The Art of Ryan Francis

The portfolio website of Ryan Francis


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Let’s Make A Comic Story Part 1: Thumbnail Sketches

I’m struggling to write a new comic, so I decided to adapt an existing story to test myself. I’ve been working on a potential self-anthology of the dumb greentext stories that come from 4chan, Reddit, and Imgur because they get so outlandish sometimes and they’re a good source of visuals for me.

So I’ll be working at this comic story and recording my process as I go!This post is about Pre-Production and Thumbnailing.

This is the original greentext story.

I can picture this exchange in my head and I can see a decent visual of what I want to draw. So I begin some thumbnail drawings.

These are scans of small thumbnail drawings I made in my SketchWallet. It contains a 3.5×5.5 sketchbook, so it’s quite small. More pros usually will make 1 inch thumbnails on a sheet of copy paper which is fine and dandy as long as you stay small and quick. You really shouldn’t spend more than 5 minutes on a page.

The point of these thumbnail page sketches is to quickly figure out the broad scope of the entire story as a rough whole package. Because it’s so small you won’t be caught up in details and waste time on things that don’t matter yet.

This thumbnailing and pre-production time is also a good time to experiment with panel shapes and layouts before committing them to actual pencil drawings or inks. Here, I put little notes to myself to readjust the panel layout, mark an important panel or piece of dialogue to emphasize, or just tell myself the page isn’t working.

Thumbnails are mainly for your own reference to remember the direction you decided for your story, your writer to give them a rough idea of how they story might be taken visually, or an editor who might give you suggestions about how to improve the story layout and flow. As the person creating these bad drawings for yourself, and it’s entirely you’re choice to show off your thumbnails to the public or not.

After all this, I decided to do some editing in Photoshop to figure out the story better and put some notes down. This is a larger edited version of my thumbnails (click for the full size).

I’m showing my progress as I go because I’ve always been interested in the process of making a comic from start to finish and I hope you’ll be interested too!

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A Great Time at Galaxy 2018

I had a great time at Galaxy Comics and Entertainment Expo! This was my first time ever selling my artwork ever and this is a great start!

I probably sound like a kid talking about this, but here is my first table! Of course it’s tiny, but it actually exists!

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7/23/2018 Update

I don’t have much to update for this week. I was spending the week doing some clean ups and finishes on an old freelance commission I plan to post soon.

I’ve also did a few turnaround sketches of my Rat Characters so I could have a rough color chart for my painting I’m working on. I feel like I’m just procrastinating now that I’m thinking about this more, especially since I still haven’t got my comic cover ready and my deadline is looming.


7/15/2018 The Home Stretch

Bad news is that I made slightly less progress than I wanted on my stream painting this week. It’s not horrible, I managed I put down some rough colors for the characters, but I feel like I need to examine the color relationships a bit more.

 

But the good news is that, I’ve finished all of the interiors of Shirley’s Day! All that is left is to finish work on the cover, arrange the pages for mass print and I can finally have it complete!

Some sketches I made over the last week but I still haven’t posted on this site yet.

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Collosal Catch-Up Update

I’ve slipped badly on keeping my website updated and not streaming, but I’ve been tackling important money making things between my dayjob and my freelancing!

Here is what I’ve been doing for the past three weeks!

 

 

I’ve recently finished a logo commission for a good friend and co-worker of mine!

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The Chalk Cap


Art Stuff at Water Tower Place

I’ve been at the Water Tower Place in Chicago doing live art at The Chalk Cap.

It was a fun time hanging out with people and making some cool custom hats! This idea is pretty cool though, as you can buy a cap with a surface on it where you can draw on it with chalk marker and it can be cleaned off with water!

It was a bit getting used to but it’s good to try out new mediums! I drew names, character requests and whatever else I could think of It was pretty great and I’ll totally show up next time!

 

 

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4/30/2018 Even More Art Stuff

More progress on my Rat Kingdom illustration painting for my stream last Saturday!

A tiny bit of color edits I had time to look at for Gogh the Goat Wizard. I’m not as confident with my color choices if I don’t have markers to do the palette choosing for me.

Some other experiments in painting over my old pencil artwork. I’m not feeling the values to be honest with myself.

An more older sketches.