Efficient Tips for Writing and Drawing

Welcome back to the second edition of Ask An Artist, where an inquiry is poised to the writers and artists of Comic Indie.

Today’s questions is: What’s a tip for drawing or writing efficiently?

“I place my dialogue down first on a page, so I don’t waste a lot of time drawing beautiful background details that others can’t see as it gets covered by speech balloons.”

Submitted by JP

“For writing I try to keep my thoughts as organized as possible. I am currently using Onenote for my writing and have everything organized within tabs and each tab has pages of notes organized by type. I am big on continuity so having everything sectioned out is very helpful when I need to go back and make sure that things match up to my previous books.”

Submitted by Johnie

“I sketch all my comics on scratch paper and write/ sketch out all ideas, dialogue, expressions, and so forth for every strip. Not everything written makes the final cut but at least I can go back to jokes or ideas that might work for future strips. I scan the rough draft and just outline what I want on the final with by drawing software.” 

Submitted by: Kenneth

“I have a loose synopsis of the whole story (which I’m writing a full version) and I have notes on each “scene”. I know the book will be 28 pages so I usually pick 4-5 scenes (based on timeline of events) and look for inspiration for the theme of the issue and possible cover designs from there. I then write-out and script each scene and try to plan more carefully what happens on each page. That will usually give me a page count where I can edit down if need be. Sometimes a scene toward the back can be moved to the front, vice versa, if I have a particular idea for a Splash page or anything else. Once the scripting and planning is done for the whole book, then it’s usually all in my head and I sketch out a 2-page spread at a time. It’s better to sketch out the entire scene if it’s particularly long or not really clear how it will flow in your mind, but everything is done 2 pages at a time in “spreads”. The roughs are really basic and scribbly, then you start working on angles/perspectives and may end up reworking a few times, whatever is needed. Then I try to do a “tight” rough. That can be scanned, or kept on a separate layer and given a low opacity so you can start rendering detail over it in the “inked” stage (digital). Then it’s more production to get “flats” done for faster coloring or shading (that part you can come back to later) and background texturing. Last step is lettering and sound effects. I often write the dialogue and sound effects in during the rough phase as well. Don’t forget to save often lol”


Submitted by ~Jay Gillespie

Please share your tips for efficiency in the comment section. Also if there is a question you would like to ask, please let us know.

Alex A. Ayala Written by:

Writer, artist and Founder for Comic Indie, with a passion for the art of storytelling, art, and entertainment. By day he works as a Systems Engineer, and by night flying through the universe of Indie Comics.

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