I thought I would take this time to include a brief blog about the process I use to bring you new Moth & Ethan strips every week. Right or wrong, love it or hate it, every artist has a method and technique that they are comfortable with or are constantly honing to produce their craft. This is one of mine:

I use a 11" x 17" 100 lb. Accent Opaque Digital bristol board with a smooth finish.

I buy this in large packs at Arvey or Xpedx.

This laminated template gives me a rough guide for placing the panels.

I made the template so I wouldn’t have to measure every time.

I sketch in the cartoons and concept dialogue with a 0.5mm mechanical pencil.

I don’t usually render the drawings any more than this since the characters are pretty simple and familiar to me.

Inking the cartoons and letters with a variety of pens, including brush markers, Sharpies, Rollerball, and felt-tip pens. And "yes", I ink from right to left since I am left-handed.

Older classic Moth & Ethan strips were inked with brush and India ink. Brush markers, while less sophisticated or opaque, are also not as messy.

Quick clean-up with kneaded artist erasers.

Some artists avoid this kind of clean-up by inking over a light table on a separate sheet, or just inking digitally.

Move from the drawing table to the computer workstation.

I am currently running a new generation Mac Mini, to which I’ve connected a 12″ Wacom Cintiq, and new Brother large-format scanner, both of which are tremendous time-savers.

Scan the inked drawings at 300dpi in Black & White.

Black & White or Greyscale images scan faster and make it easier to adjust the levels.

I crop and rotate the scanned images in Photoshop, then save them as memorable PSD files. The Brightness & Contrast usually has to be adjusted. I also change the flat Background to a Layer and set it to Multiply. After that, I convert the image from Greyscale to RGB, and add two more layers beneath that line layer.

This is also the point where I digitally clean up the inks and fix mistakes or make changes – a common occurrence..

Finally, I add the background and foreground colors on the separate layers, and Merge the Visible Layers together before saving the PNG file at a reasonable screen resolution.

Selection tools, Paint Bucket, and Brushes are all used to fill in the colors. I also have a color palette specifically for Moth & Ethan and a few of the other characters.

That’s about it! Hope you weren’t too bored and I hope it doesn’t take away the “magic”. Feel free to ask more detailed questions via e-mail or in the comments section below.