The Art of Ryan Francis

The portfolio website of Ryan Francis


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Let’s Make A Comic Story Part 2: Reference Hunting

I continue showing off my process of making a comic where I adapt a story of a weird encounter at GameStop.

This section I’ll be demonstrating gathering references.

Since the story primarily takes place in GameStop, I gathered references of the store chain.

I also did a bit of hunting of how I want the Fedorable Man(That’s my name for him) to look. It’s a funny thing to design a stereotypical “Neckbeard” nerd character. There’s many ways to tackle it, and there’s no one way to make any character.

 

I grabbed a few refs of fat people and how fat works. I especially got some refs of baby hands as they seem the fattest of the hands.

When I think of the horror he eventually turns into, I imagine a fat, bloated blobbed nightmare, like The Boomer zombie enemy from left 4 Dead or Nurgle the Plague God from Warhammer.

Reference hunting also gives me an excuse to hunt for anatomy references for the girl’s butt (These are the safe for work refs I’ll show you ;P). Don’t spend too much time.

Since there’s some minor fighting actions, I also looked around for fist punching and choking references. This is the best time to restudy drawing hands and fists.

Some Refs for the crazy fluid attack!

And for when I can’t find a specific picture to use as a reference, I take my own pictures as references!

I gather more references as i make the comic which I’ll demonstrate during the making comic process.

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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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New Cards

I don’t have much to speak about in terms of things I’ve done over the week. I’m still waiting for the prints of Shirley’s Day, so as I wait for that I’m working on this animatic music video. Due to some filing issues, I had to spend most of the week renaming and reassigning missing footage files. I only wanted to add captions but things pop up and you gotta deal with them I suppose.

A few things I’ve got done over the week:

After seven years of not doing it, I finally got some new business cards printed courtesy of Primo Print. I mostly used my Gogh the Goat Wizard painting since this is my shtick for right now. It’s a bit boring but my cards have the right information now.

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News of the World

There hasn’t been much for me to talk about these weeks.

For those who haven’t heard before, I finished my comic, Shirley’s Day, and it’s stated to release for print around September 11th (you probably will need a reminder).

But, you can buy a digital version on Etsy to support me! It’s 16 pages of content, which includes some behind the scenes stuff that I felt I couldn’t post online due to the nature of the story I was telling.

In this time, I’m in the process of working on many different things:

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Shirleys Day Cover Illustration Process

I’ve been working on a new cover for Shirley’s Day over the past week. Here is a little bit of work in progress over the week. I have no pencils because I laid everything in blue pencil.

If I ever make any money off this comic, I’m the first thing I’m buying is some Pro-White.

Here are some thumbnail sketches of the covers as well.

 

 


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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