One of the conundrums I have faced is the problem of retaining the quality I get when drawing comics by hand (and the fun, for that matter; hand-drawing gives me an emotional release that I just don’t get using a tablet) and the convenience and ease of editing I get from digital creation. I recently picked up a scanner that can handle 11 x 17 panels, so I have been experimenting with some different techniques. I am working a new comic about three Georgia brothers who start as bootleg drivers and wind up as NASCAR racers in its early days, so there are a lot of really exciting and challenging things that are going to some up. I want to draw this in a detailed pen-and-ink style but with washes of color for mood and tone. It’s going to be different than anything I have done before and requires a melding of the two mediums.
For this panel, I started by drawing on bristol from photographic reference. I then scanned the drawing in, knocking out the background white so that only the black lines remained. I then did a Bob Ross-style stippling in Photoshop to add a watercolor texture and some depth. I then added another layer for the wash color and used the burn tool to create shadows on the building, etc. When I add the characters on a another layer it will allow me to reuse the same backgrounds rather than needing to redraw them in every panel. Initially, there will be a lot of work, but in the end it should go pretty quickly. I’ll be putting examples up as I get them done.