12 Art Hacks for Comic Book Artists!

12 Art Hacks for Comic Book Artists!

so I've been creating traditional comics for a while now and along the way I picked up a few hacks welcome back to the underground laboratory where we create robots alien zombies and other imminent threats humanity and sometimes we create comics sometimes those comics do feature zombies this is my kids vs. zombie comic that I've been working on for a while young and the dead it's kind of like Goonies meets nidal Living Dead but so I'm getting ready to start another page here on my comic book so over the years creating comic books traditionally I have picked up a few tips some things that I want to share with you guys and so I decided to put everything together in a nice list and you know some of these things maybe you heard of but I'm pretty sure there might be a few things in here that might surprise you so let's get into my traditional cover book art hacks all right we're gonna start with hack number one raise your ruler sometimes when you use just a regular ruler on paper you might get this smudge here hopefully not that bad but it can happen but one way to fix that is to kind of raise the ruler up now sometimes rulers will come with a little bit of cork on the bottom and that will help do that but if you don't have one of those kind of rulers just take some masking tape and put a little strip on the bottom maybe two if you need to raise it a little more and that will help put the you know lift the ruler off the page so it's not actually touching so then when you go to draw your line and you pull it back and hopefully you'll eliminate some of that smudging hack number two splicing so I'm gonna do a little splicing demo you're gonna need some masking tape some scotch tape and exacto knife and if you have one a light table if you don't have a light table we've got a little hack for that coming out to kind of give you a little roundabout you can do instead of that light table but right now you just want to light up your two sheets of paper now splicing if you need to splice things that usually sometimes you might have like an 8 by 10 scanner or you know eight half by eleven scanner you need something that's more common book size like I love by 17 or in this case I've got a double page spread I do have a load by 17 scanner but that's not big enough for a double page spread so say if I got my pencils out and I want to do a nice ink and I want to splice together these then I want to line those up I want to overlap them as you saw previously just so you can get them lined up you can see through it with the light table then put your masking tape on there and then get a metal ruler and just slice right down the middle and now you're just gonna remove those two excess little sheets that we don't need anymore or the lines of paper and then you're gonna have a perfectly good cut so everything should butt up really nice together so go ahead and but those two pages up to each other and then we're gonna get our masking tape out one more time and we're gonna just secure that with some masking tape on the top now obviously you don't want to keep it that way because the masking tape doesn't look good on the front of your your page so we're gonna flip it over we're gonna put some some scotch tape on there some transparent tape whatever brand you want to use scotch brand but you know Scotch is like it's like Kleenex you know it's what everyone calls it no matter what kind you use okay so if you strip out and be real careful with this don't do what I did where I got it stuck to the paper and everything and just start at the top and gradually move it down but yeah this also works really well if you want to do a nice presentation have a big-enough printer if you need to supply some pieces together usually you can't even sell like unless you're really close you're not gonna be able to tell the difference so you can even use this for instant present something if you need you know if you need a backdrop or something like that for whatever comic are you presenting something it works real well so it's a good good good thing to know how to slice together something you can trim off these bottom and top edges where they kind of they're they you know lead over a little bit to hack number three flip your art now a lot of you artists that work digitally you can do this in Photoshop by flipping your image around or you can do it on a light table or just hold it up to a light just to double-check your artwork to make sure everything looks good because sometimes when you draw you don't really see some of the mistakes unless you flip then around pack number four create a makeshift light table this is really easy all you have to do is find a window and if you've got a sunny day put your image the image that you want to trace put it down in the put your paper over it and just tape those down and you can go ahead and trace that pretty self-explanatory you can also if you have a glass table you can put a light under it I used to do that a lot because light tables can get expensive but there are many other ways to kind of get that same effect basically any way you can get a light source under a transparent or semi-transparent surface you can use that as a light table also if you're really careful you can use your computer monitor or maybe even a laptop you just got to be real careful not to damage that screen because sometimes you can you laptops a little more portable and you can always take a light table everywhere you go pack number five use of pencil holder now if you're like me you go through pencils like crazy and you get these little nubs that you can't really do anything with so you can go online or it finding them in the store you can order those pencil holders there but if you don't have one or if you just need to make one because you don't have a light around go ahead and get a pen a sharpie like this size Sharpie this thin point Sharpie works really well there's something that the pencil will fit through and then you can use that as a pencil holder if you want something a little more secure you know sometimes I just hold it with my you know just pinch it with my fingers because basically all you need is you just need that little extension to kind of they kind of rest between your thumb and forefinger and if you don't if you you know if if you need something you know to hold it a little better just use some tape and that worked fine and you know it's it's kind of ghetto but it works in a pinch here's a quick little tip hack number six flip your exacto blade now some of the newer exacta blades come with those little plastic cases the little coverings those are great maybe yours doesn't have it or maybe you lost yours just flip the blade around then it's safe and it's not gonna you know poke you when you start and everything and as you can see because they kind of roll just down the table also you can find these little triangular pencil holders they stop pencils from rolling down now if pencils aren't gonna hurt you if they roll down not usually but exacto blade might poke a hole in your foot so that that will help you on to hack number seven leave the lid off so a lot of the newer inks when you get him seems like a lot of the ink manufacturers nowadays are watering down their inks but a way to kind of bypass this is just take the lid off and just leave it sitting like that for you know for about a day and the ink will start to thicken up now word of caution if you have little kids or cats especially you're gonna have to put this somewhere where it's not going to get knocked over because obviously this is permanent ink and it does not come out pack number eight use a bottle cap so when you get a bottle of ink especially a new bottle it's pretty full so when you dip your brush in it or your name or whatever you're using you don't always know the level of ink that's in there and sometimes you can get too much on your brush your nib so if you wanna have a little more control over how much ink you have just get a plastic bottle these work real well you can use you use different things but I always use plastic bottle caps because they're you know they're pretty available if your ink bottle water and just get a little eyedropper put a little bit in there and then like I said you have a lot more control over how much ink goes on your brush and they don't get too much on there and you can make less of a mess on your fingers and everything so all right hack number nine make an eyedropper now a lot of inks may come with an eyedropper like this Higgins black magic but they're kind of cheap and they get clogged up a lot so they don't last very long so I don't really rely on those but what you can get you can order these little pipettes I think people use them for essential oils but you get a big bag of like a hundred of them for super cheap on Amazon and those work real well I used these all the time and like I said they're cheap and you can clean them out or whatever you want and reuse them or you know if you want to just dispose them you can do that too or if you're not buying Jesse you can also use a regular drinking straw just cover you know drop it in there cover the top of it and that will hold the ink in there and then just drop it in your reservoir in this case like I said we're using a bottle cap works really well hack number ten reactivate pro-white so if your ditional artist like me you tend to make mistakes and we don't have an undo button when we do traditional work so I use pro-white and as you could see there sometimes that pro-white if you don't use it often or you know kind of for a while it can dry up but if you just put a little tiny bit of water in there screw the cap back on and just leave it sitting to overnight and it will kind of pop back to normal and you can also do this if you make your Corrections with gouache it kind of works the same way and through the magic of video editing I left it set overnight and now you can see it's pretty much back to normal and it works really well and you can go ahead and make your Corrections or effects or whatever you want to do pack number eleven use a smudge guard now you don't want to smudge when you're inking sometimes you can put a piece of paper underneath you but if you don't want to do that or if you want a better way to do it maybe get one of these smudge guards they're used for like if you have a Cintiq or a tablet so you don't smudge the you know the screen and it moves you know quickly across the screen so those work really well for traditional drawing as well but if you don't want to invest in one of those or if you just don't have time to get one and if you have a glove lying around just use a club I've got a cotton glove here I cut fingertips off of those and it works pretty much just as well and we have arrived at hack number 12 fix it with the patch now sometimes you have a mistake that's too big to use just whiteout or pro-white or whatever you want to use so you want to get a separate piece of bristol these are just some different you know shots of head shots that I wasn't really happy with so I went and redrew them and I'm just gonna go ahead and get my exacto knife and cut them out as close as I can you can also do this digitally but since we're talking about traditional stuff that's what I'm gonna do there I just pop that out and now what you want to do is you want to get a slim piece of cardboard just cut out a piece of cardboard like you see here get some masking tape and tape that down put your image face down like that and get some super 77 work on her spray mount you want to use and just take it outside and spray that and that way you'll get it all over your hand or anything then just get your image rested on your exacto blade and find out where you want getting into position and once you got it there press down on it and voila there you go now you may need to go ahead back in there if you got a little overlapping like you see there just go ahead and get your pro whiteout and you can kind of fix that you know what I'm feeling generous so I'm gonna give you a bonus hack and that is make a hand lettering guide now this is a tip that I learned from kevin kross who likes his lettering to look handmade but say your hand right is not that great or whatever you want to create a guy just print out your comic book type and put it under a light table and go over it and you're gonna get some nice inconsistencies and it's gonna look just look a lot better and work in it all right so I hope you enjoyed some of those hacks I hope there were some new things in there for you to take away and I'm curious if you guys have some little tidbits of knowledge that maybe I didn't mention maybe I don't even know about I'd like to know about them got some good ideas let me know in the comment section and other than that I will see you guys later that is all hey everyone thanks for joining me here in the art lab there's a lot other great content on the channel so click that subscribe button and you won't miss a thing if we're aspiring evil genius visit circular scum for all your mad science supply needs and if you want to contact me hit me up in the comments section or follow me on social media I'm looking forward to it I'll see you then


  • Mandeep sharda says:

    Please make a video that how you imagin

  • DogFaced Boy says:

    "Re-activate Pro-White" –>–> Re-active EVERYTHING!?! I like to make stuff, and fiddle with stuff, so I just DELIGHT in these kinda things. Plus I'm really cheap, and a Whole Lot of dying and/or dead things are really just thirsty. A lot of maniacs go "Use distilled water OR PERISH!!!" Ummm… no. Why? Tap water didn't KILL YOU in the SHOWER (whars Norman Bates when you need'm…), and it likely won't kill your stuff. I even live in a place with farm runoff and semi-salty invasions of the Atlantic, we get calcium "scale" in our pot and pans (eventually) But Calcium + Death = ditto to above = huh? Get OVER it your water is not here to kill. Too chlorine-y to drink, set it out open for a few hours = no chlorine. I also work on guitars, and fountain pens; lo & behold, a lot of those secret special tools come staight outta jewelers and gunsmiths catalogs , only they pay half or a third as much. Except you can make your own before they can possibly mail them to you….

    If I had to choose a single Greatest Unknown Tool, hey you know about the 2" wide. clear gridded rulers from C-Thru rulers? Over in Granny's sewing and emboidering dept, they have these GIANT clear gridded things from Fiskars, Tailors etc. = 4" X 6", 4"X 24" all the way out to like 18" X 24" and more. On top to check stuff, and:UNDERNEATH the paper on a lightbox – YOU ARE DRAWING ON GRAPH PAPER. Think.

  • Xerxyz86 says:

    His lab makes me think of Beekman's World.

  • fox21231 says:

    Tape seems like its just as important as a pencil

  • Gremlin Comics LLC says:

    I need to learn how to use lighting and shadows correctly for my own characters . Please help and line weights

  • JavierThePro says:

    I do stickman comics at school and one girl said their comic was better and my friend who teach me how to make comics got triggered and called them a fat b!tch and he told me BRO COMIC COMIC COMIC and yeah I've been making comics for 2 months I've made 12 comics and I always borrow my friends blue pen for it my friend like DUDE THERES NO MORE INK BTW the teachers very kind lol

  • Western Esper says:

    I usually just turn my art towards a mirror or turn it upside down to catch any mistakes.

  • Mark Allen says:

    These are tips not hacks.

  • Brian LeBlanc says:

    Do help to not spill your ink check out what Luis Garcia Mozos does with an empty cigarette pack. Now that's a hack! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CQsC-TqvrY

  • PascoeVania says:

    10:53, Is there any other way other then Super 77? Just curious.

  • 123rockfan says:

    Well some of these blew my mind

  • Jagielski Gaming says:

    Very cool stuff. I wonder if there is similar vid but for digital comics. If anyone is aware of one, please drop the link as a reply.

  • Valium K. says:

    Interesting, thank you!!!!!

  • kristina kenny says:

    Thank you so much, your tips really help me out. Thank you…

  • Mark Allen says:

    Tips not hacks.

  • Jude Venalian says:

    This dude looks like he lives inside 1980s Nickelodeon.

  • CircleBird87 says:

    Goonies meets Night of the Living Dead. OK, you have my attention.

  • JT Garcia says:


  • Dizzy Bee says:

    No lightbox? Scan and mirror your pencil work, print, then use tracing paper with an HB grade pencil to transfer a clean light graphite layout to your bristol. After inking it lifts beautifully with an eraser and little pressure.


    I just use clip studio paint.

  • Adnan A says:

    I’m a med student but I do art on the side. Time isn’t very plentiful, so thanks for this!

  • Kyle Gardner says:

    What comic is that at 2:00?

  • Cadmus Rhodium says:

    I find that clear plastic rulers are much more useful for art than metal or wood because you can see what’s underneath and it’s much easier to position it on the page.

  • Nostalgic Gaming says:

    Holy shit I thought he was a young Jon Favreau

  • HustleKing BFG says:

    Is there any good books you’d recommend on drawing comics?

  • Will Meaden says:

    instead of scotch tape can i use ……….

    flex tape clear

  • Thea Endols-Joa says:



  • 田晓燕 says:

    So useful thank you

  • SkyBirdGirl MsArianna 2047 says:

    If I make a mistake and don't like the scene and I want to redraw a panel I glue a piece of paper over the scene wait for it to fully dry and redraw the scene by pencil and then ink it either looking beyond it or using a light up pad below it to see the old picture layout beneath it.

  • John says:

    love the lettering tip – save the best for last!

  • Paul Phoenix says:

    learnt more in 12 mins than 3 years at college

  • Long Age says:


  • Josh Marquis says:

    This was the first hack video I've seen where it was all practical, and very useful. I also love how he didn't over, or under-explain anything

  • LegendaryVegan Gaming says:

    Honestly I was weirded out by your Nickelodeon room but this is some good info.

  • Galrob says:

    For a light box, I put a flashlight in a plastic container and drew on top of it, and it worked ok. 3.6 out of 5

  • PascoeVania says:

    What type of brush would you recommend for using Pro White?

  • Aaron Wood says:

    That last “bonus hack” – what pen did you use to trace the lettering there at the very end ??

  • Abbigail Clark says:

    This was awesome. Can apply to more than just comics 👍

  • Marc Baker says:

    Hello.I have some questions regarding the Pro White paint. What's the best kind of brush to use with Pro White? I use a Princeton Select 6 round brush. Is that good for covering up mistakes, or should I use a different brush? Also, I poured some water in my Pro White, and learned it was much easier to touch up very small areas. However, when I opened it up the next day, the water I pored in turned yellow, and faded away. Why did it do that? Please let me know. Thanks.

  • Kevin Da Otaku Goat says:

    My only complaint is it's pronounced pip-et not pipe-et. They're used for science experiments too. Apart from that, great video

  • xer xer says:

    He looks like hulk

  • Jex J.S says:

    Youre so underrated, you deserve more subscribers!

  • PascoeVania says:

    Question: can you draw over pro White?

  • Zander Rathalos says:

    Thankss,my exacto really did fell down and stabbed my foot😂😂

  • RyanMelroseComics says:

    thats an awesome video making comics is a lot of fun keep up the amazing videos these are some really cool tips I'm subscribing I hope it's okay if I leave a link to one of my webcomics you can always remove if it's not Check out the comic The Reunion :: page 3 https://tapas.io/episode/359490 via A killer hunts down a class during there High School Reunion read for free

  • Aethetikos says:

    Yeah I always spill my ink. Oh your pro white tip also works for your markers. If they start drying out you can prolong it's life by taking the cap off and putting it felt down into a glass of water for a bit.

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