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Step by Step, Day by Day

While I was inking this weekend I thought it might be interesting to show you the steps of my process for Awful Lot.  After I've pencilled out the page I always start with Awful.  His fur contains a lot of brush strokes, but very few of them have to be incredibly particular.  I feel like this is a good way to warm up on each page, as I'm also more comfortable drawing Awful than any other character.  He was the first one created, and the most often drawn on the page.

After that I move on to the secondary characters.  I typically start with Cuddles Bear next if she's on the page.  Like Awful I use a lot of brush marks to try and give her fur a sense of texture.  I will lay down thick black lines where need be (like the table on this page) and then make the finer marks of her fur after I've unloaded some of the ink from the brush.  After Cuddles I moved on to Geckory to try and get the smooth lines of his body in as few strokes as possible.  I saved Rosie Skunk for last.  I like to clean my brush right after and drop a lot of black on the page.  I don't know if this is really important or not, but I am paranoid.

Finally I put in panel borders and erase the pencil marks.  The pencils plan everything out, but this is the first chance I feel I get to really see the comic page as it should look.  That's when I come back and apply touch ups with white and a .45 mm fixed tip pen.  I added the white of Rosie's stripe to her head in panel two (oops!).  I cleaned up the side of the table in front of Awful, resized Geckory's pupil in panel 3, and gently strengthened the fur on Cuddles.

I've gotten a couple of weeks ahead on my inking schedule of Awful so this week I'm devoting to touch ups and scanning all of the backlog of pages in.  Next week I can letter them.  This will bring me a third of a chapter (about 2 months worth) ahead of what's going live on the site.  I'm greatful for a comfortable lead time while still feeling like I'm getting the benefits of thinking and planning on my feet.  Well while still adhering to my pretty explicit plot spine.

Hope you enjoyed reading this Curve as much as I enjoyed writing it.  Inking is a fascinating process to me, and I know I approach it in a different manner than I've seen from a lot of people.  Thanks again for reading.

-Jon O



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