#MakingComics – “Severed Head Cult” WIP

So… it’s that time of the year again, when the end of the assessment process is in sight (…I teach at Art School) and I’ll be able to throw my not inconsiderable weight into my pet project, i.e. finishing my latest comic pages ready for the Thought Bubble Comics Festival in November.

That’s not to say that I haven’t been squeezing some work toward the project in already (though it does seem like I’ve been AWOL from this blog for a while now).

Anyway… enough!

Below you can see one of my more recent pages… I’ve thrown the full sequence up >HERE<, while below you can find a little process explanation…

The Cthulhiad – Book 2 “The Lance (Redux)” – > Chapter titled “Severed Head Cult – pt1”, pg 004.

[pencil on paper, drawing pens (0.3 and 0.5), marker and brush pen, and photoshop]


As always the process starts with simple thumbnails…

I’m working to a rough script, and in the case of this short few pages its very rough indeed, as it’s essentially a chase with a brief pause for breath in the middle. The page above needed to show that the protagonist was exhausted, but still determined.

The previous page had looked into the alley where the three antagonists stood, so this page would be a reverse shot of that.

Long shot, to mid-shot, reverse out to show the close-up reactions of the antagonists…

So, sketchbook out…


The brush pen nib gives a sense of scale, but to be clear, its a thumbnail sketch, the original measures about 3cm x 5cm.

Next stage is the pencils, here you can see how rough my pencils are… they are just for me, so I don’t need to be so exacting. I’m trying to evolve the speed of my work, so short cutting an elaborate pencilling stage, replacing it with a 0.3 pen drawing stage, just saves time.


After the 0.3 pen, a 0.5 to coax out the edges of objects and separate items, then for these pages I decided to go for lots of blacks. I’m hoping for a growing sense of horror and unease and so the four consecutive pages will simply get darker and darker leading to the final confrontation above.


The use of the brush pen added a natural feel to the work, but as you can see, there was a lot of ground to cover, so I opted for “spotting blacks”, basically marking large areas of non-detail black with an “x”. These could be filled digitally after scanning.


Finally the work is scanned and as you can see I’ve opted for a grey tone as the base colour that bleeds to the edge of the page.

I threw that over the top of the fully blacked art on a separate layer, then used the preset “Multiply” blending mode in the Layers window to allow the artwork to show through.

Then it was just a case of removing the grey with the eraser tool to reveal (in this case) the snow and the highlights on the protagonists coat and on the face and hair of the antagonists…


The lettering and balloons are done in photoshop using elipse Marquees and the Lasso tool.



~ by hesir on June 16, 2014.

One Response to “#MakingComics – “Severed Head Cult” WIP”

  1. Love it!

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