Monday, December 20, 2010
Just for fun I thought you might like to see a photo of the latest Postman Prat as it appeared during the pencil stage. There's my desk in the photo above with the partly completed pages, photographed a few weeks ago. (Don't worry. I don't draw in candlelight. It's just how the photo's turned out.) Beside the artwork is the script I had e-mailed to me from the Dandy office. I go through the script and mark out how many panels will appear on each row.
These days I pencil the strips with Light Blue Prismacolor Col-Erase pencils. They're non-repro, which means that the blue pencil lines won't reproduce on screen when you scan them into your computer as black line. That's after you ink them of course, and recently I've taken to using various sizes of Uni Pin Fine Line fibre tip pens. (Sizes 0.5 and 0.8 mainly.) I've avoided using fibre tip pens in the past as they smudge or fade when you erase pencil lines, but now I'm using non-repro blue pencils they don't need to be erased.
The Uni Pin pens give a good consistent line and a good degree of control. I usually double back over some lines to give them a thick/thin effect and a sense of weight. Over the years I've used dip nibs and Rotring pens but the Uni Pin ones seem to suit me at present. As for paper, I currently use Canson Bristol Board.
After inking I scan the pages into my Mac at 300dpi, black line (to eliminate the blue pencil). However, here's a section scanned in colour so you can see the pencils and inks:
After cleaning up the pages in Photoshop (correcting minor errors etc) I convert it to Greyscale, fill in the large areas of solid black, convert it to CMYK, and colour the pages. Here's a panel from the finished page:
I then e-mail the pages to the Dandy editor, along with the script, and the pages are lettered in the office using the script as a guide. The finished product is in the shops now in the monster-sized 76 page Christmas issue of The Dandy!