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ITW Article: How I Draw by Roman Dirge

The final feature in ITW #1 was "How I Draw" by Roman Dirge. You might have seen it in its original form on Roman's LiveJournal.

How I Draw
by Roman Dirge

Since so many people ask the process I go through to create these works, I thought I’d whip up a quicky guide to help budding artists follow the process it took to create this piece of art. Please forgive the crudeness of the drawings. I spent like 20 minutes.

Step Two: Scan It
Step One: Draw Something
It is really simple....

First, I sketch out the basic perspective of the drawing. I picture the scene in my head pretty clearly and then it is just a matter of outputting it to paper. I use a mechanical pencil with 2B leads and bristol vellum paper.

I scan the drawing in at 600 dpi Greyscale. This is only because I do shading with the pencil before I scan it. If you ink or do really clean black and white, you should scan as black and white or line art (depending on your scanner software).

Step Three: Clean It Up
And know your tools!
(Not in the Biblical sense.)
use Adobe Photoshop CS 8.0 on a dual G5 Apple computer with a 23inch cinema monitor so I can blow the image up pretty large. I’ll now go into “image” and then go to “levels” and then bring up the black and take down the white (adjust to preference). This does a lotof cleaning and really makes the image pop. My lines are crap and I make a mess from pencil shading, so at this point, I grab the eraser tool set on “brush” and go about doing the final clean up. Then I grab the “brush” tool and use a solid brush to go in and fix some of the lines.

It is also important to point out that investing in a good Wacom tablet is worth everything. Much easier to use a pen than a mouse. Drawing with a mouse is unholy. Jesus would use a Wacom, I think.

Step Four: Small Claims Drama!
Now I change my brush settings to an airbrush setting and set it to “multiply.” This is where the magic is about to happen. I know I’ll be coloring for the next 7 to 8 hours, so at this point I take a break and watch several hours of judge shows. I start with Judge Joe Brown as a warm up even though he is pretty boring and then proceed onto Judge Mathis. This all leads up to the main event, People’s Court. They advertise that Judge Marilyn Milian is the hottest judge on TV, which is accurate, but then again, the other judges are Judge Joe Brown and Judge Mathis. Judge Judy is not a factor here because she is a mean corpse.

Now it is time to get to work. I like to stretch a little first
Step Six: Caffeinate
Step Five: Get Jiggy
and get jiggy. Don’t judge me, man.

I put on a Darth Vader helmet and a WW2 German artillery commander tunic and drink a white chocolate mocha. I know that may seem weird, but trust me, the white chocolate makes the coffee really yummy.

Now, I sacrifice one of my chickens that I have...

This of course is only to do the obvious, which is summon my dark lord and guiding hand, Capoochie Poo.

...and if you follow these few, simple directions, after many hours of pain, mental exhaustion and beer at 9 in the morning (if you’re not comfortable with beer that early, wine is an acceptable replacement. Just make sure it is the good boxed kind ‘cause that is just plain classy), you’ll have a completed work just like me.
Step Seven: Sacrifice


text and images © Roman Dirge.

You can get Roman Dirge's comics and storybooks at Amazon.com or the SLG webstore.

The Monsters in My Tummy
Something at the Window is Scratching
The Cat with a Really Big Head

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