Acting in Comics

A place to learn, for people who draw words and write images.

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I’m up super early due to a stomach ache, so I thought I’d post something while my insides get sorted. 

These are two pages from The Nameless City (my current comic project, check the tag for more stuff) that I redid. I don’t normally redraw comic pages, but one page required some heavy revisions, and I was pretty unhappy with the other page, so I figured I’d just scrap them and redo them (the original pages are on the left, the redone ones on the right). The nice thing about my recent switch to digital penciling is that “redoing” basically meant edits to the digital pencils, which I then printed out and re-inked. So I didn’t have to completely re-draw the pages from scratch. Bless you, digital  penciling! This was so much less time consuming than if I’d had to completely redraw the pages traditionally.

The revisions that I needed to do were on the second page (row two). My editor said that the way I’d drawn the top row of panels in the original page (on the left) made the character (Kai) look he was fainting, rather than stepping back, missing a step and falling backwards. I totally agree, and feel very ashamed for not noticing that when drawing the page originally! :D That is why I like working with an editor: they catch the things you miss. 

So I re-drew that row of panels, so now the focus is on Kai stepping backwards, rather than his dad rambling on. 

The other page (first row) is the previous page in the book, and it actually didn’t have any revision notes, but as I mentioned, I was unhappy with how I drew it. So I did some edits to the pencils, making the building a little more impressive, and adding in some bleeds (when a comic panel bleeds off the edge of a page) to make the panels have more impact.

To Bleed or Not to Bleed is something I’m always struggling with. I like bleeds a lot; I think they can have much more impact than non-bleed panels, because the panel becomes larger, and thus more “important” in a reader’s mind. Or that’s my theory at least. ;) I don’t really have a particular technique when using bleeds. I tend to use them intuitively, in instances when they feel “right.” But I tend to think less is more with bleeds, so I don’t like to always have panels bleeding off a page. It’s fun to break things up and try different things. Keeps the readers on their toes!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this little peek into my process of trying to make the best comic possible. :) (Oh, and that is not final text, just text dropped in to make it easier for my editor to read & give me notes.)

Filed under comics The Nameless City making comics

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ANOTHER ANATOMY POST! Only three vertebrate groups have successfully evolved flight: Birds, Bats, and Pterosaurs, which are NOT dinosaurs, and are an extremely diverse group of reptiles! Pterodactyl is not the only one. However, birds ARE dinosaurs. Avian dinosaurs!

Wings are not some extra structure you tack on to a creature and somehow the arms go away— they ARE arms. Think about that when you are designing creatures with wings and also giving them arms. That means your creature has six limbs.

Next anatomy post: The anatomy and evolution of DRAGONS. If you guys have any requests, feel free to send them in!

(via hoganddice)

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Firaxis Games’ concept artist Sang Han Sang on how to give your digital art a traditional look and feel. [source]


Many people have tried using brushes that simulate analogue bristles, but they may not have thought about how the paint is applied. Traditional painters take great care in applying each stroke of paint, which has been thoughtfully blended to the right colour and value on a palette.

Since the digital medium is so fast and forgiving, we tend to dive right in without much thought and noodle around until something happens. I think this leads to muddy colours, and the energy of the initial gesture gets lost.


I begin with a rough sketch, trying to keep it loose and gestural. It’s difficult to think about design, colour, lighting and composition all in one pass so I break it down into steps and keep it simple at the beginning. These early steps are important because not only are they the foundation for an entire painting, but some of these strokes may show through in the finished work.


Here I create a new layer and change the mode to Multiply. I then paint on this layer with a colour that resembles yellow ochre or burnt sienna. This will help to gauge value and colour more easily than if it was a white canvas. I could have simply filled the layer with a flat colour, but again, the painted strokes may show through and add to the final painting.


In this step, I block in the local colours and start rendering. As I do this, I try to remember not to overly blend or noodle around too much, as mentioned above. One of my goals is to retain the energy of each brush-stroke and put paint down with a sense of conviction. Sometimes I put a single stroke down, undo it and repeat this process many times until I’m satisfied.


Keep in mind that you don’t have to render everything. You’ll notice in traditional paintings, certain details are kept as abstract marks. This adds another level of interest to the viewer. As you get closer to the end of the painting, lay the strokes down with lower opacity to give the effect of thicker paint. I like to do this when rendering certain accents, such as highlights.

I need this like burning.

(via juliedillon)

Filed under painting digital painting tutorial

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milliebee11 asked: If you don't mind, could you tell me where the full guide on drawing body types is? I'd love to read more than just the one section people keep reblogging.


This is the original, I’ll put it out there that it’s five years old and there are definitely things I would word/draw better if I had to remake it today. It and the other one I did on musculature were honestly kind of spur of the moment things I scribbled down in response to someone on 4chan who asked something like “how do you draw” or something to that extent. I wasn’t expecting them to get spread around as much as they did, I just thought “Hey, I’m unemployed, what if instead of the canned ‘practise a lot and draw from life’ answer everyone always gives I just word vomit my entire process for breaking down a human body”.

Filed under reference anatomy queue

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MANGA STUDIO 5 DEMO (informal)

At request of fans/readers I did an impromptu informal demo of how I use Manga Studio 5. It is, as said, very informal with a lot of me bumbling my words and even cussing. I apologize, I’m not good at demos or mouth-words.

Also the audio quality ain’t super great, my good $80 mic is still in texas :„,( I’m getting it over Christmas, I think.

Anyway this was hasty and I spent time talking to chat and answering questions. Hope this helps <:3 I’m not used to doing demos of any sort live. 

(via kingclambo)

Filed under queue