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hchan's avatar

d*s: comic page process

read my webcomic
vote for it too?


All of this was done in Photoshop CS4. Literally everything I know about art and photoshop is self taught, so there are probably a lot of quicker/easier way to do these things, but this is how I do it haha. Feel free to ask questions or offer advice/critiques on my method! [but don't bother pointing out the typos...i'm just too lazy to fix them! xD]

Enjoy :)


I did end up editing the page a bit more after this, so you can see the finished page [over here.]

I also posted this on [my tumblr]


In addition, I'd like to list some useful hotkeys that anyone using photoshop should know, cos this shit will streamline your process:


The move tool; move and resize your image;  holding SHIFT while manually resizing something will keep it the same proportions [assuming you are working from the corner]. CTRL will distort. ALT will..make things all fucky [personally haven't found this one super useful lol]

Paintbrush tool. Holding SHIFT will allow you to draw a straight line [pen pressure applies here]; you can also tap the pen at one point and another to do diagonals. ALT [+ click] will copy the colour you are hovering over.

Eraser. [similar modifiers to brush, but ALT will lay down your current background colour]

Magic Wand

Lasso tool

Select tool. CTRL+D will deselect yo shit.

Fill tool

Shape/Line tool


swap between foreground and background colours. [comes in handy when painting]

Zoom tool. ALT will zoom out.

0 thru 9
toggles opacity while on brush/eraser. [0 will bring it to 100%, 1 is 10%, 2 is 20% etc]

SHIFT+ 0 thru 9
toggles flow

Save! Use this often! [and save backups imo, sometimes obsessive saving can be detrimental]

There are other hotkeys, but these are just the ones I find I use every time I am in photoshop! You can check out all your shortcuts by going EDIT >  KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS ...

Thanks for reading! Hope you learned at least one new thing :)

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© 2014 - 2021 hchan
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silverstarmonster's avatar
What size canvas do you work with? I've been looking around for the 'live' space of a standard comic page but every site seems to tell me something slightly different. (9x14.25 inches? 6.25x9.75? and they all claim to be the 'industry standard' too... ugh.)
Do you have any recommendations?

Also. Thank you for this tutorial! :D I learned some really helpful stuff here! (Clipping mask = angelic choir)
hchan's avatar
FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK cos i completely screwed myself on bleed/trim this very day 8D  [okay technically i screwed myself but not researching better before i started but...]

The truth is I think that it actually varies by site because many places will have different standards x_x

FUCK i forgot i was writing this and now i am going to bed...

ANYWAY I AM USING PRINT NINJA and gonna go with their graphic novel size of 6x9, so I am working at a multiple of 6.25x9.25 [the .25 is the bleed/trim, which is 1/4  inch added all around.]

you can read on their site about stuff, it's pretty informative:……

can browse around there and read up on stuff. i found their site hella informative xD even if you don't wanna print right now, it's nice to learn about it in case you do later. //cralws off to bed wow
silverstarmonster's avatar
Thanks so much! Was about to start at 6x9 (12x18 reduced) but I really should add in that .25 (.5) bleed! :) (Saved!)

I hear your bleed/trim issues weren't as bad as you originally thought after all? (Yay!) I can't wait for the dream*scar book if that ever does come together! Best of luck on your edits!

Thanks again :)
hchan's avatar
haha yea, I overestimated the size and made a dumb mistake, so mostly I am fine with just my trimming of the pages [tho i am moving in artwork a bit more on a few pages so those are taking longer to fix lol]

Anyway, from what I've seen, it's best/easier to just do the white [or whatever colour] border/gutter set up so you can always add the some space later if you need to without much effort lol.  [examples: and both will have it easy for print lol]
silverstarmonster's avatar
Wow, awesome! Thanks again! :)

I hope your edits remain straight forward from now on!
Lonely-Thunderbolt's avatar
Jeffk38uk's avatar
Interesting, I didn't know you worked from dark to light. That certainly would make defining the shadows much more easier to see when shading the colour back into a person.
hchan's avatar
Yea I've worked that way for a long time. Idk just seemed easier? I've seen other people use it too so I guess it's a known method!
Jeffk38uk's avatar
I kind of do a mix thinking about it. Paint the base colour, then cover with a shadow colour layer and repaint the base colour on top of that. Mostly because I never know if the shadow colour is right half the time. But I only really do that with areas with large surfaces.

Well, either way, we all have our methods, lol.
hchan's avatar
ahahaha. i am always altering how i do things...trying to find quicker ways to do ALL THE THINGS. xD  Right now I'm trying out a new inking method...which is basically my old inking method, doing the lines @ 100% and lineweight all at once too... having to reteach myself how to do that tho @_@ guhghghgh
Jeffk38uk's avatar
Heh, it's something I'll have to look into soon for Panthera. Time was always the most annoying thing about working on a comic page. That or I need to stop putting so much minor detail in backgrounds lol.
CrimsonnReign's avatar
I'll have to try some of these things next time! I realized some of the steps you do really make it amazing! Thank you
hchan's avatar
Woot, hopefully some of them come in handy~ XD
merkavah12's avatar
Thanks for sharing!
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