Do you have to draw backgrounds on every panel? The short answer is no. If you start with a good establishing shot and learn these 5 hacks, you can get away with very little background drawing!
If you place your characters against a wall or another big surface (like the sky!), a few rightly placed lines will give the illusion that we’re still in the place you established in the first frame.
The outline of whatever is behind your characters can be quite enough – and a LOT quicker to draw!
Some shadows – from a window, a tree or other objects nearby – can give off the illusion of a world just outside the frame.
A color gradient – or in this case just a grayscale one – can sometimes make it out for an actual background.
A “riff” is a graphic shortcut. Every artist has his own. Sometimes a riff is just some shapes/lines, not a realistic rendering of anything. Make your own riff or copy from another artist whose style resembles yours.
Again, you need some background, at least in one or two frames per page, so the readers know where the characters are. But once you’ve established the world around your characters, it’s OK to cheat a little on the rest of the page. And now you know how!
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