Behind the scenes: Poor Musicianship Comic


I believe it’s time for another behind the scenes look at my cartooning process. This will be my third  behind the scenes look. Click here and here for other “behind the scenes” posts.

Poor musicianship is always something I always stumble into when meeting other musicians.

It’s like its contagious. Musicianship is both mindset and skill set. Musicians are always focusing on their music skills rather than their people skills. Music skills can get you the gig, but people skills will keep you there and get you more gigs.

I figured I should come up with a funny cartoon gag that relates to musicians in a humorous way. I choose the Poor Musicianship comic from a post I wrote awhile back. Click here.

As always these process is lengthy stemming from idea to finished cartoon.

Let’s begin.

The Idea: 1-2 days.

It’s important to obtained an environment that lends to your mind in a very creative way. If you stifle your creativity than ideas won’t come to mind. I was thinking of a way to represent poor musicianship in a humorous way. I was thinking of a concert situation that the musician can do that was considered proof musicianship.

I took a walk in my neighborhood trying to figure out how to make this funny in away. For some reason I recalled a U2 concert that I have on DVD. U2 hires musicians and places them backstage while Bono and the other members stay on stage while the hired musicians in the back perform all the external parts.

I thought to myself I could have one of the characters hire a musician put him back stage while the character fakes the part, while everybody is fooled that he is performing the parts. I figured I would run with this gag.

The Tools:

  1. Mechanical Pencil
  2. Gum Eraser
  3. 8.5×11 paper
  4. Pigma Micron Pens
  5. Presto Pen whiteout
  6. Black Sharpie Pen

References: 10-15 minutes.

The best artists today use picture references. Jim Lee, Mike Mignola, Todd Mcfarlane, Bill Watterson, Sean Murphy, all use references. I use google all the time but this time I didn’t use much reference only for the keyboard.

Light Pencils: 30 minutes.

Here I sketched out the character and the background very lightly because you never know, I’d probably have to erase. Did you know the great Jim Lee erases his sketches constantly trying to find perfect composition?


Line Work: 10-15 minutes.

Tightened up the sketch a bit more with darker pencils to give a more defined look.


Shadows: 30 minutes.

Adding shadows makes the sketch come to life and give it depth.


Scan: 5 minutes.

I use an small Canon Pixma MG6220 for scanning. The image is then imported into Manga Studio 4 EX.


Inks: 1-2 days.

I always use the Maru brush in Manga Studio 4 EX it has tons of flexibility and I can always erase.


Colors: 1-2 hours.

My color theory is getting better and my coloring skills is improving bit by bit, but this time I choose to color flats. In the future I’ll start adding more depth to the colors instead of just flats.

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 3.05.31 PM

Done with another behind the scenes look, If you have any questions about my process don’t hesitate and leave a comment below.


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