Digital Comic Strip Tips

I now know I want to be a full-time cartoonist again! Reading this article by Stone Soup cartoonist Jan Eliot made me realize I’m the same – drawing cartoon makes me forget about time. I am making 7am-8am every morning before I go to work my “cartoon” time – and often I find myself talking to myself saying “I wish I were a full time cartoonist and doing this 9-5 every day”.

Here I declare to the world: I am going to draw cartoon for a living. (That is, make at least $40,000 a year from cartooning)

Before I get to the stage I really need to improve my cartooning. Since making cartooning a habit, idea flows to me more easily, and if you’ve been reading my comicstrips you probably noticed I’ve been uploading more comic strips. My drawing is still unprofessional so I am trying to improve it. Back from my Pen & Ink days I draw my comic strip much faster with my Wacom tablet & Adobe Illustrator. I find my Adobe Illustrator drawings a bit weak though – this one is drawn by Adobe. I’d like my cartoon to look good in Black & White only too. I think I’ll listen to the tips by Scott Adams (author of Dilbert) and going to try drawing in photoshop. Here is the link to his tips. It’s hilarious to read and it contains great photoshop tips on how to draw comic strips digitally. Here is the excerpt:

I still draw a first draft, as you will see in the video. It’s hard to tell, but the lines of the rough art are jaggy because of the scale I use to draw it. The rough art is in its own “layer,” which is Photoshop lingo. When I’m happy with the rough art, I click on the layer and change the opacity of the lines to about 25%. That makes the rough look like a light gray line. I do that so that when I do the final art in another layer, the black lines of the final are easy to distinguish from the lighter lines of the rough draft below it. I zoom to 200% for the final art, and use the paintbrush tool at size 6, with 25% hardness, giving the lines a smooth look.

I am currently working on my photoshop comic strip, will post it and looking forward to hearing your opinion on it!


——————-Updated Sep 2015———————–
I now mainly use Clip Studio Paint EX. It’s the best purchase I ever made. Cartooning is so easy and I have been producing 2 per week now. Productivity increased a lot. I still use Photoshop & Illustrator but for differenet purposes. Photoshop is mainly to manipulate photographs and Illustrator for Infographics. Illustrator is best for clean types, like my Infographic on Tootin’.

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