Making a Comic: Backgrounds

You have been warned, there are a lot of pictures.

OKAY THEN! Long time no blog, kids. Hopefully this buttload of pictures will make up for that fact.

I figured that, seeing as this was the visual portion of the project, I would let the basically step-by-step photos do the talking for me. So. Here is how I drew the backgrounds for the first page of Faust!

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The first two images show the sketch with panels drawn. The panels frame the action, and direct the reader’s eye down the page. They look much nicer with “clean lines” than with the scribbly red lines I use for sketches.

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The three pictures above show the base colors I lay for backgrounds. You can see, it’s a nice kind of olive green that should put people in mind of army uniforms and the vaguely colorless dead grass expected in a Nazi camp. It also echoes the green color of the Nazi uniforms. More on that later. Color choice is very important in a comic, even in the background. It provides the backdrop for the main colors and the main lines, and should echo themes that appear later.



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Oh look, reference pictures! I definitely have the sketchiest google search history (pun intended). Reference pictures help give me a sense of what things should look like, as well as general ambiance I should be going for.

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Picking colors!

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Drawing the ground. That light brown is where the “dirt” will be in the page, going over the different greens that will be grass. I choose different shades of green in order to show the different kinds of grass (pretty obvious until you try and decide exactly what greens you want to use). Around halfway through this dirt drawing, I decide I don’t like the light brown and want to use a darker one. Choose a new color, keep going. You will notice I also use several different brushes, giving different texture to the grass, ground, flying sod, and individual blades of grass.




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All in all, this took about an hour to an hour and a half to paint. This is only the background. Wait until next time to see the really time-consuming parts of the page: lineart and color!