Comic Book Style Design - Page 2
       by William Beachy | Go Media  |  17 February 2007

If you accidentally landed here without having completed the first page, click here to go back to the previous page.

Step 1. Draw with Pencil on Paper
The very first step is the pencil drawing. I could write a novel about how to draw, but this tutorial will focus on the process – the steps it takes – to go from pencil drawing to the finished, designed, commercial piece of artwork.

The following are the tools you will need:

I use a plate finish Bristol. This type of paper is heavy enough to handle a lot of erasing. It is also thick enough to not wrinkle when you are in the inking phase of this process.

I actually use a mechanical pencil like the KOH-I-NOOR Technigraph 5611 Lead Holder. This type of mechanical pencil holds a very thick piece of graphite that you sharpen and use similar to a real pencil, except it’s better.

I use the Staedtler Mars Plastic eraser. And a Sanford Tuff Stuff eraser stick.

I think that it is important to stay fairly loose when you are in the pencil drawing phase. Start with basic shapes, keep your lines fairly light and when you start to see the shape you’re going after you can focus in and "tighten" up your drawing.

Here is a sample of a fairly loose pencil drawing:

Here is a close-up sample of a fairly tight pencil drawing:

A Word of Encouragement about Drawing
I think most illustrators are far too hard on themselves. They expect to sit down with one piece of paper and draw exactly what they have in their mind the very first time around. In my opinion this is nearly impossible. Drawing is a process that takes a long time. I like to make an analogy between a good batter in baseball and a good illustrator. A great batting average for the major leagues is “.300.” This batting average means that they get 3 hits out of ten, or get a hit 30 percent of the time. I think that this is a reasonable expectation for an artist to have as well. If I can get 3 decent drawings out of ten attempts – I feel fairly good about myself.

So, relax while you’re in your pencil drawing phase of this process. Get yourself a big stack of paper and get loose, draw lots and don’t be concerned about “bad” sketches – just toss them aside and start over.

Here is our finished tight pencil drawing:

Onwards to the next page!

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

SUPPORTERS:'s fast and reliable hosting provided by Media Temple.