Behind the Scenes: Creating the Guitar Samurai

Behind-the-Scenes--Creating-the-Guitar-Samurai 1

Hello there friend.

I thought I’d create another behind the scenes look at my cartooning process. This will be my second behind the scenes look. Click here for my first behind the scenes post.

I figured I’d create this post based on the Guitar Samarai slicing the guitar in half with bits and pieces flying all over.

This image was for a tutorial I wrote awhile back on the “10 steps to cutting your guitar practice routine in half.”  Click here to read more.

Creating art is always a lengthy process, but I love every minute of it. When a comic is created there are always several folks involved. There’s the: writer, editor, penciller, inker, colorist and letterrer. One of these days I’ll be able to hire every single one.

For the meantime I’ll have to tackle the whole process myself. It’s a great learning experience.

Behind the Scenes: Creating the Guitar Samurai

Let’s begin.

The Idea: 1-2 days. This is the hardest part, because if the idea is executed correctly then everything else will follow. For the 10 steps to cutting your guitar practice routine in half, I literally talk walks around my neighborhood and let ideas just come to mind. If I stay home, ideas tend to not come very quickly for me.

Open environments give my mind some breathing room. My walks can take 30-60 minutes or more depending on the weather, it’s good exercise too. For this post I was looking for an image that had movement of something being cut in half. In this case I chose the guitar to be cut in half.

But who was gonna do the cutting?

Since I love martial arts, ninjas and samurais I figured I’ll have a samurai flying through the air slicing a guitar in two. It sounding like a cool image so I went for it.

The Tools: It’s important to have tools that work for your process. You don’t need super expensive tools to get the job done. Here is a list of my basic tools.

Mechanical Pencil
Gum Eraser
8.5 x 11 paper
Pigma Micron Pens
Presto Pen whiteout
Black Sharpie Pen

I’ve bought many mechanical pencils, some cheap and expensive. I’m always looking for a better mechanical pencil, but it seems this cheap pencil I bought at Target seems to work for me. Use what works for you.

References: 10-15 minutes. I believe it’s important to always have references for your artwork. Most artists don’t have great photographic memories. Sometimes you’ll have to draw an image you’re not familiar with and you have to gather references. All the great artists do it today. Jim Lee, Mike Mignola, Todd Mcfarlane, Bill Watterson, Sean Murphy, all use references. The internet is an abundant resource.

Use it.

Light Sketch/Thumbnails 10-15 minutes. I was experimenting with different poses but I thought having his legs kick up would make it more dramatic.

Guitar Samurai Light Sketch

Light Pencils: 30 minutes. Here I defined the image a bit more and decided it would be cool to have the guitar strings flying all over the place.

Guitar Samurai Light Pencils

Line Work: 10-15 minutes. Darkening the pencils a bit more made the piece more defined. I added action lines when the sword came thrusting down slicing the guitar. I also thought there has to be bits of wood exploding all over, so I added those as well.

Guitar Samurai Line Work

Shadows: 30 minutes. I love adding the darks and lights of a piece, it brings it to life and creates that 3D effect. I wanted the light source to come from above so the shadows had to be filled in below the character. Looking good so far.

Guitar Samurai Light and Shadows

Scan: 5 minutes. I use an small Canon Pixma MG6220 for scanning. Once scanned, I open it in Manga Studio, a great software for cartoonists and coverted it into light blue for inking.

Guitar Samurai Scan

Inks: 1-2 hours. This part takes awhile but Manga Studio is great for inking your comic. Inking is basically tracing your pencil work, it does take a bit of practice to get it done correct. I used a Maru brush for this piece and it come out pretty well. I also added some extra action lines in the background. Now it looks cool.

Guitar Samurai Inks

Colors: 1-2 hours. I’m not a colorist so I chose just basic flats for the samurai. Orange is my favorite color so of course I added it to to the gee. I’m learning a lot more about color theory everyday and if you’re reading this in the future my coloring should’ve improved by now. For the time being this is the result and I believe it came out pretty cool.

Guitar Samurai Colors

I believe that’s it folks.

If you have any questions about my cartooning process feel free to leave a comment below. I appreciate you for reading this blog.


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