Alright, people have been bugging me for what seems like forever to do a walk-through my process for doing a page of CHEW. Of course, being busy (and a bit lazy), I've been ignoring said requests until now. Short, sweet and simple, here's the making of a page of CHEW.
Please excuse the crappiness of my photos. I don't have the will to actually scan in each stage. Told you: LAZY.
Step 1 is actually reading the script a few times, but for the sake of boredom, I'll skip to the thumbnail. Above is a reeeeally quick thumbnail of our page. I tend to focus more on mass, layout and pacing than much detail. It's not much, but it's all I need to get started.
11:00am: Rough Pencils
Next, I work up a quick, very rough layout of the page. I pencil using red graphite, because I find blueline's too waxy to ink on top of. Red's easier to see, plus it won't show up on a scanner. And it kinda looks cool under the finished inks. Again, focusing on layout and mass, but starting to flesh out character acting. I try to do these as quickly as possible, because Morning Rob tends to need a warm-up like a car in winter. I attack the blank page before it can intimidate me, really. These take, maybe, a few minutes.
11:15 to 1:00pm: Detailed Pencils
Now, onto the details. One panel at a time, I flesh it out, generally starting from the last panel, working backwards. I'm weird like that. I spend more time on body language and facial expressions than anything. As simple as they look, I agonize over the nuances of them.
Pencil Details: Click to embiggen!
1:oo-2:15pm: Fine Line Inks.
I think this might be the most important step of my process, mentally. This is the point where I commit to the page. Right or wrong, there's no turning back. Unless I f*ck up and have to use white-out, but that's rare. I tend to draw a lot with the pen, adding details without ever penciling them. Fairly improvisational. It's all cake from here.
2:30-5:30ish: Line Variation and Blacks
This is the part where I get to put a movie on and shut my brain off a bit. Simple stage. Adding thickness and variation to the fine lines, adding patches of shadow, etc... I usually add easter eggs and background jokes at this stage, mostly out of delirium.
And that's kinda it. Maybe one day I'll walk you through the Photoshop stage. Maaaaybe.