Ready for Amulet 6: Escape From Lucien?! Here’s a sneak peek of one of the scenes from Kazu Kibuishi (boltcity) PLUS an explanation of how each page comes to be!
First Photo - Blue Line: While many of the pages in Amulet begin with a very rough and scribbly version of the page, this is one of the examples where I let the art direct me where to go with the dialogue and story. I knew I wanted to draw the large panel of the Colossus being prepared for battle, so I went right ahead and began penciling the page with a blue pencil and added dialogue after the drawings were done. I use a blue line so that when I go to ink the page, I can cancel out the blue color in the computer and leave only the clean black lines on the page. This process feels a bit like I’m drawing with invisible ink or pencil.
Second Photo - Inked Page: I call this the “inking” stage, but what I’m really doing here is using a regular graphite pencil and drawing over a large printed copy of the blue line image. After the page is “inked”, I scan the image into the computer and adjust the contrast of the penciled linework to make it look more like ink. Using a pencil is not only easier on my hand, but it creates a nice, flowing line that makes the image look a little bit like it’s moving. This is also the stage where most of the dialogue writing occurs. The font is one that is based on my own hand lettering, and I just type drafts of dialogue on the inked pages until I feel the dialogue works.
Third Photo - Colors: Once the inks are scanned into the computer, cleaned up, and adjusted, we add colors digitally. Working digitally allows us to paint a lot faster and adjust things much easier than if we painted everything on paper or canvas. We use Adobe Photoshop to achieve a painted look and feel. This stage is overseen by Jason Caffoe (jcaffoe), who works with me to establish the colors and settings in the books. On this particular page, I simply gave Jason notes on what kind of setting I wanted to see, and he established the imagery in the background. After working with me for so many years, Jason has a good sense of what I’m looking to achieve, and nearly always hits the mark.