Comic Process

Added on by Francesca Buchko.

Well, The Clearing is completely inked, and the project is well on its way to being completed, and now the bulk of my drawing time is going to my piece for Light Grey Art Lab's Stacks show. I'm creating my zine in homage to the television show Lost, which first aired in my chosen year of the Stacks timeline, 2004. It was difficult choosing something, because whether I knew it at the time or not, 2004 was full of things that are very important to me. In the end making a decision came down to what I'd prefer to draw. Again, very difficult. 

Fortunately, working on The Clearing and having a blast doing it made me realize that I'd probably like to keep drawing some foliage. You'd better believe a tropical island has some foliage. The fun part is going from a north woods forest to a tropical, south pacific forest. 

In the meantime, though, I'd like to share a few process pictures I took with my phone while working on a panel edit to the comic. The one difference between this process and most of the pages is that I sketched directly on the paper--for the rest I blue-lined the pages.

I start with a sketch or drawing. This one is relatively loose, though that is partially because by this point, I'd drawn so many panels of wolves and leaves and that kind of thing, I had a pretty firm idea of what this panel needs to be. 

I start with a sketch or drawing. This one is relatively loose, though that is partially because by this point, I'd drawn so many panels of wolves and leaves and that kind of thing, I had a pretty firm idea of what this panel needs to be. 

I love this part. It's loose, fairly fast-paced drawing, and involves wetting the paper and using copious amounts of ink. By this point, I have a jar of water that has so much ink in it, I can use that water to lay down the lightest greys. Unlike working with watercolor, though, I don't do as much layering. I work from light to dark (like watercolor), but because ink is pretty permanent, I get as much of my business done while the paper is still wet.

I love this part. It's loose, fairly fast-paced drawing, and involves wetting the paper and using copious amounts of ink. By this point, I have a jar of water that has so much ink in it, I can use that water to lay down the lightest greys. Unlike working with watercolor, though, I don't do as much layering. I work from light to dark (like watercolor), but because ink is pretty permanent, I get as much of my business done while the paper is still wet.

Detail time! The trick is to remember what was in the sketch. Again, not a lot to remember here, because the sketch was loose and a lot of the things I need to know is apparent from the washes, but in some previous panels, I would have been lost if I hadn't documented my first sketches. Always keep track of your process!

Detail time! The trick is to remember what was in the sketch. Again, not a lot to remember here, because the sketch was loose and a lot of the things I need to know is apparent from the washes, but in some previous panels, I would have been lost if I hadn't documented my first sketches. Always keep track of your process!

The last thing I do (outside of the computer, which is a pretty important step in itself) is go back in with a brush and add any darks that I might need. Sometimes they help clean up a composition, sometimes they add texture...I like to work this way because it gives me room to be fluid and creative within the boundaries of my sketch.

The last thing I do (outside of the computer, which is a pretty important step in itself) is go back in with a brush and add any darks that I might need. Sometimes they help clean up a composition, sometimes they add texture...I like to work this way because it gives me room to be fluid and creative within the boundaries of my sketch.

One thing I have to mention, because I believe it has a huge role on the outcome of a project, is how amazing it has been working with a great writer/client. Keith had a very clear (and wonderful) vision for The Clearing, and it was a pleasure to start working with such a clear plan.  At the same time, he has been open and encouraging to the visual ideas I've provided. Love this project so much <3. Peace out.