Design Your Own Comic

Have you ever had any desire to be a comic book artist but decided against it? You might have had thoughts that it would be too hard and that you didn’t know enough about the art industry to make your own comic. If you are one of these people you are pretty far from the truth. In this tutorial I am going to show you how to make your own comic book page with just some normal everyday art supplies you can find at your local general store and turn it into a professional looking comic book page.
Here’s what to expect: In step one I will be demonstrating coloring in Photoshop, explaining the difference between CMYK and RGB. This will help you understand the basics of print. In step two, I will be going over the page layouts and some artistic designs for your own comic. In step three, I am going to demonstrate what you should be doing while drawing out your own comic and the steps to approach to make it the standard for scanning. In Step four, I will show you how to adjust your inked drawing to become a solid black picture ready for coloring. Step five will run over the coloring portion of the comic to turn your drawing into a real work of art. Steps six and seven will show you how to clean up the image, putting the final touches on it and formatting it to fit on a sheet of paper. I hope you enjoy this tutorial and leave with something that you will have fun with in the future.

Step 1: Choose Your Coloring

First off before we start, since this is a comic book layout page and it has the potential to be printed, you will want to work exclusively in CMYK. CMYK is a better choice for this project or any painting project that you are doing that will be printed out. If you were to use RGB it would come out darker than normal because you would need a light source for RGB to work properly, I have inserted a diagram below demonstrating the different colors of RGB and CMYK.

If you want to know more about the color options I would encourage you to search it to get a better understanding of the choices and what color option you should use for whatever project you are working on. In the end it comes out looking better if you know the details. Your color option is displayed at the top of the window you currently have open. A majority of the time Photoshop will start you off with RGB. To change this just click on “Image>Mode>CMYK Color” and your window should display “(CMYK)” at the top

Step 2: Page Layout

For this tutorial it’s best to use a drawing tablet, as it is with any painting in Photoshop. But for the sake of the average Joe I am just going to use the mouse as an alternative. If you have a drawing tablet available I would encourage you to use it as it is far easier to get better results by using it. First off, we want a page layout of our comic strip. I like to draw out my full pages but you can use a layout template from the web and print it out or even purchase comic book programs that give you hundreds of layout options. If you choose to draw your own you can always clean it up later if you have loose lines, so it’s no big deal. You will want to have an idea of what your story layout will be, obviously. After that, figure up how many blocks you will need and draw them out in the fashion that
you see fit.

Once you have a finished page layout you’re ready to start drawing pictures in your boxes. If you have drawn out your layout you can add extra designs and artistic value to the page if you would like, in my design I have made 6 boxes and a design that fills in the blank areas in between the boxes.

Step 3: Drawing,
Designing And Scanning

When you draw something out be sure to use black ink to go over it. Using black ink defines the picture a lot better and makes for better quality when adjusting the line art in the layout, also erase any stray pencil marks that may be on the picture once the ink is dry.

Once you have your pictures drawn out its time to scan it off. Normally I go through Photoshop and scan the picture so I don’t have to save it and open it back up. The first thing we want to do is adjust the scanning options, the placement of these options vary with different scanners. We will want to scan in Grayscale at 600 DPI, if the picture comes in a little off balance its no big deal we can adjust that image to be straight later. Once the image is scanned you will have a pretty big file on your hands and this may temporarily slow your computer down due to the amount of memory this image can take up. I would advise that when working with these images you have any other running programs shut down.

If your image is off balance just select the selection tool and make a marquee around the off set image and hit ctrl-T to transform the layout and turn it to the correct angle. After it is corrected crop it to fit the window.

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