Girls With Slingshots - The Creative Process
Want to know Danielle's creative process? Here it is, in her own words:
"The strip normally takes me around four hours to fully script, pencil, ink, letter and add gradients in Photoshop. I generally start with a very rough sketch of the idea - so rough that often it'll be one setting-up shot for the first panel, and then a bunch of blank panels! (See attached. I couldn't find the original sketch for the first strip - in fact, I don't think I MADE one! - but there's the totally blank one for #38, and a sample of what a FULL script sketch looks like.) I keep to a theme, or a story arc, and set a starting point for the arc as well as a goal point. I do four or five strips per story arc, and just let the characters pick and choose where they're going to go with it. I'll leave the last panel & pun empty, go grab a beer and talk to my hilarious roommate, and come back to the drawing board to put in some snarky punchline.
"Next I'll whip up the guidelines on 9"x12" Bristol (smooth), mark off the gutters, and start placing basic shapes. I place the text promptly so as to make sure there's enough room (sidenote: I edit the original dialogue like CRAZY!!), and work the art around it. Pencils first (with a regular Bic mechanical pencil), then inks (#05 Micron for letters, #01 for art), erase the pencils, scan, and import into Photoshop. Here's where the borders and greyscale come in. I have set tonal values for most things - 60% grey for Hazel's hair, 80% for Jamie's, etc.
"When I finish the strip, I resize it to 800px wide at 72 dpi, send it to my editor, and update it on my own site.
"Well, that's the long of it! Not much else to say about how I do the strips. Oh, magic ingredients: hot green tea with peach flavoring, and extreme procrastination. I start the strips at 10 pm the night before they're due, because I know it'll be around 2 or 3 am when I finish them, which is my bedtime. It's an awful way to go, but it's been working for several months now!"
The attachment referred to in Danielle's explanation above. The top half of the page shows the blank panels for strip number 38, and the bottom half of the page shows the full script sketch.
Here also is a step-by-step pictorial of the various stages of progress for a GWS strip.
Handwritten list of steps used by Danielle to create a strip.
Images of steps 1 through 3 of Danielle's creative process, broken down as follows:
1. Script & sketch rough draft
2. Lay out text & basic shapes
3. Flesh out shapes
Images of steps 4 through 7 of Danielle's creative process, broken down as follows:
4. Ink text & word balloons
5. Ink art
6. Erase pencils
7. Add line quality - thicken inks
Images of steps 8 through 11 of Danielle's creative process, broken down as follows:
8. Scan, add Photoshop embellishments - borders, copied art (panel #4)
9. Add grey tones (foreground) using 15-80% greys on separate layers in Photoshop
10. Add grey tones (background)
Go back and check out some great examples of Danielle's art on the Girls With Slingshots gallery page.
Check out Girls With Slingshots for yourself by clicking on the link below!
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