The Creative Process

Let's start with the hardware. I use a 2018 iPad Pro 12.9" model with the second-generation Apple Pencil. Then, for software, I use Procreate for the art side of things, and Google Docs for all my planning and plotting - so, Drive, Docs and Sheets. 

I own a Huion GT220 V2 pen display monitor which is a good product for the price - honestly, I think Huion make the best value pen display monitors this side of Wacom - not that I've ever used a Cintiq before. But, working on a pen display monitor that is plugged into a PC or Macbook is, at least to me, cumbersome. You have to turn it on, load the software, sometimes you'll have to make sure the monitor is configured correctly and maybe re-calibrate it. It can take a good 30 minutes or so before you're up and drawing after which you are stuck at your desk. With the iPad and Procreate you just turn it on and start drawing. And you can draw anywhere which is especially handy when you've got three kids. I draw on the commute to and from work, when I'm on the floor with my baby daughter, and when I'm in the waiting room at my elder two daughters' dance studio. All those moments add up to a lot of drawing time. 

All my pages are done in Procreate from start to finish, including the lettering. Below is a step by step guide of my current process. It is worth noting that I don't stick to any hard and fast rules. This process will grow and change as I develop as a graphic novelist. If and when it happens, I'll be sure to update this page accordingly. Also, please note that I'm not going to discuss the storytelling side of things here. This is purely about my drawing process.

Step 1: Page Layout

When I start a page I usually have a rough idea in mind of how I want it to look. At the very least I know how I want a particular panel to look or how I want the page to end and so use that as a starting point then work my way around it.

I use the template on the left to mark out my page border. The border I use is the second from the edge. I keep all panel frames and text within this border. 

The page itself is 8.5 x 11 inches at 300 dpi. 

© 2019 Wargo