How do I make a comic design? New Steps to a Handmade Story

by Carter Toni

Many children love to draw, and some even try to create their own comics. At first it seems that all you need to do is write a story, come up with heroes, divide the page into blocks and act. Everything is true, but the process is much more interesting and complicated. In the graphic novel Rules, the theme of the drawn stories appears twice: first in the plot, and then in the author’s recommendations at the end of the book. Decided to share the latest: here are the secrets of the source (comic design)

Step 1.Rules

Before drawing, you need to take notes on the visuals, plots and dialogues. Think about what emotions the characters will experience, how they look, what tone they say, what stylistic features of speech each of them will have.

Step 2. Storyboard

At this stage, the illustrator develops the character poses, panel layouts, speech bubbles, and the script itself. Usually draws on A4 sheets for a printer – they are easy to find.

Step 3. Pencil

Draw with a pencil first. You can draw on plain paper. Try not to get attached to your tools in case they get lost. Paper and pencil are easy to find at any stationery store, home, or school.

Step 4. Stroke

Many artists prefer to draw in ink over their pencil drafts. Scan the drawings and applies a non photo blue filter. Then he prints and traces in ink (this is how the illustrator keeps the pages in both pencil and ink). The good thing about the stroke after non photo blue is that when scanning in Bitmap / BSW mode, the blue does not appear. Therefore, you do not have to wipe the pencil lines.

Step 5. Tinting

When the outlined pages are scanned, you can color them in the graphics editor. Try using a drawing tablet and graphics program.

 More tricks

  1. When drawing a setting, think about how it relates to the characters. So, in the comic “Rules of Survival at School” the classrooms of the drawing and scientific circles correspond to the character of the teachers.
  2. Think over the secondary characters: their stories, troubles, dreams. In this comic, we often see the guys from the two circles and the staff of the school newspaper. So, Maribella Samson is a talented and self-confident student who is ready to fight for the right to participate in the festival of school circles. And Jenson Graham is a funny weirdo guy who is worried about sun spots and a story about school cafeteria robots that have gone out of control.

Short tips for those who are learning to paint

A comic strip that teaches you how to draw

If the young artist has not yet had time to work out his drawing skills, it is worth spending time on this. For example, you can study with David, the hero of Comic That Teaches You to Draw (from artist Marc Crilli). Here are some quick tips:

  • Pay attention to the shape of the object you are drawing.
  • Respect the proportions.
  • Measure by eye. For example, when drawing a watch strap, think: how many dials would fit on one side and the other?
  • Spot mistakes.
  • Do not press hard on the pencil (then you will be tortured to erase :-))
  • Pay attention to negative space – the space between or around the object / objects in the drawing.
  • Show volume with shading (when you need to add shadow, grab the tip of the pencil and tilt it at a sharp angle to the paper, speed up to make the strokes look more confident).
  • Do not draw the outline at once, but sketch – you do not need to go deep into the details, depict the basic shapes. Starting with details is risky: you can depict them accurately, but distort the proportions, or the technique will change during the drawing process and the upper part will differ from the lower one. The point is to work on all the elements of the drawing at the same time.
  • Find a light source to paint shadows. The shadows will be where he does not reach. Pay attention to the saturation of the shadows.

Here’s another tip: the first comic can be drawn without any computer software or scanning. Trace outlines with a gel pen, color illustrations directly on paper, use colored pencils or felt-tip pens. And when you feel that things have gone well, use professional tools

Create comics online with Canva

Canva is a very easy-to-use graphics editor that offers many visual graphic features. In addition to the comic book maker, the service allows you to create designs for calendars, postcards, as well as illustrations for social networks, blogs, and even marketing materials for businesses.


To go to the function of creating comics, register on the main page of the service. For a free subscription, you need to choose a plan “for yourself”, which gives access to all basic functions and a large collection of graphics.

By typing the desired query in the search (in this case, “comic”), you will go to the work page, where you will create your future story. In the panel on the left, you can see a small collection of ready-made comic book layouts in English. They can be used as a template or just for inspiration by coming up with your own stories.


Moving on to the “elements” section, you will see different options for ready-made comic grids that you can use. If you can’t find one that’s perfect for your story, you have the option to create your own grid by combining and resizing the frames. When the mesh is ready, you can add a background to each of the “windows” and start adding heroes.

With backgrounds – everything is simple: you can upload your own, you can from templates. Change the position of the background on the working area and drag it to the desired grid block. The background is automatically filled into the frame of the frame.

Making history

In the “elements” section, users have access to many different graphics: lines, icons, icons, diagrams, and more. You can type the desired search term to quickly find items related to your topic. Typing “comic” in front of us opens all sorts of pictures on this topic – clouds for text, explosions, characters, animals – you can use all this to create your own story. To do this, simply select the desired element and drag it onto the working field. To add dialogs, use the “text” function in the panel on the left. Canva supports 115 Cyrillic fonts ranging from classic to more original.

If you are a DIY comic artist, you can also upload your stories to Canva for digital translation. To do this, simply take a photo of your drawings and use the downloads section of the toolbar.

So, with Canva, anyone can create their own stories without the skills of drawing comics – it can be as humorous dialogue for children, or more classic stories.

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