I learned while drawing this scene that rendering rain is not particularly interesting––just time intensive. Even then, rain-heavy scenes can be complicated affairs in their own way.

The first part that complicated things was in the inking stage when I inked in rainfall. For most panels it was easy––pick an angle and draw a bunch of lines at that angle. In terms of composition, the hard part about that was deciding how many lines to draw over the figures themselves, begging questions like “am I obscuring too much?” or “is this enough or does it just look like speed lines?” For panels like the last one on this page, I had to figure out a vanishing point to sell the low angle of the figure.

When it came to the coloring stage, I had to decide how many of the inked rain lines to overlay with a white line. I didn’t want to make the panel too busy while also making sure it convincingly looked like rain. I also had to consider how many of these white lines to put over the character because of the same questions asked above. Just to add complication onto complication, I varied up the line widths to create a sense of depth in the rain itself. This, like inking the rainfall, was also a bit tedious drawing straight lines over and over again. For the panels without perspective, it was easier because I drew one line and just copied and pasted others into position. But that was harder to do for that final panel.

Lastly, but perhaps most enjoyably, was drawing the splashes on the exposed planes of the figures. I almost forgot to do it in the first place, but including them really adds to the verisimilitude of the environment while also being a nice thing to zone out to while still being productive (especially when sitting for four hours in a car dealership as your car gets recalled parts replaced, as I was doing).

I’m sure this could have been done more easily in a program like Clip Studio Paint (formerly Manga Studio) or something, but I’ve got a system and muscle memory with Photoshop that work for me and that I need to stick with to get things done, especially when in the middle of a book. Old dogs, new tricks, and whatnot.

While the final effect is neat, I really do have to consider the process the next time I draw a scene in the rain, because––man––the monotony of this was maddening.