. Now for the coloring part. It can be done after all the ink has dried. Get rid of the penciled lines first and remember to only use a limited color palette. You can do the coloring in three different ways: painting directly on the comic, photocopying and painting on the copy, or scanning the comic and painting it on Photoshop.
Now you have your comic! Why not challenge yourself to make a short comic every once in a while to serve as a good brain exercise.
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