Archive for the ‘Process Work’ Category

PK & Max style sheets

September 15th, 2017

Script process.

May 10th, 2016

Comics are an interesting art form. In that there’s never been a 100% standard form for many of the processes. Script writing for comics is for example much less draconian than say screen writing is. Anyone that has read up on the subject has likely read anecdotal stories of scripts being tossed out offhand due to the wrong font, of spacing used on the title page of a script.

Comics on the other hand by and large have been have been left out in the hinterlands without such overbearing rules to the format.

For instance a quick look through The Comic Book Script Archive and you’ll notice that virtually no two scripts are formatted exactly the same. But each example there does exactly what it needs to. It tells the story for the artist to interpret. (These are by and large all full script method as opposed to plot first/script last Marvel Method) Some authors go into more or less detail on what is or isn’t in a panel. Some go into more detail on the precise layout of the panels. Others leave room for the artist to come up with breakdowns.

With all that in mind I thought maybe it’d be interesting to work on a comic strip in a fish bowl so to speak. Usually I hide away scripts/pencils/inks until such point as all the pages are completed and at the very least lettered.

Maybe it could be interesting to instead share the process from beginning to end. Have the script available from day one as I work on the strip itself. Maybe having it out there, will inspire me to work faster? I’m not sure but I think it’s worth a shot. Anyway, below is a pdf of one of the scripts I’m currently working on producing. Give it a look. And feel free to let me know what you think.

Belfield-Something In The Water

Process Work

Continuing on, Learning to ink digitally.

April 25th, 2013

I’ve been very impressed in the little bit of time I’ve had to mess about with Manga Studio. The inking tools are simply amazing to me. As I continue to experiment, the results are getting closer and closer to what my inks look like when done on paper. Except I have the advantage of not ever over inking. I go too far, a series of ctl+z button presses and I’m back. Which is a real time saver, hopefully it won’t become a crutch moving forward.

Anyway, a friend of mine, I’ve known for seemingly forever (He has stories of teenage me, I have to speak nicely of him) Steve McAllister of McAllister Illustration was nice enough to recently send me a sketch to work from. I was interested to see what I could do with these tools over someone else’s lines. Check him out when you have a second, he’s good people and honestly has been since before we were barely old enough to rate as people.

Here’s the final result of what he sent over:


Process Work, Research, Scribbles

Study Drawing

March 8th, 2012


Been hard at work behind the scenes. Hopefully I’ll be able to start sharing more soon.

This is a study drawing for an element of a piece I’m working on currently.

Process Work, Research, Scribbles


January 24th, 2012

Poster design done for the 48

August 1st, 2011


This was done really really quickly to be used as a poster in the set for our animation this year. It also provided us with a way to have the line that was compulsory to the competition without resorting to dialogue cards since we’d pulled silent film.

The intent was to do a Russian constructivist style poster, but also still maintain the style of the animation itself. In fact those of you up on your Russian posters should recognize which one I was riffing off of pretty easily. Not too bad for just a couple hours, I guess.

It’s fun every now and again to draw in a different style. (especially one that is really fast)

48 Hour Film Project, animation, Mental, Process Work, Scribbles

Character Drawings

July 26th, 2011



A couple portraits of the characters we used for this year’s 48 hour film project.

These were done over the weekend with the intention of having them added to the closing credits. Due to some communication issues, that didn’t end up working out. But I think all told they came out pretty well. Especially for me drawing in a completely different style than I naturally work in.

The characters are based on character designs done by Roberto Rubet. Check out more of his work at

48 Hour Film Project, animation, Process Work, Scribbles

New Steam War Chapter coming soon.

June 6th, 2011

I sat down last week and worked up the cover image for the latest chapter I’ve written for Tales of the Great Steam War. Which will continue to explore the world in which these characters live. And the consequence of the war they fight.
For this one I decided I wanted to do something in a more Propaganda Poster style.

And since this chapter will focus on the fate of the Prussian Sniper introduced at the end of Chapter One I started by researching images of German posters. With that in mind and some MORE research, I landed on the idea of using the Prussian Eagle and the Totenkompf/Death’s Head badge. At the relative time this story is set in the Totenkompf had not yet been co-opted by the Nazis and was still thought of as the unit insignia of the Death’s Head Hussar. A cavalry regiment dating back to I think the Napoleonic era.

So with a head full of research, plenty of thumbnails and some reference images. I sat down and drew this ink drawing.

Then added the drawing to the type I had done up in the cpu. Did some colors and added some texturing/aging. This is where it was when I first posted it for critique over at the illopond.


After a really helpful round of critiques both online and with folks I know here locally. I did a handful of minor quick changes. And landed on this, which is where I may sign off on this one. Although as always feedback is most welcome. Let me have it!


Anthology, Comics,, Process Work, Projects, Steam War

Study Warm Up

February 7th, 2011


This was a study warm up, for my participation in the 8: A Steampunk Anthology. An anthology being put together through The Illopond. I’ll be going into more detail as we get nearer to our print/pub dates on this. Until then here is the teaser image put together by contributor Lee Wiley.


Comics, Process Work, Scribbles

Staining Paper

September 13th, 2010

I’ve been asked a couple times how I go about the process of staining paper. Since I had need of making more recently I figured it wouldn’t be a bad idea to document the process.
My intention when I do this is to get some irregularity to the tone of the surface. When I’m looking at the page and it is already all marked up, psychologically I can loosen up and not be too precious with the marks I make. I try using those irregularities to inform the drawings while I work. Admittedly to mixed levels of success at times, but it’s not experimenting if you don’t botch it from time to time.

Currently with my studio set up I work within a couple limitations. All involving space (likely a common issue amongst most of us). I don’t have anywhere to store gigantic tubs of old coffee, nor anywhere to let full sheets of water color paper dry from being soaked in said old coffee. So for the time being I’ve been mainly using the cut offs from larger projects for this. Sometimes if a cut off is large enough I may cut it down to more uniform (read: easily framed) sizes. But for sketches or warm up drawings I don’t mind the odd bit here or there. Anyway, onto the actual process.


As far as materials go all you need is a Tupperware container full of old coffee and some bits and bobs of water color paper. I generally use 140# Arches paper which is easy to find at pretty much any art store. Although I have stained a few Strathmore Water Color Artist Cards and they worked fine as well. If there is someone out there interested, I happened to use EIGHT O’CLOCK COFFEE, but I’m sure any brand will do. For the coffee drinkers out there, I definitely don’t brew pots especially for this, if my cup happens to go cold or I have some left in the pot when I’m done I just toss it in the container.

Nothing too surprising to start off. Throw a couple pieces of paper in at a time. I agitate the paper while it is in the coffee. I’m not 100% sure this does very much. It may well be a hold over from the time I used to spend in dark rooms. The paper floats to the top, so while agitating I tend to press it down into the coffee from time to time. The goal here is to make sure the paper is completely saturated.

After a minute or two the paper should be wet through and pliable. It will have also noticeably changed to a warm tone as opposed to the stark white. Now they are ready to move on. At this point the paper is a fairly uniform tone. If this is what I was going after I would hang these to drip dry then tape them to a piece of wood to stretch.

Since that would make for a short tutorial, let’s move on shall we?

So now I’ve got paper that has become fully saturated, it’s time to pull it out of the coffee and place it on the surface you’ll be letting it dry on. For now I’ve simply been using a large cookie sheet. All of the paper on this sheet has already gone through the previous step.

Once I’ve placed the paper on the cookie sheet I pour in a bit of the coffee from the container. Not a huge amount but just enough that I can slosh it about and allow it to pool up. Then comes the easy part, I set it under a hot lamp and walk away.

After about an hour or two you’ll start to see how the coffee is being absorbed into the paper. At this point I let it sit over night under an arm lamp, before taking any more pictures.


And this is what I came back to the next morning. Now the staining is beginning to become a lot more pronounced. I did separate a couple pieces at the top of the sheet. The overlapping was causing more sticking than I’d like to deal with when the paper is dried.


At this point it looks like there is still too much coffee in the sheet. So I went ahead and blotted some of it up with some paper towels. Excuse the ape hand in the picture there.

And this is the state I left them in for another few hours under the lamp. In this case about 8-9, but I doubt it actually took that long. I was away from home for that length of time.

When I came back the paper had dried thoroughly. By adding the extra moisture to them when I place them on the sheet it seems to cause a bit of adhesion to the cookie sheet. In a way I’d assume it works the same as stretching water color paper, except with coffee instead of water. You do have to be careful pulling the paper off of the sheet when it is dry though.

There is still a bit of warp to the paper, which normally I don’t mind too much. But for the purpose of this tutorial, I went ahead and placed the newly dried pieces of paper, under a half dozen or so coffee table art books over night. Turns out big heavy books are good for much more than inspiration and taking up space. This is a really poorly lit picture with lots of sun ruining it of the newly flattened paper.


The largest piece shown here is Hot Press paper while the others are Cold Press, which I think gives a pretty good illustration of how the two types of papers react to this process. The smoother tooth of the Hot Press is much less absorbent than Cold Press, but both types yield interesting textures to work on in my opinion.

That really about sums up the entire process. Keep in mind the coffee itself is of course not water safe, so it does blend a bit with any wet media placed on top of it. This allows you to gain a range of tones from a single color. Which I really like to use to my advantage.
As a point of reference The GOON and ABE SAPIEN sketches from my previous two blog posts were done on two of the pieces I stained in this batch.

Anyway thanks for reading this. Feel free to give it a go. If you do I’d be really interested in seeing results done by other people. So by all means share up!

Process Work, Tutorial