How to make a web comic part 3: Drawing Run Freak Run

by Kaija on Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Posted in: Comics, making of RFR, Runfreakrun
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This is a follow up for the previous article in the “How to make a web comic”-series: Thumbnailing Run Freak Run

This part will be more of a step by step compared to the “Thumbnailing Run Freak Run”-article. All the compositional and storytelling rules still apply, but since we already did a quick overview of some of the important topics, I’ll jump straight to the practical stuff:

When the thumbnails are scanned, I print out each page in A4 and A3 formats. I clip the A4s together to form a book that I can flip through and “read”. The blown up thumbnails look like a big mess to anyone apart from me and Silver (whom I keep constantly in the loop and to whom I’ve extensively explain each jumble of shapes I’ve made). The A3s serve as a shortcut to not having to sketch each page in big format. I use a lightbox for the following sketching and re-sketching.

This is also the part of the process when I take out the iPhone and take loads of references for the panels. In the end I use a relatively small part of the photos taken, but I like to experiment with different gestures and angles through photos. Using photo references is a smart thing to do, especially if you’re working with even remotely realistic proportions. References are a great way to build your mental library and research things that you had no previous knowledge of. And if the goal of your image is to impart a sense of reality, why guess when you can find out :) When you are looking at a photo you should not be copying it down to every detail, but using it for what it is, a reference. What will make it unique and yours is how you interpret the information in front of you.

I tend to leave small, time consuming details (like small vegetation, textures and patterns) out of this stage and figure them out while inking. When I’m happy with the results, I draw the panels on a A3 bristol paper with a blue pencil.

Check out the next article in the “How to make a web comic”-series part 4: Inking Run Freak Run