My newest comic is finally finished! All five parts are up on my site. Thank you for reading!
click here to read Sarah and the Seed
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Ideally you'll have a lot of these so you can browse through to find the best shapes and textures possible that match your illustration. I think about 20 or 30 would be plenty.
Once I've got the whole thing figured out (I think that's the most important part), I just copy my thumbnails onto a bigger piece of paper, and make 'em look a little prettier.
So, my materials! There aren't many!
Bristol board, and my absolute favorite thing in the world, my Kuretake brush pen. This bad boy glides around the paper smooth and easy. On some papers though it looks like garbage. For example it doesn't take well to the paper in moleskin sketchbooks.
On the bristol board I sketch out the basic layout of the thumbnail in pencil to make sure I have the composition right. I keep this really really simple. I know what it's supposed to be in the end, so it can seriously just be a few lines to give me an idea of placement. Then I just go for it with the ink.
Now the bad thing about this is, when I try to use watercolor on top of this, the ink smears all over the place. I also tend to ruin bristol board when I paint on it with watercolor.
So I do it with the magic of Photoshop.
If you're using watercolor to create the background textures, its best to use water color paper. Try different weights, different brands, different presses, they'll all give you different effects.
I use Windsor and Newton watercolors, but I suppose any would work fine. I also use yogurt container lids for my palettes so I wouldn't take my advice too seriously.
There's no real technique to this. Just experiment. This is actually the most relaxing part of the entire process. Just let go. Use the force. Use rags, salt, whatever brushes you can find laying around.
You want to scan this in REALLY high resolution or it'll look like junk against your drawing. If you don't have watercolors, or don't feel like spending the money on all the paper and stuff, you can find lots of awesome watercolor textures online if you search for them. Just make sure you get some good high resolution ones. Make sure you ask the owners before you use them!