Step Four: Thumbnails

I’ve found it helpful to get my ideas out on paper before tackling the actual drawing using little idea sketches (a.k.a. thumbnails.)

1.

Layout Thumbnail

1.

First, I start playing with laying out the panels on the page by drawing little thumbnails in the margins of the script. I keep in mind what the layouts of the past few pages so the new page won’t look redundant and maintains the flow and pace of the story. This takes some thought when I’ve written things down in a panel-by-panel script, but after a few tries I end up with something that works.

2.

Eye Flow

2.

Once I’ve decided on a general layout, I proceed to thumbnails in my sketchbook I also draw in little curves going through each panel to show how the eye will move throughout the page. I’ve added arrows in this diagram to illustrate what I mean.

3.

Page Thumbnail

3.

Finally, I flesh out the interior of the panels to see how the scene might be composed on the final page. I keep them loose just to get an idea where things will go.

NextStep Three