The Process

Every time I read a picture book to my kids I need to pause on the copyright page, the place they keep the Library of Congress and ISBN information, to see if the illustrator provided some information on what medium was used to create the images.  My son always groans as I exclaim, ” This was rendered in watercolor and gauche and altered in Photoshop.  How exciting!”  “Just read,” he demands.   I read on, giddy with the anticipation, trying to figure out how each image was created.

If you have a similar obsession, continue reading.   If you could care less, go check your email.

To create the drawings in this blog I first sketch and layout the images in pencil on cheap copier paper.  Once I have a good working sketch I transfer it to bristol board.  Since I did not anticipate a good source for art supplies in my rural Turkish town I brought along a supply of Strathmore 300 series Bristol Board pads.  I then ink the comic using nib pens and permanent, waterproof india ink.  I really enjoy this final stage of inking the comic and seeing it come alive.

The Sabbatical Year is being drawn at an actual size of 10″ by 15″.  I chose this size because scanners are not common in the area of Turkey I am living, forcing me to bring a scanner along.  Desiring warm clothes for the winter, I purchased a small sheet-fed scanner, with a maximum paper size of 8.5″ by 11″, instead of bringing along a large flatbed scanner.  This necessitates that I draw the comic in parts and reassemble the panels later.  To do this I am using a netbook loaded with Photoshop Elements 6.  In Elements I am cleaning up any smudges, correcting the levels, and resizing the comic for web publishing.  I am using WordPress with the ComicPress theme and associated plugins to publish the comic.

I am always happy to talk process, sometimes enjoying that more than the end product, so contact me if you want to talk dpi and and my favorite nibs.

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