Oct 23, 2012

Behind the Scenes: Defenestrated Drawings

Up until now my illustration process has been extremely tedious. My pictures may not look like much, but I put HOURS of effort into those things. The post from last week with ten pictures in it? At least ten, maybe twenty hours to write and draw, easy.

So what is my drawing process, anyway?

I thought you'd never ask!

1) First I pencil-sketch everything in no-copy blue. Sometimes I'll photocopy it to have more than one original to work with.
2) Then I ink over it with felt-tip pen.

3) I scan it in, adjust the colour levels, and fix pen mistakes. I do all my digital work in GIMP, which you can download for free.
4) The colouring begins! Depending on complexity and depth, this can take 15 minutes... or up to two hours, like in this case.

5) Sometimes I add a background. This picture was pretty fancy, so the background took upwards of a half hour.
6) The finished work of art! Take a closer look and read the related blog post here.

But guess what?

I got a tablet! (Not the iPad type, no. A graphics tablet.)

Behold: the Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch! I found this one second-hand on Kijiji for $50, which is a sweet deal at only half the price of the newer, more stylish model.

On the other hand, this one has features that even the new one doesn't (specifically, an eraser on the stylus).

Wacom Bamboo Pen and Touch CTH-460

The verdict: I am IN LOVE with how natural and intuitive it feels to use this thing. The response is great and the pressure sensitivity has so much potential! It's fun to play with and loads better than a trackpad. I even find myself reaching for it instead of my mouse...

And THIS is my first fish-person drawing done entirely on the tablet! Hmmm... I need more practice. XD

Jubilations ensue!

I still have 3 or 4 upcoming posts illustrated in the traditional method, but these will phase out as I start using my tablet.

With any luck, this new gadget will mean more drawings for you and also more sleep for me! Woo-hoo!

So what about the rest of you? Artists, cartoonists, and casual doodlers — what do you draw with?

A graphics tablet?
Tablet computer?
Camera? (Yes, that totally counts!)
Ordinary pens?
Or a trackpad? (Yuck!)


  1. I use the same tablet, but I use a child's drawing program.
    BEcause i've got the skills of a 3 year old.
    But I'm ok with that.

    1. Oooohh we can be tablet buddies! :D

      *stylus swirl!*
      [gets tangled in cord and falls down]

  2. Tablets are so wonderful once you really figure out their potential!!
    I used to draw everything by hand, photograph it because we didn't have a scanner, and then painstakingly fix it and color it in photoshop.
    All for a really crappy result (which was the goal anyway, but who wants to spend 20 hours on a bad cartoon).
    Then I got an iPad, downloaded sketchbook pro, and now I'm in crappy-drawing heaven.

    1. Oh jeeeeez. You poor woman. :(

      I had to photograph a drawing only once, when I was out of town visiting family and there were no scanners to be found. Once was enough!

      Also, this. This is true wisdom right here:
      "All for a really crappy result (which was the goal anyway, but who wants to spend 20 hours on a bad cartoon)."


  3. I use a tablet for deisgns for my school's literary magazine. God, I love using that thing.

    1. I had my first experience with a tablet drawing pictures for my school newspaper. I was all, "WOAH, AM I EVER MISSING OUT!"

  4. A sharpened twig. I like to make inscriptions in the earth - most of them relate to snakes and baboons.

    1. Brillant! Will we see these inscriptions on your blog sometime? I guess you might need a camera... =P

  5. That is such an awesome, enviable process. As for me, well, I go to Start, I select MSPaint, and then I draw a bunch of stupid things using the little nubby on my laptop. Sure, your tablet is "cool" and "new" but does it have a nubby???

    1. o_O I've always heard those called something very different! My tablet doesn't have one, no, but they're fun to play with...

  6. I draw with MS Paint and a wireless mouse. Hence why they aren't that good, haha. :P
    Only I seem to have lost my wireless mouse...

    1. Hey, for no freehand you've gotta be proud of those, they're really something!

      Wireless mice tend to do that, don't they. And then in a few weeks you find them dead, under a pile of laundry.

      Just like real mice! :D

  7. Ellen~
    Congratulations on getting a tablet! c:

    I work on art commissions with my Wacom Intuous3 (which I've had for over eight years now) and Paint Tool SAI (most of the artists I know prefer this program over photoshop - it's amazing, and cheap). I sometimes use Photoshop for touch-ups, but honestly, I get lazy, and Photoshop lags my laptop. :c

    You're going to love having a tablet. c:


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