I find other peoples process for creating their work fascinating.
For instance, Dustin Harbin’s post on scanning here was really helpful to me and changed a lot about the way I work.
So with that in mind I thought I’d do one. Who knows, maybe someone will tell me a better way of doing what I do and make me more efficient.
I start off by drawing out my idea in pencil and then inking it up using a brush pen. Then I scan in at 600 dpi as a bmp. This cut out a problem I had a while back of not having clean blacks. Once it’s scanned in I then clean up any mistakes and dirt picked up from the scanner (which I really need to clean and always forget).
Once I’m happy with the image as black and white I save it and then convert it to RGB or CMYK. I’ll then add another layer and go back to the background layer and select all the blacks (usually using the contagious setting on the magic wand) and fill it in on the new layer. So this is now my line art layer. I used to fill in the individual areas using a magic wand, but this new method is a lot quicker.
Once this is done I’ll then throw another layer underneath and fill it with white to cover over the original background layer.
I don’t see myself as a great colourist. There are times that I have a strong idea of how I’m going to colour a page going in (the good days) and others I have vague ideas (the bad days), but mostly I just play.
So I’ll put down blocks of colour to try and get an idea of what I want, sometimes I’ll use gradients, but I tend to leave that until later as it’s more of a ball ache to select that area when I want to put the textures in.
Eventually I have a basic colour palette, although sometimes I’ll jump ahead a step to add texture to see if it works.
Next it’s textures. I have only really started using textures in the last few years. I really enjoy the richness it can give a fairly flat area, although I’m still learning not to use too many and swamping the page.
Since the areas have already been colour blocked out I can take a texture, position it over the area, select the colour and copy and paste it over the top with an opacity on the layer. Sometimes I’ll just cut the texture to size by erasing it to fit, usually when I’m going to delete the line art on top of it.
With some of the textures I may tweak the colour as well in which case I’ll use the Colour Balance or Hue/Saturation and play around until I get what I need. The brightness/contrast is also one I use for adjustments.
With this page I also had line art that I changed the colours of. In this case if the line art isn’t connected to anything else I’ll select on the line art layer and then add a layer above and fill it in there. Initially that’s what I did here and then I changed my mind and redrew an element of it on a separate layer.
To make a few areas glow I also added circles of colour that I blurred using Gaussian Blur and put a little opacity on.
Once I’m somewhere near where I want to be I’ll then do a layer of shadows and a layer of highlights. I’ll put the opacity to about 70 and fill in the areas with black (shadows) and white (highlights). Then I’ll select the whole layer using magic wand and contagious setting and go across each layer and use the brightness/contrast to get the effect I want.
Now that’s all done I’ll save and then flatten the whole image and then use the Colour Balance for one last attempt to get the colours right.
So that’s my process. It has changed a lot over the years and I’m sure it will keep doing so. I hope it’s been helpful and feel free to ask any questions.
Below are a few work in progress shots of a piece I did a while ago.
Friday the 4th May marked the passing of Adam Yauch aka MCA one third of the Beastie Boys.
I’ve been a huge Beastie Boys fan for a long time and found this news to be heart breaking. Adam Yauch was a great musician and a great activist. He did many things for charity as well as setting up the Tibetan Freedom Concerts. He also shot a lot of the Beasties videos under the pseudonym Nathanial Hörnblowér.
In a world that has become over run with empty pop husks, the Beasties Boys stood for something and their music will be deeply missed and forever remembered.
I want to honor him and the rest of the Beastie Boys with a #drawbeasties tribute. Usual rules apply, post them on twitter with the tag or to me @themooks and i’ll post them on here, anyone can enter.
RIP Adam Yauch.
Note: If you use any of these images, please credit the artist involved.
Here’s mine, not got time to colour properly as I can’t sit down for too long,
My first logo attempt
Here are the rest of the submissions:
After I organized #DrawHellboy I thought it might be nice if we used some of the pictures created as prints and give the profits to charity. For one reason or another that didn’t pan out and instead Chris Thornley (@Raid71) added his idea ‘Hellnuts’ to his exisiting website Art Vs Cancer. Him and his partner Julia (@ArtRaid71) set up the project in June 2011 and have raised a great deal of money for several charities and were even kind enough to split the profits of Hellnuts between two charities of my choosing.
Since then Chris seems have to gone into creative overdrive, producing print after print of beautiful work and they have also allowed some other people to submit designs.
Julia asked me if I would like to put some print designs forward and of course I jumped at the chance.
So I have one design in two colours, signed & numbered,
So if you want some new art for your walls with profits going to good causes, then visit Art Vs Cancer.