During the drive home from Ottawa Comic con a couple of weeks ago, Mike Rooth and I had a great conversation about warming up everyday before you get into your drawing. This can mean drawing doodles for a couple of hours, going over anatomy, working on sketches of poses for the characters you’re supposed to draw, or just drawing something fun that has nothing to do with anything. Basically it’s just to get the ole hand loosened up and the ole mind’s eye sharpened. And it helps if you keep to a schedule on a daily basis.
I’ve tried to take that lesson to heart, and while I don’t do it everyday, (because sometimes I start a bit late) I have been pretty good about doing it most days when I’ve set my self up well with my schedule. I’ve done lots’ of doodly stuff that will probably never see the light of day, but this one I had to share. Mr. Hairy Face, started as a doodle, but sometimes the muses smile upon you . And since they were guiding my hand and I was very inspired, I worked on it a bit each day, until it was finished.
What’s fun about this one, is that I really had no pressure for it to be anything. I wanted to experiment a bit on line, colour choice and rendering, and it allowed me to do so without fear of it working or not working. And sometimes those are the best illustrations that come out. It kind of fits with my monster print motif, but it’s much smaller, so I may or may not make a print of it. Whether I do, or just let it be a fun experiment in doodling, it’s something I’m pretty proud of and wanted the world, or interwebs to see.
Part of being a commercial artist is running a business. While there are aspects of this that I’m horrible at and procrastinate on (accounting, marketing) and parts that I very much enjoy (comic book conventions, book fairs, meeting fans and showcasing my latest books, and art), I still have to do all of them. This series of my process blog will talk about different aspects of the business.
Here is the finished illustration for The Invisible Man, my series 5 Monster Print. A fair bit of prep work goes into the illustration before the actual finished illustration. A lot of it is visualizing what you want and working out solutions to possible problems that might arise. And going back to basics always helps. One of the first steps is thinking about the composition, and how line and colour moves the eye around. I also try to create a story so that also helps dictates what is happening in the illustration.
So once I figured those things out, a lot of the illustration kind of falls into place. You can also see that while most of the major decisions for composition were made in the rough pencil stage, I did make some adjustments once I got to the colours. The biggest being that I added a bit more story to the part where The Invisible Man is carrying his wife. I wanted to also have the composition coming off of the print as well, to hint at a larger world and to give the eye a bit more secondary interest from the main elements. The most technically difficult aspect was figuring out how to make the Invisible Man invisible, while still being able to see him. Continue reading
Every year I do a new series of Monster prints. This year I plan on doing The Invisible Man, Phantom of the Opera and Baba Yaga. Here are the pencils for my friend, The Invisible Man.