The Art of Ryan Francis

The portfolio website of Ryan Francis


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Let’s Make A Comic Story Part 6: Screentones

This was originally going to be in the digital touch ups step of my series of articles of my comic process, but it was getting a bit long, so I broke this into a separate article!

It’s time to utilize Manga Studio to do something personally experimental. I’ll be adding screen tones to give some of my art a grey tone with only black and white dots. I’m mainly working from a tutorial on screentoning from Whyt Manga. Also check out his comic, Apple Black!

In Manga Studio 5 EX there is a Material Tab. It would be in the default UI but if it is not, it can be accessed from Window>Material>Material[Dot]. You will find a variety of textures and screen tones from this tab, and you can make custom ones, which is what I’m doing.

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Northwest Indiana Comic Con 2019

I’ll be at Northwest Indiana Comic Con on Saturday, February 23 at the Halls of St. George in Schererville, Indiana.

NWI_Map_Promo

It’s the first time I’ve ever left my home state outside of family trips. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make the journey over to Indiana and see you there!


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Dupage Comic Con 2019 and more!

I have some upcoming news to talk about that’s coming up soon!

I’ll be at Mighty Con Dupage 2019 on Saturday, February 9th!

So if you’re a Wheaton local or want to visit Dupage County Fairgrounds, you can stop by to see me and a variety of people in comics, art and pop culture!

At a closer date, I’ll be participating in this year’s Global Game Jam on January 25th! I’ll be contributing my art and animation skills with my friends to try to build a small video game in 48 hours.

Wish me luck!


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Let’s Make A Comic Story Part 3: Penciling

Writing these tutorials is a bit of an undertaking but I’m doing my best to be as clear and informative as I can so let me know in the comments if there’s anything you need help with.

After grabbing ups some references, It’s time to get started laying out the comic in the big paper!

I’m using Strathmore Smooth Bristol Board Paper. It’s lined for comic printing. I use these large binder clips to keep my paper on top of the rest of the pad for “cushion.”

At the start I’m marking down the rough areas of composition with non-photo blue pencil. This part is a bit newer addition to my workflow as I’m testing my ability to do this quickly. I’ll admit it’s a bit hard to see in a photo but I’m doctoring the photo in these demonstrations to hopefully be easier to see.

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2018: A year in review


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2018: A Year in Review.

If you’re reading this I finished inking and coloring my comic and I have it printed and up for sale at my Etsy store!

This year has been fairly progressive in terms of the stuff I wanted to do. I completed Shirley’s Day after three years of on and off working. Motivated by that, I’m well on my way to making more comics to prove that that first one wasn’t a fluke, and so far I’m burning through it faster than I did my first time which shows immediate progress on my part. It’s still slower than I want, but that insane comic artist speed should come with time put in.

Here are a bunch of last bit inking process stuff that I did for my spoiler pages.

In general, I worked on these pages out of order, mainly knocking out the art I felt wpuld be easiest to complete as I went. I thunk it results i. A wildly inconsistent look in a few ways, Ive gotten feedback and comments on the final comic that the characters get off-model and change proportions often. I gotta work on that nore.

I was fretting the last pages as they were the larger splash pages, but it went easier than I thought. I don’t draw birds often, so I’m not happy with how the pigeons looked for this final page.

I was a bit at a loss at how to render a shiny car in ink, I think I should’ve left it alone since I colored it as a white car in the end.

I’m a bit of a jerk taking up a whole library table with my pages. I’ve never gotten complaints so I think it’s fine. The library is pretty much my office, after I drop my brother of at his part time job, I save gas by hanging in the library near where he works. I feel more comfortable working on art in a library than sitting in some coffee shop, plus I can find books that I’m intrested in buying later.

A bit of flat coloring work on Page 6. I’ve never felt comfortable about coloring my art but since I felt I needed to prove to myself that I can finish a comic I push through. The comic works more with the color since the joke is mostly a visual trope in media.

Again, I regret inking the car with so much black since I ended up coloring the car white. I mostly chose white because the toy car I have for a model is white and I save myself the trouble of deciding colors.

Page 5 was worked on after six. I salvaged my colors for mom from an older drawing I did a while ago.

I did a bit of looking at sunsets images and their colors, so I can establish that it’s the afternoon time, again taking advantage of coloring being a good storytelling tool even if I feel I suck at using it.

In the end, I’m not one-hundred percent happy with my final comic, but the fact that it’s actually finished and printed is something that still needs to be acknowledged. I’m a bit down about not being able to finish drawing and inking a page in a day, like other artists I find.
It’s dumb to go comparing myself negatively to every artist who drops a picture remotely above a rough sketch, so I’m doing more to put forth the effort into reducing my time online and just focusing on what I’m capable to putting out in between working a night job and doing housekeeping stuff. I have to remember that Shirley’s Day is my first comic, I shouldn’t dismiss the fact that I stuck with completing it and not leaving it as an idea my head like a majority of people.

I stopped trying force myself to post art every day to feed some stupid algorithm that may or may not reward the “perfect attendance” or chasing the approval of every person I meet for some dumb hunger for attention for my art. It harbors my jealousy, frustration, and self-hatred to unhealthy means and I have to put it to myself to not be like that.

I’ll admit that doing that has put a dent in some art things I do regularly, namely my art streams. I initially stopped streaming because I wanted to figure out my tech more and do some work to make it prettier, like some more custom animations and to figure out my audio situation (music or no music?). It snowballed into dealing with a change in my job position and schedule and ultimately dealing with the heavy holiday season of the package delivery industry.
I’ve been thinking of consolidating my art to this website to cultivate more activity here and to stop being beholden to social media sites that have the freedom to throttle or block access to the art I post. I also feel like I’m just wasting my time throwing my work into the void of Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Doing this might even encourage me to learn HTML5 and CSS to go back to just having a good, unique looking website for people to go to for my art and I encourage you to do that as well if you’re an artist or any other creative person. I’ll keep these blogs up simply for archival reasons, but I am likely going to slow down activity to my socials as I build up a better foundation for a personal website that’s not just a portfolio website.
I still want to make tutorials because many ask me and I want to be as informative as I can. I’ve written an article on my website about editing comic inks from a scanned image and I’ve built up a recommended book list for learning art, a few articles about my process making some of my art, and it’s surprisingly time-consuming to write it out clear manner. That being said, I’d love to have the best of both worlds to make tutorial videos and articles to help people out and do streams to answer question that I haven’t been able to tackle. I’m still open to suggestions, so message me anywhere you can find me with things you might want to learn from.
Despite my dumb perfectionism, this is all not a complete disappointment though as I put myself and my art more out there this year; more than I’ve ever bothered to do for the last few years, ultimately resulting in selling my art at my first convention ever! I’ve actually enjoyed being at a con for the first time in my life and it’s nice to just say hi to people and tell them about my work and not have to awkwardly wander everywhere at a loss of what to do! Next year I’m exhibiting more cons in the future such as Comic Con Revolution Chicago and Indiana Comic Convention as well as a few more which I’ll announce as I confirm them. I hope to have newer comics ready by that time as well!
I want 2019 to be a bigger turning point for me as an artist. I’m crystallizing myself in more of the comic angle because I want to get better at making stories. I’ll still tackle whatever freelance opportunities tap me on the shoulder and see about accepting commissions, but in general I want to produce more comics, make a one shot, participate in zines, make a webcomic, create tutorials, or even learn how to write a novel, these all seem doable to me since I can see the possible result clearer than I would if I did something else. I’d love to be able to do this full time making my own work through my own vision, I likely won’t achieve that in a year, but it still never hurts to shoot for a pipe dream or an attainable goal.


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Holiday Sale!

I have a new printing of Shirley’s Day is up for sale on my Etsy Store!

I also have a holiday sale for the month of December where it’s 25% off with free shipping!

Thank you for your support for all of these long years!

Please look forward to what I have next in the future!

In other news, my progress on my Gamestop comic is slowing down a bit due to my day job. I hope to pick up more after December.

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