PROCESS: Gary: Ch3, Pg22

I recently posted the final page of Gary, Chapter 3.  I thought I’d walk through my process from concept to inks.

First, I’m a freak for Microsoft Excel. As Gary is based on the story of the real-life Green River Killer, I find that having the structure of real facts can help drive the creative process.  My spreadsheet fetish probably deserves its own post, but for now take a look at my chapter outline, which is only part of the larger spreadsheet of facts/dates/people…

Here I outline specific events/moments that I want to explore in each chapter and page, making note of dates, people involved, and the design scheme.  Since I jump around a lot chronologically, this really helps me to make sure I’ve got certain ‘facts’ right and that dates match up.  As the piece progresses, you’ll hopefully see certain things start to match up.

Next I do thumbnails in a moleskin notebook.  Its not the best paper for drawing, but it’s easy to carry.  The thumbnails are very rough and the paper quality doesn’t matter all that much.  If there is a pose or panel that I think may be difficult to draw, I’ll usually work up a few drafts of it in my sketchbook as well. Usually anything involving hands or vehicles takes a bit of work.

Next I measure out the page.  I draw on Strathmore 14″ x 17″ Bristol.  Smooth Finish.  I’ve used this paper for about 8 years now and its fantastic.  Perfect for pencil and ink.  I use the standard industry 10.5″ x 15″ size for Gary.

Then I start pencilling, using my thumbnails and sketchbook pages as reference.

Some panels I render really really rough, and work out the details after I’ve started inking.  Other panels need a lot of re-working before I can start inking, or they would just be a mess.

Then inking starts!  Inking is the ultimate zen for me.  I oftentimes rush to this part of the process (at the expense of the pages, unfortunately) because I enjoy it so much.  Most of my inking is done with brush.  I use these guys:

LEFT: Windsor Newtown #2 Round Water Colour Sable, RIGHT: Robert Simmons White Sable #0, 785

These are pretty easy to find and not SUPER expensive.  They last me through at least 20-40 pages before I see any decline in the quality.  I use Higgins Black Magic ink, because I can’t seem to find anything decent anymore.

After the brushwork is done, I usually cut the edges off the page and do some cleanup and detail work with pens.  Things like the shovel on this page or vehicles and buildings are typically all pen work.  I use Pilot Razor pens most of the time, but will occasionally break out an Itoya or Micron.

Then it’s off to the computer!  I’ll share more on that portion of the process another time.  I hope you’ve found this interesting.  To see how the page turned out, read chapter 3 from start to finish:

GARY, Ch3

Thanks for reading!  See you in about a week!

– Tyrell

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