... and who doesn't love a little bit of procedural navel-gazing once in a while? now that i'm a regular-type illustrator i've been trying to build up some kind of cohesive portfolio again.
well, maybe not "again" as i never really had one to begin with. i went straight from college to alcoholism to animation to deeper alcoholism to fantasy/gaming illustration to penury to comics to... well, nothing really. i've done the odd "straight" illustration job here or there, but never frequently enough to build anything out of, and the real shame of comics is that after twelve years of doing primarily comics all you have is a portfolio full of... comics.
so it behooves me now to start developing a process by which i can meet deadlines and show some consistency on more conventional illustration jobs. after playing around a bit i decided to approach it very much like i do my comics work (at least it was valuable for something... *), and i'm really happy and excited about the results!
first: the sketch.
this is the cleaned up sketch. i'll save you seeing any of my scratchy, crazy-pants doodles. this would be what the client sees. just a simple pencil drawing on typing paper, once i've worked out all the compositional elements in the doodles.
second: a cleaner inked sketch.
this was done with markers right over the first. it's really just to clean everything up for me and incorporate any changes or added elements the client may suggest after seeing the first sketch. in this case "the client" being my european rep and the concept being his, there weren't a lot of changes to be made...
third: now here's the fun bit. i took it into photoshop and, fiddling around in utilities, turned the black ink line into an orange/sepia colour that i often use when laying down my underpaintings.
this is exactly the same technique i use when i'm bluelining layouts for comics and advertising work, just playing around with the rest of the spectrum instead. the benefit of this is getting a perfect transfer of what the client signed off on AND keeping all the spontaneity and energy of the original drawing. i blew this up and printed it off onto 2 ply strathmore with my tabloid printer.
four: ...er... then i painted it.
the final painting was done with whatever dead brushes were at hand and daler rowney gouache. (btw, if anyone knows a good online source for DR that isn't prohibitively expensive in canada please let me know. i'm starting to run out and there really isn't anywhere to get it in ottawa anymore). i like daler rowney paints because, as i think i've mentioned before, i find them to be "creamier".
if i've done my job the right the final should resemble something approaching what is to my mind the pinnacle of gouache paintings: the 1969 poster for "the computer wore tennis shoes" that's hanging in my studio.
(* sorry if that sounds a bit harsh or negative, but the last four months or so haven't left me terribly well disposed toward the industry. that said, for all my belly-aching, i'd probably jump right back into it if it gave me the slinky wink... )