So you have probably seen our mascot, the dirty ol’ bastard holding the charred hotdogs, or at the very least the weiners (or our weiners). That piece of artwork, which our webpage doesn’t quite do justice so we will be releasing the full design as some desktop art, was done by a very talented artist friend of our, Eric Gapstur.
Since I basically stalk his Twitter and Twitpic feeds quite extensively, I see he recently posted steps of his work in progress, which will give you an idea the amount of work and thought that can go into creating a comic strip. All the art below can be enlarged by clicking on it.
You can find Eric Gapstur on Twitter at twitter.com/ericgapstur
That is the rough idea of how an artist wants the panels to lay out, where they want the character, and other basic directions sketched out simply so they have something to reference while doing the pencils, and this makes it easier to also see what works and to change what is needed.
Next comes up the pencils, and you see a panel was added in the center of the you gentleman falling. Depending on the artist, these can be much more rough or clean, and can be for a variety of reasons. Some pencilers like to give the inker a lot of area and opportunity to apply their trade. When an artist is doing the penciling and the inking by themselves, the artist tends to do the pencils much quicker as they know they can do tweaks and corrections while laying the ink down.
Next up come the inks, where an artist adds depth and shading, carefully defining forms of characters and objects in the work. Line weight and perspective can be a very delicate process to learn on how to apply it correctly to help center the reader’s focus where it should be in the panel and to also to make things appear correct in the reader’s brain as not to distract them. The reader may not know what is off, but that something is, and then they are taken out of the experience.
After all of this, if the piece is to remain un-colorized, all that is really left is to clean up that last remaining lines and do some final touchups. During this step, many artists will do some more work to smooth out areas, or to make it even more appealing to the eye with gradients or a wash to areas.
I would also like to clear things up, as I am no artist (ask anyone who has played Pictionary with me), this is just a simple explanation to some folks who might not know how many revisions artwork can go through until they are finished, and some of the steps involved. If you are an artist and would like to provide a step by step example (with more precises and accurate descriptions of the techniques going on, then please feel free to email us at email@example.com
And just to mention once again, you can find Eric Gapstur on Twitter at twitter.com/ericgapstur