Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Christmas Card Preview

Just a little taste. Can't give away the surprise...

Friday, November 13, 2009

General Process

I finished a new Improvised Weapons piece earlier this week, this time on commission. I've done enough of them now that it's a pretty set process for me, and I thought I'd document it.

I have little rules that I follow to keep the series consistent. For one, the kids always have helmets on, and I try to get some variety in what kind of helmets they're wearing. So the first thing I usually do is pick out the helmets, then the objects they're holding. There are rules about the objects, too. First, they can't be weapons. They have to have some other purpose. Second, I prefer that it be something with a handle, something that is meant to be held, to be used for something.

So for this drawing I picked out a SWAT-style helmet and a rake vs. a hard hat with a tennis racquet and dustbuster.

First I block out the general position of the two kids on a piece of scratch paper, which you see at the top of the drafting table. This saves me a lot of back and forth on the watercolor paper, getting the positions right. Sometimes I change my mind between the scratch paper and the final; in this case, I originally had the dustbuster extended in the left hand, and I swapped it for the tennis racquet in the final. On the watercolor paper, I start very rough in pencil to get the general blocking down, then I go around the drawing and get the details penciled, though it usually stays pretty rough until I ink it.

In this case, I'm inking with a micron 03 pen. You can see that a lot of the pencil lines are still rough. Once the piece is inked, I erase my pencil lines and color the kids with watercolors:

And that's it. Here's the finished piece: