Cleanin’ it up

(Apr 01, 2010)

So I finished Americus last week!

Okay, that’s a bit of a lie. I finished doing all the initial drawing of Americus last week. It’s still not ready to be sent to our big cheese over at First Second, Calista Brill, to begin the major editing process. Right now I’ve still got to clean up some panels and do some editing on the last two chapters I just finished. I thought that maybe this week I would show everyone how I go about doing that.

Since the chapters I’m working on now are sort of the climax and resolution of the story, and I don’t want to spoil any of it, I pulled some pages from a couple of chapters ago that needed some editing to show you how I go about doing it. [I apologize ahead of time for the crappy quality of the photos].

So here we are with two pages that had the same issue – its the introduction of a new character, and it had been so long since I drew her that I had kind of forgotten what she looked like. Admittedly, I should have referred to the initial character sketch I had done before I started drawing her, but sometimes I get lazy and try to wing it…

Now it might seem like a small issue, but basically her hair looked too normal and cute. This kind of issue is pretty easy to address – even though there’s some redrawing it’s simple enough that with the help of the computer I don’t have to completely redraw the panels. Anyhow, this kind of work calls for a some new tools – I bust out some Beinfang Designer Series Marker Paper [which I guess I forgot to mention in last week’s post], which is basically like fancy tracing paper.

As you can see it’s translucent so I can just place it over the panel that needs the fixing and draw the what I need it to look like right then and there. I treat the corrections like I would regular drawing – I pencil it and then ink it. The nice thing about the marker paper is that it can take ink without buckling or warping like tracing paper would.

This set of pages is kind of funny because even when I was doing the editing, I caught myself making the same mistake over again. Her hair was a little more crazy, but not crazy enough. So I had to go back with another sheet and redraw the corrections again.

Note: In the first image you can see some of the other edits from the chapter. I try to fit as much as I can on one sheet so I don’t have to do a bunch of scanning.

After I have the corrections scanned, I open up Photoshop and erase what needs to be fixed and basically just drop the scanned correction in as a new layer. Anyhow, below is a side-by-side comparison of the original page and then the page with the correction. Like I mentioned before, it might seem like such a small thing to be fussing over, but having her hair the way it’s supposed to be really helps define her as a character, though it might be hard to see it in this short scene.

Anyhow, this is what next week or so looks like for me. I’ll be doing a lot of this, and then straight up redrawing of panels that are too complicated for me to do some quick fixing like this. It may be tedious, but all this little drawing is relatively easy and each bit brings us closer to finishing.

‘Till next time!

One Response to “Cleanin’ it up”

  1. Cool, I enjoy these peeks behind the curtain.

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