Blog posted by Ste Pickford on Mon, 30 May 2016
Subject: Plok comic strip
I saw somebody over in the Facebook webcomics group post a gif of the different stages of the process of making a comic panel, and I was so impressed I thought I'd do the same with a panel of the Plok comic.
I still do the very early stages on paper, starting with a really rough layout sketch, in pen, in my work notebook, before doing a very rough pencil version on paper. No matter how much practice I have at drawing digitally, I still find it easier to get the first sketches down on paper rather than using a computer. I think it's to do with zoom levels. I need to be both zoomed in and zoomed out at the same time when getting the raw ideas down, and on the screen I have to be one or the other - not both - but on paper I can move my head closer to, or further away from, the paper, without interrupting my drawing. Perhaps it would be doable with a Cintiq and a desktop monitor as well? Don't know.
The actual proper pencilling and inking I do in Clip Studio Paint (formally known as Manga Studio), which is great for drawing in, and has the amazing perspective ruler tool, which is a godsend. I then switch to Photoshop for colouring and lettering. I've heard people say that Manga Studio is good for colouring, but I think I'm just too used to all the tricks I know of in Photoshop (especially various image blending effects) to switch.
Manga Studio is probably better for lettering, but I've set up all my lettering samples for the Plok comic already in Photoshop, and I don't want to have to switch apps twice in the process. I'd probably do lettering in Manga Studio before colouring if I was starting a new strip.
Click the gif for a bigger version, if you want.