Building the strips
How much time I spend on each strip is hard to say since I divide up the work process. I can sit for days and plot out both what’s going to happen in the series and work on text for individual strips. The latter looks almost like a play script, as I plot both facial expressions, moods, movements and where the cafe action to take place. Than I sketch stripes until I have anything between five and ten sketches before I transfer the sketches the text onto watercolour paper. When I have between thirty and forty finished figures and strips in watercolour I scan them and open Photoshop. Should I guess, i finish somewhere between three and four stripes a day if I work a normal working day. The whole process is explained below.
Although almost all elements in series stripes are hand drawn and collared with watercolours it is a lot of Photoshop involved before the strips are finished. The work process is in many ways based on the old animation techniques, in other words, I work in layers. The front in the top layer and the back at the bottom. In other words, we are talking about loose figures, large moving backgrounds and details in separate layer.
Strip coloured on watercolour paper
Strip scanned and opened in Photoshop
Three layer Photoshop strip template
Top layer: signature – Below that: framework – Below that: Empty layer
Scanned strip placed in empty layer
Background placed under scanned strip
Furniture and other large details placed in right layers
Small details placed in right layers
And finally, sketched text removed and digital text typed in.
By now the Photoshop file may have as much as 10 layers so everything except the text files is put in one layer and this original is numbered and saved in a folder called “Moxies 300dpi multilayers”. Then I make one flat original number it and save it in a folder called “Moxies 300dpi”. At last I number and save one original in 72 dpi for screen showing and save it in a folder called “Moxies 72dpi”