Your character is a mad scientist, and they have created a MONSTER!
Thumbnails are small, rough drawings that help you work out how to fit everything from the script onto the pages. They don’t have to make sense to anyone but yourself!
Pencils are – you guessed it – the pencil drawings of your comic page! Using your thumbnails as a guide, you draw the page larger and with more detail (how much detail you add is up to you!).
Remember our script from last week? We’ll be using that comic to show you each of the stages – pencilling, inking, colouring, and lettering – over the next few weeks. Are the pencils below anything like what you imagined when you were reading the script?
As you go through the stages of making your own comics, you’ll find out what you’re most comfortable doing. Also, with any stage of drawing, you can change your mind about how you want it to look! Maybe a panel looked really good as a thumbnail, but now looks strange at full-size? Don’t be afraid to change it.
Each of our Thursday prompts starts life as a digital pencil sketch! Have a look at how they go from sketch to finished drawings below (and see what changes along the way!).
The next step after coming up with your story is to turn that story into a script! Let’s look at the same story written in two different ways, with the help of our DCCS mascot Bob* and his alien friends.
This first script is simple. We are in a street, then something happens, and a character is annoyed about it! Who is the character? What does the street look like? What exploded?! It’s up to Bob to make these decisions.
This script tells us more about what we’re seeing, when we’re seeing it, and who it is happening to! Bob can still decide how things look, but he has more of a sense of what the mysterious writer is asking for.
Is one script better than the other? As usual, the answer is NO!
It comes down to what you are comfortable writing, and who you are writing it for. Are you happy to let future-you decide how something is going to look when you start drawing, or do you want to describe it in writing first?
OR, are you writing a script for someone else to draw? Do you trust your artist to go wild with their imagination, or do you want to give them more direction? Maybe you could write a script for someone in your household to draw using our template below!
Whether we realise it or not, we are constantly telling stories. What ingredients do most stories contain?
They start somewhere, then something happens, and then (eventually), it has to end! Seems easy enough, right?
The tricky part is deciding what kind of story you want to tell. Maybe you’re writing the next epic superhero crossover event, or maybe you just want to make comics about what a character does from day-to-day! Regardless of the story, the tips below can help you decide what’s going to happen.
Stuck for story ideas? Maybe one of our comic prompts could help!
What is a zine, you might ask? The word “zine” comes from magazine, and they started to get popular in the 1960s. They’re also known as fanzines, minis, minicomics, and many other names.
The ‘rules’ for making a zine are as follows:
Zines can be about literally anything. Maybe you would make a zine about objects that begin with the letter B, or how much you love Clippy, or how many times you’ve seen a yellow car drive past your window. Zines can also be sketchbooks, journals, or, most importantly – comics!
At DCCS, we most often make our zines using a single sheet of A4 paper and a pair of scissors. Following the steps below, we can turn it into an 8-page book!
You can also use different sizes of paper! An A3 sheet will give you more space to draw (but will be harder to photocopy), while an A5 sheet would give you less space to draw (but you could make more copies).
Below are a couple of templates for you to use – one with the folding instructions, and another with some drawing prompts. Go make some zines!
In your comics, your characters are going to be doing all sorts of actions. Maybe they’ll be eating a delicious sandwich, or diving into a pool, or relaxing on a beanbag playing some video games. But wait – how do we know how to draw them doing those things?!
We build up the drawing step-by-step!
Step 1: Gesture
With any action, it helps to start with a stick figure (or gesture) of that pose. Not sure how a pose looks? Get someone around you to pose for you and take a photo of them! You can also look up reference videos on Youtube if you’re not sure how to draw a certain movement (such as diving into a pool).
Remember: When you’re drawing your gesture, make sure to draw lightly so that you can erase it easily later on (or if you’re drawing digitally, draw on a different layer with lower opacity!).
Step 2: Structure
Once you have your gesture, it’s time to add the structure. These are the proportions of your character around the stick figure! How this looks will depend on your character design.
Again, you will want to draw this lightly, so that if you need to change anything you can do so easily.
When designing your character, try drawing them from different angles. You can then use that as a reference when you’re adding structure to your gestures!
Step 3: It’s Alive!
Once you’re happy with your gesture and structure, you can finish off your drawing! Ink it, colour it, live your life, be free.
This may sound like a lot of work for just one drawing, and it is! Well done for going through all of these steps. As with most things, the more you practice, the easier it will get. We promise.