Drawing a Comic Book Page with Finished Pencils in Corel Painter 11
By Douglas A. Sirois
1. Thumbnails- Develop two to three small thumbnails of each page to figure out composition and panel layout. These should be three to four inches tall, in minimal detail and quick just to get your initial ideas down. Remember that there is always more than one way to do something. Make each thumbnail an exploration of different points of view. For the thumbnail process, the Thick and Thin Pencil is very good at capturing quick sketches with variation of line weight.
2. Developing from thumbnail to rough sketch- Once you have a page design that you are happy with, enlarge it. To do this, make a selection around the page, then in the top menu go to Edit, Scroll to Free Transform and grab one corner point, hold down shift and stretch the points until the image enlarges to fill the canvas. Create a new layer and roughly sketch your page panels. Here is a good opportunity to tweak objects and forms with each panel composition. You are not going into full detail here, but just neatly translating your thumbnails into more cohesive layouts, while planning where your darkest shadows will be. This will help move the viewer's eye through the page more effectively. For the rough sketch of the page, the Real 2B Pencil does a great job atcapturing the essence of a sketch.It is easy to shade in areas when you angle your stylus.
3. Developing perspectives within each panel – This is important as here you get to play set designer because your characters need to exist somewhere in some setting. You get to create the time period and the location of your story. Start to develop the correct perspectives seen in each panel – each panel should represent a different point of view to make your page more dynamic and help move the reader's eyes easily through the page. The perspective lines are actually used to direct the eye to the next panel. To create these perspective lines, use the Fine Point pen number 10, sized to 1.5, and the straight-line stroke mode (key function = V).Create straight lines that can stretch across the page to help layout the various perspectives. Research the specific time period and architecture that existed during that time. In my example page, old western towns became important due to the style of buildings and dirt streets. I used personal photographs of old western towns to enhance the realism of my setting. The more detail you start to put into the environments at this stage, the more
believable and interesting your finished page will look.
4. Developing the figures- At this point, create a new layer for the sketches of your characters using the Painter 11's Real 2B Pencil tool. A strong sense of anatomy and anatomical proportions is needed. This is the stage where you work out all of your figures and place them in the correct perspective. This will enhance the believability of your figures. Roughly sketch the forms using spherical shapes and cylindrical parts to help in developing correct proportions for each figure. Development of the figure is most important; leave off any costumes unless they are very much a part of the character (props, hats, etc). Focus on getting the anatomy of the character as if seeing the figures without clothing.
5. Adding details with the Finished Pencils - On a new layer, using Painter 11's new Real 2B Pencil, start to tighten up your
final drawing, panel by panel. Do this by simplifying your drawing to make it easier to ink. The Real 2B Pencil allows the
artist to achieve various line weights to help with inking. Line weight helps push and pull the image to make the foreground
pop with thicker lines and the background images recede with thinner lines. Use your references to add final details such as
wood grain, fold lines on clothing and other details to the environment, such as the suggestion of a dirt ground or the worn marks one might find on an old hat. The Real 2B Pencil helps with shading by tilting the Wacom pen tablet just like shading with a real pencil. For more information visit www.corel.com/painter.