Here go some essentials for an professional approach toward comic production. Many artists who have developed into storytellers, use these thoughts and guidelines.

A monochrome 600 dpi layer serves well to force a reflection of an inked look into the pencils – mostly employed in programs such as clip art studio, which are well prepared for huge data files.

Use lines, hatchings and areas, don’t fall into grayscale gradients and structures which are difficult to translate into inking shadows and micro shadows. The final pencil draft should be developed from rough into clear and precise inkable linework. Wrong forms, weak expression and lazy lines are being erased immediately, so pencilling is strictly about the substantial narrative content, not the style and the illustrative details, or deco elements. It is about clear construction along your scene structure, your dramaturgy, your story- visualize the idea and the scene in axes and basic shapes, and don’t meditate  without narrative content and intent. We are not challenged to show how nicely we can draw, but we are visualising drama for someone watching us- you are not alone: the audience is present. It is like shooting scenes in film, led by the directors imagination of the final film,  and hooked on screenplay and storyboard. Keep focused on using  drawn contractions and shorthand symbols which can be inked easily. This is what distinguish pencilling for the visual narrative from the usual pencil illustration.

That is why we work in three steps: Layout and Bounding Boxes, Axis and Basic shapes for the content and narrative substance, planes and details with light and shadow for the inking.

Finding your own vocabulary of exaggeration and drawn contractions, symbols and graphic methaphors for all kind of material and immaterial objects and instances, moods and scenic looks lets your personal style emerge from the usual insecure scribbling – you simply develop your style this way and enter the class of the pro´s.

Research for the authentic looks of objects must be used, and is implemented by evolving basic shapes, axes and perspective. Architecture and technical  details, environments and crafts are to be simplified in detail and exaggerated in lighting and dramatic view. 

If we do not simplify and not exaggerate according to tone and genre of our story itself, the detailed draft will draw too much attention, separate itself from the story, and we slide into illustration, instead of visual narrative- don’t break the readers flow!

 Visual narrative works in its flow and its relations from panel to panel, from page to page, from chapter to chapter,  no matter if it gets consumed and read in a linear or non-linear fashion.

There must be a certain flow and stroke, a clear and impressive look and feel. Without the fluid stroke in artwork,  and the flow in making the inks, the drawings would not work with the audience, give no dense narrative and thus win  acceptance over competition.

Consequently there should be a bidaily routine at least to maintain quality. Three b/w pages a week should be possible, and 1 1/2 colored pages.

This, according to the available information about pricing and wages of pencilled and inked pages is an important requirement for making a living as a narrative artist.