Many have asked about my techniques for creating the Dorse and Doose books so I wanted to share some things about how I layout my pages. This will work in Photoshop, Manga Studio, Gimp, Flash, or any other painting program that uses layers. I’m working in Mirage what is the old version of TV Paint.
1. Lets Do this!
I first draw out every page on 11×17 cardstock paper in pencil.
Then I ink the characters only. Leave the background in pencil because you are going to paint it in later.
Find a scanner, scan your drawing, and load it into a program of choice.
2. Remove the white background (This step can be done anyway you like)
If you’re working in Photoshop then choose the Magic Wand. Uncheck the ‘Contiguous’ function so that the wand can select similar colored pixels.
Make sure the Tolerance is set to 100%
Click(Select) the black inked lines and it will select all the black.
From there you can, Invert the Selection from the Select menu up top or hit Ctrl+Shift+ I (shortcut to invert selection)
Once the selection is inverted then hit Delete.
3. Coloring the characters.
The white bg is deleted so now you can duplicate that layer so you’ll have a backup copy.
Using your pen you can go in an clean up some of the inked lines that may not have came out to your liking.
Using the fill tool make sure the behavior is set to ‘Behind’ and fill. I always fill behind the lines because its cleaner and it preserves the line quality.
4. Coloring the Midground
Create a new layer and paint in the background using the pencil outlines as your guide. I like to start with the base color and gradually add the medium and dark tones for the grass. Note that there aren’t any outlined objects. The reason why is because those objects (foreground objects) will be layered over this Background layer. 😉
5. Paint in the distant Background
When painting in the distance I don’t use outlines so I can get the softer look and feel without any added blurring techniques. All of this should be done on a separate layer underneath the Midground Layer.
6. Adding the Foreground Objects
You can draw all of these in individually or you can draw a few of them and duplicate them. Notice that they all have an outline.
7. Paint the Sky
Getcho Paint on and paint a sky anyway you like. I prefer the gradually painted sky. I don’t use the gradient tool cause it has no artistic touch.
Hide the penciled layer and that’s that!
Layers should be stacked in this order:
Layer 1. Characters Inked (Outline with Pencil – this is the guide so it will be hidden in the end)
Layer 2. Characters Colored
Layer 3. Flowers (Foreground objects)
Layer 4. Midground (The grassy hill)
Layer 5. Background (Objects in the distance)
Layer 6. Sky
Please ask me any questions below. Thanks for reading.