How Gnome Does It

payattentionYou may have noticed a bit of a change in our title cards (the little images that accompany each episode). Early on in the pod’s life I would draw each title card almost entirely digitally, aside from the occasional initial sketch, with a Monoprice Graphics Tablet and Manga Studio.

Now, I’ve started drawing our title cards the same way I draw my comics. I thought it might be interesting to go over my process here. Or maybe it won’t be, but who knows?

Step 1, and maybe the most obvious step, is the initial sketch. For a while I’ve used Pilot’s Blue Lead, I’ll go over why blue later. But recently I’ve gotten fed up with how brittle it is, so I’ve switched back over the using standard pencils. The grade of lead varies, but typically I go with something medium in hardness. I do all my early sketches on normal, every-day printer paper.

1Above is my raw initial sketch. You can see my corrections and everything. You can even see where I cut out the two heads and scotch-taped them to another sheet for scanning. Originally I had them draw too far apart, but it’s an easy fix.

Step 2, since I no longer use blue lead, is to get my scanned pencils transferred into non-photo blue line work. For this, I import my raw pencils into Manga Studio and using a standard built in tool: CaptureI am able to easily change my pencils into blue. *tip: by default the blue is just a bit too dark, so select the options arrow and lighten the blue just a bit* If everything goes well, it looks something like this: 2Step 3 is my favorite step: Inking. For inking it’s a good idea to use better paper. I print out the blue line work onto Deleter Comic Book paper. It’s thicker and smoother than the printer paper I do my sketches on. toolsAbove at the tools I used for this title card (episode 48). The first two are dip pens with vary thicknesses, second two are microns (005 and 05) I use for lettering, then a sharpie type pen for the border, and two brushes (round 01 and round 02) for heavy blacks of Pony’s luscious hair. Next to all that is the speed ball ink I’ve been using and to the far left is the sketch sheet than I use to round the brush or test the nib flow.

Below is the scan of my finished inks. Still visible are my guide lines and some of the blue line work.

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But once you photo copy the inks in black and white, the non-photo blue magically disappears, and you are left with a nice clean image. Notice the difference black and white scanning makes, especially in the blacks of Pony’s Hair. And now ready for scanning and posting!

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