Friday, July 10, 2020


Hey there, hi there, ho there.

Recently I began the new and exciting challenge as the new artist of Sabrina Pandora's awesome webcomic, GIANT GIRL ADVENTURES!

For those curious, GIANT GIRL ADVENTURES is the brainchild of my bestie, Sabrina Pandora. it's an ongoing webcomic that began online in 2012 with Koen Luyten performing the art duties.

GIANT GIRL ADVENTURES is the ongoing tale of a woman named Ronni Kane who has tremendous, size-changing powers that she uses as a superhero on occasion, an often reluctant adventurer, a part-time stunt-woman and a bit of an attention seeker. She's fascinatingly complicated and a really fun character. But the universe seems committed to testing her heroism at every turn, creating new monsters and threats to challenge her in a series that's equal parts epic adventure, tongue-in-cheek humor, and loving homages to all the comics, movies and tales of high-adventure that inspired us.

It's a LOT of fun, and as a reader, I really dug it.

Mid-way through issue 17 back in 2017, Sabrina found herself in need of a new artist to take over and the comic has been on hiatus since then, RIGHT in the middle of an EPIC Fantasy themed story arc.

Back in 2018, Sabrina and I began collaborating on a Star Trek-themed writing fan project, and, over the last couple of years, we really discovered that we're not only great friends but collaborate REALLY well together. So, after I did that piece of fan art a few months ago, we started talking and after a bit, decided to collaborate to keep Ronni's story going.

So, I began work on picking up where the last story left off, which is an EPIC "Dungeons & Dragons" inspired fantasy-adventure that is pushing me artistically in ways I've never quite been used before.

One way it's challenged me has been in going back to full DIGITAL art for production, as it allows me to do a LOT in an otherwise black and white (with spot reds) comic AND make on-the-fly tweaks and edits as Sabrina and I go back and forth over each page. As such, I thought a STEP-BY-STEP view of the creation of a single panel might be a fun way to give you all a peek behind the proverbial curtain. Hope you enjoy:

Of COURSE step one is the script! Sabrina has a sprawling, epic and hilarious story written out and the first step for ME is in reading it all, including familiarizing myself with all the characters and the great designs Koen created.


Using a digital pencil in ADOBE PHOTOSHOP called "KYLE Ultimate Pencil Hard", I take the script and rough out what everything will look like and where all the characters ARE. 

Two of the word balloons ended up being moved to other panels later on, and because the script for the REST of the panel emphasized the importance of that GIANT-SIZED outhouse, I included it here  to set it up. 

As with MOST of my projects, this is about as tight as my "pencils" ever go, and I will jump straight to digital inks from here.

Using a digital inking brush called "KLYE Ultimate Inking Thick n' Thin", (Thanks, Kyle!) I ink the foreground characters. I set the brush's width to no more than nine and no less than five to keep my ink lines as consistent as possible to keep it looking organic.

In this panel, I wanted to separate our HEROES from the surly giants and background, so I drew them on their own layer.

You'll also notice that Lexxi the Pixie was moved from sitting on the COLD IRON END of Ronni's giant maul, to the leather-strap covered handle. I... forgot about pixie's problems with Iron in the pencils. OOPS!

While not done on every panel, on panels with multiple levels of depth, I usually create a mask layer to go under the lines here and ABOVE the layer where I'll draw the background. 

And to help the foreground art POP, I apply a simple black stroke to the mask to give the foreground art a stronger contour line.

THERE'S our surly hillbilly giants, some loosely indicated tress in the distance and the aforementioned giant outhouse. Our mission's bard, Dirk Swann certainly seems interested in that door, doesn't he? Does he just need to PEE, or is there something MORE!?

For each page of GIANT GIRL ADVENTURES, I use two different shades of gray and a single spot color of RED for our main heroes' wardrobe. These are colored on separate layers behind each layer of pencils. 

This really helps sell the depth of the scene and bring the focus on Ronni, our titular Giant Girl.

On a layer UNDER the panel borders and lettering, but ABOVE all of the art, is a layer of black parallel lines at an angle. This is a digital fake-out designed to replicate the look of a technique called Duotone.

Duotone boards were printed with faint lines crisscrossing on the thick board that were invisible to the printing process UNTIL you painted on a set of two different chemicals. One chemical revealed one set of lines. The other chemical revealed the second set of lines.

Because the crisscrossing lines create weird patterns on a computer screen, I only recreated the lines going in ONE direction, and then in Photoshop, created a mask that made the entire layer invisible.

Using one of my favorite photoshop brushes, the basic "Rough Round Bristle", I paint out the areas of shadow I want to show through the previously established mask, leaving a black mask with painterly areas "cut out" by setting the brush at about 65% opacity. This gives a more natural feel to the revealed duo tone lines in the finished panel.

And this is what it all looks like combined. The Duotone layer is ONLY visible in the places where I painted away the mask, giving us a little more shadow, texture and depth.

So, if you want to see what's NEXT, and just what Dirk Swann is investigating that outhouse for, go over to GIANT GIRL ADVENTURES today and get caught up on the adventure!

Giant Girl Adventures, ©2020, Sabrina Pandora. All Rights Reserved.