Alright, here's page one of "Badge", my western story. The plan is to post pages as I finish them, with no set schedule. Once I have a decent number of pages done to act as a buffer, I'll create a site for the strip and make it a proper web comic. Right now, I'm just trying to get into a production groove, see if the story has any legs, and to get some feedback (good or bad):
I'm producing the pages at full print resolution in the event that the story ever goes to print. Here's a full rez shot of panel three as an example:
I thought I'd go over my process (which is still evolving), in case there's any interest. I'm working from a loose outline which should honestly be tighter than it is, but I want to get this story rolling before I find more excuses not to do it. I'm drawing thumbnails for each page at about 2"x3", scanning them in, then printing them out at 6"x9" and penciling over that:
The finished art is all done in Photoshop to save time and to allow for more experimentation. The goal is to build up several simple techniques to get an illustrative look in a relatively short amount of time. The first step is the inking, which is primarily focused on form and laying in the graphical black elements. I want the story to have a bit of a rough edge, so I created a brush that gives me a look similar to black Prismacolor pencil on textured paper:
Next, I go in an lay in some medium greys, mostly flat with a few gradients:
After that, I go back in with a brush I made that has an ink wash feel to it to give the page some extra texture and tonal value:
One all that is in, I go back and do a polishing pass with digital screens (like the old zip-a-tone patterns that old comics used) for more tone and texture, some digital spatter (which I used to do with an old toothbrush back in the day), and finally, just going in and punching out some white highlights on things:
After the lettering is done, I overlay a scan of old parchment paper to give everything an antiqued look and I'm pretty much done. It sounds like a lot, but really, I'm just building up several simple steps that add up to (I hope) a lush, finished look.
When I post the second page, I'll re-post page one without all of the blabbing.
Thanks for taking a look. Like I said, any comments, good or bad, are appreciated.