Monday, February 18, 2013

Creating Cupid

Get to Know your Drawings

Last week, I did a Valentine's themed story in my webcomic, Roofus
I knew immediately that I wanted to include a Cupid character. Before I introduce a new character into the strip, I draw character sketches / designs like the ones included here. This helps me experiment and create key poses (many of which I used in the final strips). Sketching allows me to become more comfortable with an unfamiliar character. Uncomfortable = stiff, ugly-looking drawings.

I make notes to myself while I'm sketching. I was brainstorming alternate names before arriving at Danforth Q. Piddwell. (Dan Q. Pidd? Dan Cupid? Get it?)

A Step-By-Step Guide to Stripping

After the script is written, I sketch the strip digitally in Photoshop. This step is crucial. It is very important to consider the layout of your scene and how much dialogue each character is speaking. I leave a fair amount of white space above each character to allow room for the speech balloons.

After the pencil stage is complete, I ink the strip digitally in Photoshop. Basically, I clean up the artwork and concentrate on creating lines with a clean and crisp quality.

Left: Color layer with no pencils or inks. Right: Valentine Color Palette
Once the inks are done, I color the comic in Photoshop. My coloring process is fairly simple. I create a layer over the inks, multiply the layer and use the paint bucket tool to fill in each area, occasionally using the brush to fill in various nooks and crannies. For the Cupid storyline, I strayed from Roofus' established color scheme, and I used a palette of pinks and reds in order to create an increased festive aesthetic. 

Read the entire cupid storyline @ 


  1. Well now that was super cool! Love those step by step blogs. But I gotta get you away from inking in Photoshop. Manga Studio is where it's at man!

  2. I know... you shame me, Master. I promise now that I am drawing regularly again I will try again.

  3. If you ever want to schedule a few hours I can show you some of my meager knowledge of the program. We can do it at your place so you apply it to your work method better.

  4. That's a great idea. We should do that.