View Full Version : Portfolio question:Blue lines or graphite?

05-04-2003, 01:20 PM
Yeah,this might be moved to Tips and Tech (Inkthinker really knows his stuff),but I was wondering,and it never occured to me,should portfolio pieces (sequential pages to be exact) be strictly in graphite (y'know,regular pencils) or can they be blue line?Reason I ask is cuz I'm left-handed and I smudge my pages sometimes cuz I drag my hand over the page(anybody else got that problem?) and I spend alot of time erasing.Blue pencil would look much cleaner.Anybody?

05-04-2003, 01:45 PM
I think you'll give some editors migraines if you take bluelines only. Seriously, even if you trace your finished images in blueline, it'll be hard for them to make the art out, unless you can find a photocopier that will print the blue lines dark enough, without making the whole page look like mud.

But then you have to show the copies...

I'd say don't do that for your portfolio, there's way too much room for editors to go into bastard mode on you. Just my opinion.

You could use a sheet of xerox paper under your drawing hand, to reduce smudging, or try an 'F' lead pencil which draws like an 'HB', but without the massive amounts of smearing.

05-04-2003, 02:09 PM
Focus on the content of your pages not the tools. Move to an H. For pencilling it maybe a bit too dark, however it is fine for samples. I'm left handed and I tend to stay away from softer stuff. However, here again, content is much, much, much, much more important than tools.

Dash Martin
05-04-2003, 02:54 PM
Or you could always draw from right to left.

Tony Moore
05-04-2003, 02:55 PM
if they can't easily pick up the samples and look at 'em, you've already gotten off on the wrong foot.

you probably shouldn't be pushing 11x17s under their noses anyway, because they're cumbersome to flip through and reduced copies are much easier to read.

So, if you pencil tightly in blueline, whatever, if you can reduce and convert it to a decent greyscale image for optimal readabilty, it doesn't so much matter what tools you use, as long as the final image is tight and easy to read.

however, all that stuff is technicalities. as o said, it's the artistic content of the pages that really counts. however, nice delivery DOES help keep them focused on the art and less apt to just be bitchy.


05-04-2003, 02:55 PM
I don't think anyone will mind seeing blue-lines IN the pages, but a page consisting of ONLY blue-lines, while certainly nice for the inkers, would definitley make editors scratch their heads in confusion.

Personally I only use blue to block out my shapes and forms, giving me just the basic guidelines before I start to build up things in graphite.

To solve the smudgin problem, place a piece of clean paper between your hand and the page... even if you still drag your hand around the page, the paper will protect your lines from the moisture of your skin and help to cut down or eliminate smudging altogether.

Some artists wear a glove with all but the last two fingers cut out, to use as a barrier between their sweaty palms and the page, but I find the gloves to often be uncomfortable... they feel unnatural to me, personally. They do look cool, though.

05-04-2003, 09:22 PM
Originally posted by Inkthinker
Some artists wear a glove with all but the last two fingers cut out, to use as a barrier between their sweaty palms and the page, but I find the gloves to often be uncomfortable... they feel unnatural to me, personally. They do look cool, though.

I'ma try that.....guess it's graphite all the way,thanx all.

Bruce Lee
05-06-2003, 10:20 PM
Here's some general portfolio advice:

1) Make sure you have 3-5 sample pages to show. Two isn't enough and six is probably too many. These pages must be sequential. Avoid including pin-ups, covers, and splashes (unless you're trying to get work as a cover artist). Editors generally want to see that you can handle narrative storytelling, and are unconcerned as to whether you can draw a cool, full-page shot of Wolverine dramatically posed.:rolleyes:

2) Show only your BEST work. Out of date work won't cut it.

3) Bring (or send) appropriate artwork. It's not a good idea to show Marvel editors Batman samples, and DC editors Spider-man stuff. The fact is these companies want to see you draw their characters. Marvel doesn't publish Batman, so why show them Batman pages? Believe it or not, many editors may be prejudiced in this matter, so why risk it? Always put your best foot forward. Work up appropriate samples to send to each company.

4) Present your work in the form of photocopies, NOT ORIGINALS. Show only quality photocopies that are neat and clear. If an editor can't see your work, how will he or she know what you can do?

Your photocopies should be 8.5"X11" in size. 11"X 17" copies aren't usually preferred because they are too unwieldy and cumbersome for an editor to bother with (as Tony has already mentioned).

5) Bind your photocopies in an attractive manner. This will keep your photocopied pages together, and will make for a good presentation.

6) Make sure your name, mailing address, phone number, website, and e-mail address is on each and every page. If you don't have access to a fancy lettering process (computer, typewriter, or a stamper), then you can write this info by hand on each page. Make sure you do it neatly and by all means print the information as handwriting can be a pain to decipher.

It's also not a bad idea to staple, clip, or tape a business card or two on the back inside cover of your sample packet binder.

7) It's a good idea to make a cover sheet for your packet/binder that contains your name, address, phone, website, and e-mail information. You don't have to have artwork on this cover sheet (though you certainly could)--text will be just fine--but it has to be something nice and neat as it will be the first thing an editor will see.

8) Take the time to fill in the black areas of your artwork. Many professional pencillers use "X" to indicate that an area needs to be blacked in by the inker. This is done as a time saver when a comic is being produced, but don't do this for submission work. Many editors frown on it because multiple "X"s can make your artwork as complex as a paint-by-numbers painting and can draw their attention away from the storytelling. The use of "X"s might also be perceived as laziness on your part. The last thing you want to do is give the editor the idea that you're too lazy to fill in the black areas.

9) If you're mailing submissions, include a letter of introduction and a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE) with your packet. Make sure your letter of introduction is typed.

10) If you're showing your samples in person, dress neatly and be courteous. Listen to what the editor has to say about your work and accept criticisms without argument, even if you don't agree. Arguing your point will not endear you to an editor! Be gracious and thank the editor for his or her time.

Good luck!