Can’t quite get your comic strip just how you want it? Well, we feel your pain. It can be super frustrating when things just won’t lay down on the pages just how you want them. From our experience, we’ve realized the best thing to do is strip it back and follow the basic principles of creating a comic book. So, to help you, we’ve put together some tips on how to draw simple comics and create your own book.
Start to form ideas
At first, creating and drawing your own comic book can seem like a pretty daunting task. You may often feel like you don’t know where to start. Well, like with any piece of artwork, it all sparks from clearly planning your ideas.
We find that it’s good practice for you to buy a notepad and carry it around with you at all times. How frustrating is it when you think of a good idea, store it away and then when it comes round to thinking about it again, your mind goes blank?
You never know when a good idea (or a bad one - don’t worry we all have them) might pop into your head, so when it does, write it down. It could be the vaguest, most left-field idea but it doesn’t matter.
Write your script
Many people make the criminal mistake of trying to draw their comic before they’ve written their script. Don’t be one of them. In our eyes, if you set off drawing without a plan of how your comic is going to pan out, you’re setting yourself up for a failure straight away.
When writing your script you should be clear of what genre you’re comic book is. This will give you a clear focus and will keep you on track throughout. Your main characters’ key challenges should be in your mind too, that way you have a clear direction and don’t lose sight of what journey you’re trying to send them on.
Also, bear in mind the setting. How does it fit in line with your story? And lastly, make sure it contains the bare bones of any story - a beginning, middle and end.
Plan your comic layout
Your layout is crucial and is often make or break for a good comic. When planning out how you’re going to lay out your work, keep the readers in mind. Ask yourself, is this layout easy to follow? Are they going to be interested? Also, don’t forget to leave room for dialogue.
Tip: Cliffhangers are a good way to keep your readers interested. Don’t overdo them though.
When planning your layout, we find that storyboarding is a great help. It can identify problems before you’ve invested any real time into creating it, that way you’re always doing something productive.
You might think that when drawing your comic it has to be perfect. This isn’t true. In this stage, you should focus on simply getting your work down on paper. You have plenty of time to perfect everything in the tidying up stages later on in the process.
We advise that you draw this stage in pencil. That way, mistakes are easily solved and aren’t permanent. Mistakes are easier to rectify in later stages when done in pencil, rather than trying to mask permanent marker pens.
Inking and coloring
Now you’ve gotten everything down on paper, it’s time to bring it to life with color. In a lot of art forms, color is key to grabbing the reader’s attention and comic books are no different. Color can create excitement and can signal to the reader how they should be feeling at any given moment.
Inking is the stage where you clean up your drawings and add depth to them. Whereas, coloring is the stage which can make or break a scene. Consistency is key so the proper color selection is crucial.
There’s a fine line between being consistent and being safe and boring, so tread carefully. But also, inconsistency can ruin your comic and make it look untidy.
When inking and coloring, it goes without saying that the best pens usually create the best results. And Chameleon Pens are no different. Click here to find out more about why we believe that we create the best markers for comics.
Lettering and box size
Lettering is often overlooked in comic books, but it’s a vital element. Basically, if your lettering looks all wrong and doesn’t attract the reader, then your comic book just won’t work.
Like cliffhangers, you don’t want to overdo the lettering and run the risk of overkill. Also, the boxes shouldn’t be too big as it’ll draw attention solely to the lettering and not to the fantastic illustrations in the comic book. It’s a fine balance but you’ll know in yourself what’s too much and in your face. Include this in your planning phase.
Don’t stop at comic books
Now that you’ve mastered how to draw simple comics and create your own comic book with our helpful tips, why stop there?
Give yourself a new challenge. Whether it’s brushing up on older forgotten techniques or discovering the latest crazes in the art world. We’re here to guide you to be the best you can be.
Download our free ultimate technique guide below and become a better artist with us.