Page process! (spoilers tho)

Here's a post I'm working on, about the process I use to make pages!

All of my pages start as little thumbnails like this (shown beside a finished page to show scale).

Then I sketch the thumbnail onto the paper. I work with the speech bubbles from the beginning; it’s nice seeing what people are saying as I go, specially since it usually affects how I draw their expressions. I use a 0.7mm mechanical pencil with soft lead for all of my sketching.

Then inks! For this stage I use a Pentel Calligraphy Brush Pen (with some of my lil stickers on it because literally all of my friends use the same pen now, I need to distinguish mine).

Then I erase. Because I usually do pages in large batches these days (this page was the first in a batch of 8), this step generates a LOT of eraser shavings.

It’s hard to overstate how important good paper and erasers are for this process. A harsh eraser or bad/fragile paper will smudge, crumple, tear, or lose its surface integrity and make good shading impossible. I’ve quite liked a lot of Pentel’s offerings in the eraser department; they erase very thoroughly without the need for a lot of extra rubbing, and they don’t damage my paper or smear pencils around.

I use a Sakura Permopaque marker for black fills. I used to use my brush pen for these but it’s bad for the bristles, and I dislike wasting marker ink for this sort of thing. The paint marker is a good alternative!

I do all of my shading with Copic Markers (a couple of which are visible at the top of the picture). I really like these because, while they’re expensive, they are refillable! I’ve been using the same marker barrels for something like 4-5 years now.

When I shade, I usually start with the darkest tones and work my way to the lighter ones. Some people do it the opposite way; I like working this way, though, because the lighter colour will blend the edges of the darker colours when I go over them, creating nicer gradients. On this page, I ran out of my lighter midtone grey and needed to refill it partway through.

You refill them by taking out the chisel-tipped nib…

And then dripping in the correct amount of ink– usually around 2ccs (measurements are marked on the tube). I’m pretty sure you can probably buy a funnel of some sort to make this part easy/have less chance of spills, but I’ve been getting by without one for awhile now.

(Thanks to jess-sheridan for taking these photos, on account of me not having three hands!)

Then you just slip the nib back in and you’re ready to go! It may take a few seconds for the fresh ink to fully saturate the nibs so I suggest doing a few test strokes on a separate sheet of paper– when they’re overfilled, Copics can have a tendency to drip ink in unexpected places, and better for that to happen on a test strip than in the middle of someone’s face.

(not that I, uh, speak from experience. Or anything. [



Anyway! Once all the marker shading is done I use a white gel pen to add highlights and do tiny corrections– eye highlights, that sort of thing. I also use it often for extra magic sparklies! It’s a fun stage.

After that, the page is ready for scanning and digital editing. I’ll go over that part of my process in a separate post, though, since this one is quite long!