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New X-Men page process by diablo2003 New X-Men page process by diablo2003
I get a lot of requests to show the raw pencils or the raw inks as well as requests to see tutorials so i thought I would try and fill all the requests by showing the page process as it goes from layout to pencils to inks and then colors. I'm using the last page of New X-Men #20 since it's got a nice big image and should be the most interesting to see in progress.
STEP 1- Layout. This is a really small rough drawing(generally 8X5) done in about 15 or 20 minutes just so I can see how the page should be laid out and where everything will go. I'm not really concerned about all the little details at this point because this is only for me and not generally going to be seen by anyone else. Think of it as a blueprint for whats to come.
STEP 2- pencils. Depending on how much I like the layout Ill either scan the layout in and blow it up to 11X17, print it, and lightbox the outline onto my comic board or Ill simply draw the page from scratch using my layout as reference. If I light box it, Ill usually do it with a non-photo blue pencil and then add all my details very lightly with a size 2h lead pencil. Once everything is where Id like it to be I go back through with a size H and HB to tighten it up. A lot of times Ill add little Xs to the areas that Id like filled in with black by the inker. This saves time for me and keeps the inker from having to erase a whole bunch.
STEP 3- inks. I send the page out via FedEx to my inker Jaime Mendoza. Jaime takes the page and goes over it adding the contour lines and spotted blacks that give the page a lot of depth. If you look at the difference between the pencils and inks youll see that Jaime added a lot of chaser lines and make my flat pencil marks go from thick to thin depending on the lighting. Hell also add additional textures like the cracks around the ground and marks on the figures body. Jaime is an amazing inker and I think its evident by all the fine little touches he added to this page.
STEP 4- colors. Once finished Jaime scans the piece in and sends it over to Brian Reber so he can finish the page up. Brian first determines where the light source is coming from and begins laying down light and dark shades accordingly. In this case the light is coming from the doorway so Brian adds a really nice gradient light coming from the lover right to the top left. He also fills on some of the shadows that werent evident in the inks like the shadow of Emma falling across Jays legs. Hell also add textures to give the piece a more real feel like the stone look to the sidewalk and a liquidy shine to the blood. Brian also incorporates a beautiful color palette so the piece pops while still being gritty and dingy. Color choice is just as important as technique so should be focused on just as much. Once Brian is done he sends the page via FTP site over to Marvel to be lettered and printed.
The process goes on all month long until weve done this 22 times for each book. It sounds time consuming (and it is) but you find that it gets easier the more you do it. Hope you found this enjoyable and let me know if you have any questions and Ill try to edit it into the description.

Also, I still have my 2005 sketchbooks available to anyone that wants one. Read my latest journal entry and send an e-mail to if youd like one!

Thanks for looking!
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Power-of-Passion Featured By Owner Edited Jul 26, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Soooo... What would you say is a good size for beginner comic artists to draw their pages without any scanning-related danger, and without risk of loosing quality after blowing up the drawing?
This is something that has been worrying me because my original sketches and stuff are almost the size of A4 office/computer paper.
I've been experimenting with diferente sizes, but i'm still not so sure...
virtuoso7 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is amazing to see, thanks for sharing. Very inspiring
GLoRToR Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2014   General Artist
Mark, could you make (or point me to) a hair line art tutorial that covers the successful types and methods of comicbook style hair? I'm a graphite artist in the habit of using tones and find it hard to define hair with mere lines.
psychgrim Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013

AuroraArt Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013  Student Digital Artist
Amazing work! I would definitely love to work with you guys in the comic industry someday! Keep up the amazing work!
Ianisnothome Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2011
This is one of my favorite scenes
rebeky55 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2011
I am interested in having a relationship with you,My name is rebecca I will appreciate it if you write back to me ( so that we can communicate and move from here.Hope to hear from you.
seandanielpugh Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2010
I love a good tutorial nice work
discipleneil777 Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Yeah, scan at 600dpi, send ftp or e-mail, then the inker can print it out and ink it. Seems like that process would be better and faster. :p
soumyadham Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2009
gr8 work.
i'm new in digital coloring.
i'd like 2 know how it's done?
gkb3rk Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2009  Student Filmographer
why you re sending by cargo why dont you just scan it and send e-mail the high res version???????
darkchaosempress Featured By Owner Jul 21, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
wow,this is gorgeous..iv been looking through you'r gallery all morning, ur ma hero dood, thnx for the inspiration too^^
3Ali Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2009
great technique
Gwin27 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2009
wow i'm sure you here this alot but ur really good
mira-mcgrath Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2008  Professional General Artist
this is awesome. thank you for sharing the process. it looks amazing
Atariel91 Featured By Owner May 31, 2008  Student General Artist
-shudder- hate it when they kill off characters in comics. but hell, you drew it well :P
DemonShuriken87 Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2007  Hobbyist General Artist
Coollness, major coollness. So are you employed by marvel? I was just wondering since I'm thinking of sending my best of the best works in, some pencil, some ink, mostly color stuff, and see what they think. The stuff I post on DA is kinda half assed sometimes, but i was just wondering, do you know if they're looking for new artists?

Great line art by the way. I can see why your a pencil artist.
Esteban84 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2007  Professional Filmographer
This one is so cool, i managed to bought the comic (which is a very remarkable thing here in Colombia), and let me tell you, your art is too good to be true, loved the hole issue, and is great to see the process of it!.
psikographik Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2006
im very very speachless...
great work!!!!
xXFelidaeXx Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2006
I feel like I've seen this-read it- before, or at least something similar. It's been published, has it?
PropaGandhi101 Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2006
very helpfull
thnx a bunch
chowmut Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2006
awesome coloring and detail :)

i think old styling of emma frost was so much hotter.. :)
omarvelazquez Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2006
mm interestign... great job and great (see it in process is very good)
Slothboy3000 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2006
I love your work. I really want to become a comic book artists myself (gotta keep practicing!), so this is really helpful to see the process of how it goes through and pick up on all the little details.

Thanks alot for sharing such awesome work! :)
Clouds-of-Anger Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2006
NO WAY!!! You drew the New X-men series??? I love you man!!! I didnt know that. Amazing. Im a huge fan of the new xmen and i love it all!!!
NightBirdx Featured By Owner May 31, 2006
Oh my gosh do you draw comics for the xmen???
sam4grafix Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2006
really nice stuff... i appreciate ur all 4 stages!
gr8 handwork + cg work!
Ljose Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2006
Hi man, nice work..... i'm a fan now:

Just a question.... Are you able to obtain that colors (the final result) using a software like photoshop? or you just use real inks?

Hapuka Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2006  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I want to work for Marvel comics when im older. Have you got any tips?? Iv'e got a gallery coming under way that you might want to a peek at.:blahblah:
Hapuka Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2006  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I want to work for Marvel comics when im older. Have you got any tips??
Cha0sM0nkey Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2006
Now Not only do I get to read these Wondrous creations I have the benefit of seeing these wonderful Submissions....
I believe I just may have to swing by that last journal for one of those Sketch books.

Wonderful work.
I Love your stuff!
Exocentric Featured By Owner Feb 20, 2006
That's alot of work. Wow. I never realized how hard it is on comic artists. D: Amazing...
melonchan Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2006
AnXa Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2006
wow, this is great.
ErinFaye Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2006
Amazing! I love your style, very talented. I have a relative that actually drew for Marvel Comics. Keep up the excelent work!!! Again, simply amazing!!!
SmartiN Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2006
JoeyGates Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2006   Filmographer

Thanks for your explanation of the process that you work in! That's cool to know how they do it. Didn't marvel used to be sticklers about artist working off site? I remember hearing somewhere years ago that they wanted artist to be there in New York. Did companies like image and darkhorse change their thinking a little? I wanted to be a comic artist when I was younger. There's a part of me that still does. I grew up Old-school.... since I'm old. I remember when Byrne and Austin worked together on Xmen, when John Romita Sr. was on spiderman and Herb Trimp was.... was... i don't know, doing something. lol I was one of the first in my city to buy "The Official Marvel Try-Out Book" Some how my life to a different turn, but I'm still a story teller thru and thru.

About the process...
Do you ever send off a page you did that day.. and wake up the next morning and think, Damn.. I should have done that page differently? Do you layout the whole book roughly, quickly and work from those thumbs so you can get how the layout of the pages fit together, Or do you really go one page at a time? I love the idea of shooting from the hip and letting your art move with the story, but that would scare me to death.
Anyway, I'll get your sketch book! Thanks for posting on DA. =)

NicoleWagner Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2006  Hobbyist Photographer
Wow... Marvel sure seems to have an angst muse going on. I mean... woah. This picture is so well drawn, so angsty, and so sad. You really did a good job setting the mood with this drawing! I'm speechless.
Nicole Wagner: The Deadly Gambit:kitty:
Nutthead Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2006
Man, you have to go to alot of trouble to finally get it done I dont have the patience for that :blushes: seems I gotta learn that to achieve proficiency -when will that be-no one knows hihihi
edzik Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2006  Hobbyist General Artist
awesome :#1:
Gongzee Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2006
Thats looks great like all your drawings! =] Just wondering, approx how long in hours (or minutes if its me that works really slow) to get up to the third panel (the stage just before colouring)? I always wonder how long pros take sketching and finalising pictures...
anassalnor Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2006   Traditional Artist
SilviodB Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2006  Professional General Artist
Your work is amazing!!
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Submitted on
January 30, 2006
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