Smith Micro Graphics Software Blog

Dave Gibbons Describes His Comic Creation Process From Color Sketch to Finished Color in CLIP STUDIO PAINT- Part II

Posted by Emmy Rey on Nov 3, 2016 9:06:55 AM

We sat down with world-renowned comic book artist and Official Influencer David Gibbons, to discuss some of his latest and greatest projects. In this three part blog series, Dave describes how CLIP STUDIO PAINT played a pivotal role in creating the cover for the Dan Dare book, (a collection of his 2000AD strips) and pages in the 500th issue of Doctor Who Magazine and the 2000th issue of 2000AD (in Part I of this blog series). He explains what his creative process was like:


DD01 Color Rough.jpeg

Color Rough

First step is a color rough, done fairly quickly over a thumbnail drawing, just to establish the feel of the color pallete that I want to use.

DD02 Block In.jpeg

Block In

Next is a block in, showing the major shapes and composition of the image. I like to get this stage just the way I want it before I proceed to refine the drawing.

DD03 Rough Pencils.jpeg

Rough Pencils

The screenshot above shows step three, rough pencils, which is drawn over the top of the block in layer. In this step, I further refine the shapes in the composition, while still keeping everything fairly loose and easy to change.

DD04 Pencils.jpeg


Next up, is the finished pencil layer, with details resolved and solid areas shaded in. I used CLIP STUDIO PAINT’s perspective tools to make the perspective on the Space Fort accurate and I used the Ellipse Direct Draw tool for the shapes of the planets as well as Dare’s gun.

DD05 Dare Inks-1.jpeg

Dare Inks

This screenshot shows the main figure of Dan Dare inked on its own layer.

DD06 Midground Inks.jpeg

Midground Inks

Next, is getting the many middle ground figures inked in, often on their own sublayers, to retain flexibility and re-positioning.

DD07 Full Inks.jpeg

Full Inks

This shot shows the Fort and other background details inked in. By keeping the distinct elements on their own separate layers within CLIP STUDIO PAINT means that stray and overlapping lines can be corrected at the end after inking has proceeded freely.

DD08 Flat Color.jpeg

Flat Color

During this next step, flat colors are applied to their own layer underneath the merged ink line layer, which is set to be a Reference Layer. Color is applied using the Fill Tool, with Area Scaling turned on so that the color is trapped beneath the ink lines.

DD09 Flat Color No Lines.jpeg

Flat Color No Lines

This just shows the flat colors without the line work. The remaining white areas will be filled in with a middle value neutral color so that the black lines print cleanly on top of the color layer.

DD10 Final Colors.jpeg

Final Colors

Finally, the finished color rendering. I use a separate rendering layer above the flat color layer, so that I can always make a clean selection using the Magic Wand tool on the flat color layer before adding the rendering on the rendering layer. At the end I will flatten the rendering onto the flat color layer and do any final edits necessary.

Stay tuned for part III to take a peek inside Dave's creation process for pages in the 500th issue of Doctor Who Magazine!


Topics: Insider, Other Graphics Software, Featured Artists, News, Education, CLIP STUDIO PAINT (Manga Studio), Digital Artists

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