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Malin Falch Art Blog

A blog to show my art and thoughts about art.

  • Writer's pictureMalin Falch

Just a silly goofy drawing I thought of while playing the new Resident Evil 4 remake where Ashley says Leon would look dashing in a suit of armour... Of course I agree.

Wanted this to be a quick drawing, and I can see I could have stopped about halfway through the process and it would have looked fine, but I kept going and then I had to finish it with a more polished look. A "quick" drawing for me still takes 3 days.

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  • Writer's pictureMalin Falch

Since I started making Nordlys I have tried many different comic making techniques, and now after completing 8 books with a lot of trial and error I think I have found the most efficient recipe to make sure my comics gets finished on schedule, and in a way that (seem) well planned out.

This way of making comics might seem really obvious to the seasoned comic artist, but I had no idea how people made their comics when I started out making them, so I hope this can be of help of someone just starting their comic making journey, or want some insight in someone else's process.

Step 1: Thumbnails

Since I started out as a webcomic artist I used to make my comics page by page, so I could update with a new comic page as soon as it was done. This is probably the most fun way to make a comic, since you get to finish your drawings right away, and it's always fun to see a finished comic page, but this doesn't really work for something that's going to be a complete book. And it's really easy to get stuck this way, and not know where the story is gonna go.

Thumbnails are basically tiny versions of the comic pages that are gonna be made, but they contain like 80% of the planning of the whole comic. For me, panel layout, character placement, speech-bubble placement all gets planned out in this stage. The more you think through this stage the less thinking work you need to do later!

Here is an example of my thumbnails:

I don't write the dialogue yet, I do that in the next step. The thumbnails should be quick, but I think they should be pretty detailed so you don't question what you've drawn later.

Step 2: Sketch

I would say this is the most important step! This is where all of the decisions on the page get basically finalised. This is also where I write the dialogue and make speech bubble placeholders, it's very important to make room for speech bubbles, and know where they go early on! They are a part of the design of the page after all, just as much as anything else.

I sketch my pages as spreads so I know what pages will get paired up, this is important for comics that will get printed in book form.

This step is probably the most fun but also the most stressful, since so much of the creative thinking is done here.

Step 3: Line art and filling in characters

The line art step includes the line art of course, but also the finished speech bubbles, the panel dividers, and separating the characters and the backgrounds on their own layers. It's a lot of tedious work, but it creates a clean foundation for the next steps!

All of the characters are on the same layers, but the background each have their own layer.

Step 4: Background and effects

Personally, this is the most relaxing step for me because I love doing backgrounds!

The mood of the background also dictates the color balance on the characters, this is why I do this step before I color characters.

Also if there are any light effects like on this page I also do this before color, because again I will use the light to draw the shadows.

Also a note, I will often reuse backgrounds for some panels if the character hasn't moved from that spot, but I always make sure to not make it look like a copy paste job.

Step 5: Color and shadow

The natural way to do this step is to add the flat colors of the characters first and then lastly do the shadows. I'm lucky that now I get my flats outsourced so I don't have to do it myself. When I get the flats back I do the shadows, and the page is done!

I call this way of making a comic kind of a conveyer belt method, because I finish all the steps one by one, and don't jump back and forth on different pages. So I do all the thumbs, then all the sketches, then all the lines and so on. This is def NOT the most fun way to make comics, but it's the fastest (for me) and the best way for my publisher to view my progress.

Hope it was insightful! If you have any questions about the process I'm ready to answer!

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  • Writer's pictureMalin Falch

In honour of Tears of the Kingdom only being a few weeks from release I felt like I had to draw something. I haven't been doing a lot of drawing just for fun lately, but i'm trying to do it more, emphasis on FUN.

If anyone have any questions about my drawing process, don't be afraid to ask!

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