Software: GIMP 2.6+, OpenOffice.org Draw (for putting together the panels). Photoshop fans will have no problem following these steps
Skills required: Drawing , reasonable skill with digital pen-tablet, basic knowledge of using GIMP with layers Method of drawing and preparation
- Create a sufficiently high-resolution blank image of say, size 1024x768 at 96 dpi or higher.
- Use the default background layer as a "rough-pencil" layer. Use the Pencil tool to draw basic shapes using different colours like blue and green.
- Create a new layer for the basic background layer. Draw the scenery in this layer. Use the "Paintbrush" tool with a thick brush (say 3 to 5 pixels) to draw nearby objects and a thin brush (say 1 to 3) to draw faraway scenery.
- Create a new transparent layer for each character in the panel. Hide the background layer created in the previous step and superimpose the character layer with the rough-pencil layer and "ink" the shapes to get the final character.
- Repeat above for other characters. Move characters to appropriate positions if necessary.
- Rough colour the finished scenery and characters using the fill tool. Use a higher "threshold" (say 25 to 30) to avoid visible jagged edges in the fill region.
- Apply the accents and shading by enabling pressure sensitivity coupled with opacity in brush tool. Use a sufficiently thick brush (say 20 to 30 pixels soft brush) to get smoother shadows and accents.
- Now create another set of layers for the second panel of the comic. Create a fresh pencil layer and background layer if needed, otherwise reuse the earlier background layer for the second panel.
- Repeat the steps above for colouring and save the image.
- Add a copyright text and signature as different layers. Position this correctly within the panel of your choice.
- Use a text layer to add the text that characters speak above the other layers in the panel.
- Create a new layer for speech bubbles exclusively above the other layers in the panel and below the text layers.
- Use the rectangle selection tool and add a rounded corner radius to it say 25 or 30.
- Select a rectangle for the speech in the speech bubbles layer fully surrounding the text. Now choose "free select" tool and hold CTRL and add a little tail selection for pointing to the character.
- Fill the selection with black. Now the black text should be invisible.
- Shrink the selection by 3 to 5 pixels. Now in the modified selection, fill with white! Voila, your speech bubble is ready!
- Repeat for every speech bubble in the frame. Repeat this whole procedure for each panel by using more speech bubble layers.