Saturday, March 15, 2014

Process, My Way!

Okay, so been a while since I posted something and news-wise, The GeeBees part 4 is due to go up very soon and 5 parts 5 and 6 will be following along shortly. Part 6 has been started and a third of the way through. Parts 5 and 6 are getting done as a double whammy! In the meantime I have been hard at work on some commissions as well as busting my proverbial gluteus in the classroom! Which is where this little tidbit comes in. I am asked every so often how I go about making the art that I do. Or my process!

Firstly, I sit down with a sketchbook and work it out! I think about my idea, what I want to do. For my recent Hellboy art contest piece, I thought about the character and what situation he might be in before some danger strikes. Therefore, I got a story into a one-image piece. Why is Hellboy in the city, on top of a roof drinking beer? Where has that tentacled monster come from? What happens next? All great potential story ideas before this scene and after. Also, sorry about the bad handwriting and spelling!!!


Once I have fleshed out my idea, I will get drawing. I use a Pentel mechanical pencil (I have tried so many in my time as an artist and have settled on a particular one now!) mostly because it feels good to draw with and I draw on A4, so quite small. I also do all comic page penciling on A4. I am very sketchy when I draw and this will get cleaned up in the next few stages. However, at this point I can make correction upon correction until it goes the way I want it to, or feels right - especially with poses; they have to feel real! Also at this stage I can decide whether to change some things on the drawing or leave it to computer edits - in this case, the head is a little too large. I keep that in mind as I move through the rest of the processes.

I next scan the pencil drawing into the computer and change the lines blue using Photoshop. I print it out onto A3, enlarging it as I go. The reason for drawing inks on a bigger surface is simply the tools I am using to refine the artwork are thicker than chunkier than the pencil so I double the paper size to get in those details. Some artists I have seen change lines green or red. I prefer blue because it is a calming colour, not too in-your-face and vibrant. The reason for changing the line colour is the coloured line can be erased a the click of a button instead of having to spend too much time, effort and making a mess using an eraser to rub out pencil lines - which also tends to fade out the ink work I've just spent hours doing!

So now onto inking. I use a range of different materials and tools. Kuretake brushpens, Pentel brushpen, but in this case I used a Twist Grip No.2 brush - one with a good point in it. I tried very hard to not fill this image in with too much heavy black shading which I tend to overkill much! Once it is inked over the blue line, A3 print out I scan this version in and make the blues disappear! At this stage I edit anything else, like the head. Did you notice it is ever-so-slightly smaller than the pencil copies?!?

And that brings me onto colours! Now, among all my other tools, and quite fortunately I print the black edited and cleaned up black lines back onto A4 card stock (using an A4 laser printer). Toner from the laser printer does not run or smudge like ink jet so it's good for painting watercolours over the top as in the example above. You get great effects with watercolours and it's great to be able to make clean line art combine with watercolour without fiddling for ages with the first-hand line work that is safe and can be re-scanned or used for other purposes if need be.

The absolute final stage is a little colour editing using Photoshop. I felt in the original scan, the colours were too flat and there needed to be a little depth to differentiate the main features from the detailed backgrounds thus making Hellboy and the danger element stand out. It also enable the city to look more dirty, aged and used. I was also thought about isolating the 'Hotel' and 'XXX' signs to make them look illuminated which kind of worked out well.

Hope that is comprehensive enough - shout me some questions or comments below and I will be happy to answer best I can!

Happy drawing!!

No comments: