process panel

Happy Halloween, Blog-friends, and thanks for your patience during a quiet October.
A few of you asked about the process stages between pencils and colors, so here’s a panel breakdown from chapter two.

1) Pencilled the characters (Elliot & Violet) and roughed in the background with non-photo blue pencil.

2) This time,  I chose to draw the background separately with pencil and colored ballpoint.
(As you can see, the detail in SPACE DUMPLINS is becoming as obsessive as HABIBI).

3) Then I merged the two in Photoshop and printed out blue lines on to Bristol Board paper.

4) Inked with India ink and watercolor brush – the lettering is Micron pigment pen.
(You can still see the bluelines on the original art, but they’re easily removed once scanned.)

5) The COLORS!

13 thoughts on “process panel

  1. Craig! Nice to see some behind the scenes stuff…a similar approach to the way I work. What’s the reason for using coloured ballpoint pens for sketching the backgrounds? Your posts are always enlightening…looking forward to more, and more importantly, Space Dumplings! Cheers!

  2. Absolutely gorgeous. It is overwhelming and incredible to read Habibi and think about the amount of work that goes into every single panel and page. Can’t wait for Space Dumplins!

  3. “I Hope You can Understand”

    Dear Mr. Craig Thompson,
    If I could have, like, maybe, two minutes of your time…(?)…I just wantcha to know that I, too, was born in 1975 and, also, grew-up in the rural midwest and…only a few minutes ago (10:20pm, 11/1/2013), I (just) finished reading the ONLY thing I’ve ever read by you: “Blankets”. (I WILL soon begin reading MORE of your stuff!!) ANYWAY, I realize this is maybe not be the BEST place to post fan mail (?), but…I just HAFTA tell you that… there were just SO many, different, small components of “Blankets” which spoke to me. I hipe you can understand. I mean, you just NAILED so much of my growing-up! Man! I can’t thank you enough! Thanks for your courage, generosity, honesty and trust that you were going to find your target audience. I am among your target audience on THAT one!
    Thanks, so much 🙂 You stirred-up my, old childhood & adolescent memories…and, as bitter as some of them were, it was as if a friendly narrator had experienced much of what I, too, had experiences and was guiding me to some reconciliation between points A and B. Further, your artful expression and encouragement of artful expression have given me a boost to “get back on the horse” and continue my own artful dreams. I feel that art is at its best when, in it, we discover a friendly, understanding voice. I hope to someday reach-out to ppl the same way that you have. Thank you lots…and I hope you can understand why I feel that it’s important for me to say “thanks”. (By the way, kick ass drawings, above, on this page!!! I’ll continue to explore your work 🙂 🙂


    Wade near Wichita

    (‘Hope this note didn’t SUCK! It’s long, but it’s GOOD, right?! hahaha! And, if this is
    the WRONG place FOR it [to post it], my
    bad. !!! !!!)
    🙁 🙂 🙂

    (Ps, 1975 rules! Appreciated the cassette tape in the car/tape deck references and all the band posters referenced in “Blankets”. Remember 8-tracks??? Hahaha! I remember listening to 8-tracks of John Denver and Kenny Rogers/Dottie West “Every Time Two Fools Collide”. Hahahaha!)
    Seriously man, blankets broke my heart, but in a good way – a healing way. 🙂

    Sorry. I can’t help myself here. I’m gonna jeep goin’…(Yikes!)…

    …but, I mean, I can understand, from “Blankets”, your “relationship-with-parents” component – their “well-meaning” – …and your “young love’s blissful discovery and heartache” component and your “bullying” and “being taken advantage of” components…and your “unique relationships with older folks in church” component and your “Isn’t a seven-year lapse in attendance ANSWER enough?” line.

    Thank you, Mr. Thompson.
    -Wade B. (11:15pm 11-1-2013)
    (Pss, turning 38 [a few wks ago] didn’t bother me NEARLY as much as the shock of turning 30 did! 🙂


  4. Thank you so much for posting more about your process; it is quite helpful! I am currently working on my own project and thanks to you, I am realizing that I don’t need certain things that tend to be very expensive. It is truly inspiring to see that something so great can come from using relatively inexpensive supplies. (I say this because I have had so many people trying to push me to draw on the computer, but I just love using paper, pencil, pens and brushes…there’s nothing computerized like it that I have seen.) All of your posts are great, but I (and many others) really appreciate seeing as much as you want to (or have time to) share about the process. Thanks again!

  5. Thank you for posting your process! I am currently pursuing art education and illustration and have dreamed about creating a graphic novel. “Blankets” was an artistic inspiration for me. I am looking forward to Habibi. Keep up the great work. Will you ever be in the Los Angelos or San Diego area for a book signing?

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