We recently chatted with our Manchester-based Layout Artist Pedro Martins about his personal webcomic Horizon Down and the design process behind it. You can view the latest issue here.
We're taking a deeper look now with an inside peek at how to create a panel step-by-step!
Pedro: Using Photoshop, I begin each webcomic by thumbnailing out the whole episode in one single drawing, so I have a clear outline of how many panels I will need and what's happening throughout the episode.
For this particular panel, I started off by using a rough crop of it from the thumbnails I had done.
I cleaned it a little and pushed the energy of the panel.
I knew this panel would represent a break in the rhythm of the previous pages so I really wanted to push the vertical and fast feel. For this effect, the composition is mostly made of vertical lines and the buildings appear to be almost falling inwards. This panel is meant to speed up the way people scroll past the next few panels.
Once that was done, I cleaned the lines and painted the local colour of all the background elements.
For colouring, I use this image with most of the local colours I pick from, to keep consistency throughout the series:
Shadows and lighting are the next phase, this being the stage that solidifies the three-dimensionality of the background elements and settles the mood.
After finishing the background I drew and rendered the character.
And lastly, I applied a colour correction filter, which pushes contrast and highlights certain colours, bringing all pages together, et voila - one more page has been finished!