Friday, October 20, 2017

Inktober 2017 - Zeiram (1991)

Zeiram


Well, I'm off to a bit of a late start this year, but it's time for Inktober 2017, which I usually use as an opportunity to mash-up with Halloween to feature various monster movies and such.

In this case, I decided to go with Zeiram (1991), a semi-obscure Japanese Sci-Fi/Monster movie.  The movie starts strong, with an awesome prison break from an alien Super-Max by an unstoppable killing machine, Zeiram (the scene was shot in stylized black-and-white).  They did a great job of building him up, but by the end the movie devolved into our plucky, female bounty hunter, Iria, fighting a series of rubber-suited monsters.  Overall, I thought it was fun, but the potential from the greatness of the opening scenes was lost by the regression to the mean for sci-fi monster movies and standard sci-fi/monster tropes.  Still, Zeiram as a monster has stuck with me, with his unique look.

Zeiram had a really creepy "Flesh Core" (even the name "Flesh Core" is creepy), with a tiny female face in the center of his hat, and a snakelike body.  Most of the time, the face in his hat had it's eyes closed, but once they opened and opened its fanged mouth smiled, death and destruction followed...

Smile!  The "Face" on Zeiram's hat / Flesh Core.

The Work in Progress is below for those interested.  For those not interested, the Work in Progress is still below, I guess.

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STEP ONE:  Here are the pencils, lightly sketched out with a 6B pencil on 9" x 12" Strathmore Bristol board.

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STEP TWO:  Taking a .07mm Needle Tip GelPen, I drew out the basic line work from the pencil drawing.

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STEP THREE:  I then took a Pitt Brush Pen and No. 8 brush with ink and filled in the dark and shadow areas.

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STEP FOUR:  I then scanned it into Photoshop and colorized it in a stylized manner, using a Multiply Layer.

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This was done with pen-and-ink and colorized in Photoshop.

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Happy 100th Birthday to Jack Kirby! (Part 2)

Jack Kirby's 100th Birthday (Part 2)


I had two different ideas for Jack Kirby's 100th Birthday, and just barely enough time for both, so here we are...  :-)  In this case, I thought a halo for comic's patron Saint made from a Kirby Krackle would be fitting.  Hail to the King, baby!

It was done mostly the same way as the previous post, so excuse the repetitive steps through the work in progress, below.

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STEP ONE:  Here is the original charcoal drawing, done with charcoal and carbon pencil, done on 8-1/2" x 11" gray toned cardstock.

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STEP TWO:  Here is the finished charcoal drawing, where I used a white charcoal pencil to work in the highlights.

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STEP THREE:  I imported the charcoal drawing into Photoshop and modified it, using a mixture of Multiply Layers and Normal Layers.  I corrected a few things that were slightly off (the right-hand cheek needed to be extended out a little bit more, for example), and blended some of the charcoal digitally.  Hmmm, traditional charcoal crossed with digital chalk brush...  Once again, I darkened the outside edge of the paper to draw in more contrast with the Kirby Krackle halo.

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Done with charcoal, carbon pencil, and white chalk on 8-1/2" x 11" toned paper and enhanced in Photoshop.

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Happy 100th Birthday to Jack Kirby!

Jack Kirby's 100th Birthday


Today would have been the 100th Birthday of Jack Kirby, truly the King of Comics.  I can't add to everything which has been said about Jack Kirby and his importance to the history of comic books and pop culture, but his work has had a grand influence on my life.

Yeah, his writing was a bit... stilted, with his characters talking as if your grandparents were trying to use the "hip lingo" of the day (which is straight up what it was, now that I think of it), but there was an earnestness which shined through--he wore his heart on his sleeve.  His art was distorted, bordering on the grotesque, but it is visually captivating and displayed so much dynamism and power.

And the ideas!  They are truly amazing and astonishing: a One Man Army Corps set in a corporatized future; Space Gods who have experimented with life on Earth, giving rise to humans, monsters, and gods; mythical sci-fi battles between forces of good and evil... I am obsessed with many of his creations just for their sheer brilliance--they occupy a place in my imagination so deep it has bonded to my DNA.  OMAC, The Celestials, M.O.D.O.K., Galactus, Silver Surfer, New Gods, Inhumans, Eternals, Kamandi, Devil Dinosaur, and so many more.

So, I shall pour some out (ink, in this case) in honor of Jack "King" Kirby:
"You truly are the King of Kings!"
(To be said ala Troy McClure in "The Simpsons" episode, "A Star is Burns")

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STEP ONE:  Here is the original charcoal drawing, done with charcoal and carbon pencil, done on 8-1/2" x 11" gray toned cardstock.

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STEP TWO:  Here is the finished charcoal drawing, where I used a white charcoal pencil to work in the highlights.

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STEP THREE:  I imported the charcoal drawing into Photoshop and colorized it, using a mixture of Multiply Layers and Normal Layers.  I also darkened the edges of the paper to give more focus to Kirby's drawing hand in the drawing.

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Done with charcoal, carbon pencil, and white chalk on 8-1/2" x 11" toned paper and colorized in Photoshop.

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Cover Replica: Batman Adventures - Mad Love

Batman Adventures: Mad Love


Here's the original "Mad Love" cover by Bruce Timm.

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And here is here's the cover replica for my pal (and Superman's), Jim, from Jimmy Jams Comics and Games here in Winona, MN and La Crosse, WI.

Once again, these things seem to take forever.

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STEP ONE:  I cut a 20" x 30" piece of hardboard, and then glued a 22" x 30" sheet of Stonehenge (#140) paper using acrylic medium, and trimmed the excess paper after it dried.  I then used a mixture of gesso and acrylic medium to paint over top of the Stonehenge paper to prep it for painting.  When that was done, I drew a 1" x 1" grid and set to pencilling the cover image.  For the pencils, I used a blue lead .07 mechanical pencil to keep the lead from smearing too much.

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STEP TWO:  Once the pencils were done, I began to paint the large areas with acrylic paint.  The straight lines were done with a Sharpie marker and a ruler, while the other line work was done with a mixture of acrylic black paint and waterproof, acrylic black ink and painted on with a round brush.

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STEP THREE:  Here is about the halfway point with the colors using acrylic paint.  I did some drybrushing for the shading and highlights to give it more of the feel of the original marker coloring.

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STEP FOUR:  And here is the finished piece.  As usual, my camera didn't do the best job, and since it is so large, lighting it uniformly is problematic.  Sigh.

I did cheat a little bit by painting the cards with a darker blue, solid color, rather than trying to replicate the 50% screen effect.  I did try to use a Sharpie marker to recreate the screen, but it just didn't look right, so just went with the solid color, instead.  I guess I could have just used my printer and glued it onto the drawing, but that just doesn't feel right to me.  Ah, well.

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This was done with acrylic paint on 20" x 30" gessoed Stonehenge paper glued to hardboard.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Batman '66 - Adam West (Updated)

Batman '66 / Adam West


Well, I finally got around to finishing up installing and updating everything, and colorized the Batman '66/Adam West picture from last week.  As with the Princess Leia/Carrie Fisher tribute from last year, I decided to keep the colors fairly muted and low-key.

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Done with charcoal, carbon pencil, and white chalk on 8-1/2" x 11" toned cardstock; colorized in Photoshop.

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Batman '66 - Adam West

Batman '66


In remembrance of the late, great Adam West.  

Rest in Peace, Old Chum...

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(I had intended to do a colorized version of the drawing, but that's when my computer decided to crap out on me and needed to be reformatted.  So, I guess I'll be posting that in a day or three after I get everything reinstalled and adjusted back to normal.  Sigh...)


STEP ONE:  Here are the rough outlines, sketched out with a charcoal pencil.

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STEP TWO:  Here's the approximate halfway point in the drawing.  I used some softer charcoal pencils and carbon pencils to smear around and blend the shadows.  Mostly, I just use my finger to smudge everything around, but do use paper blending stumps on a few spots for fine details.

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STEP THREE:  This is the finished charcoal drawing.

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STEP FOUR:  I used a white charcoal pencil to add highlights.  On the gray background, the white chalk really makes the highlights "pop".  Basically, by using the toned paper, you are able to get three values for the price of two.

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Done with charcoal, carbon pencil, and white chalk on 8-1/2" x 11" toned cardstock.

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

May the Fourth Be With You - 2017

May the Fourth Be With You!


Well, to quote Groundskeeper Willie from "The Simpsons": "I warned ya!  Dinna I warn ya?"  Yes, last year I threatened to keep the train going with Jaxxon the rabbit in a Slave Leia outfit and, by gum, that's exactly what I did!

So, continuing my insane quest to reform Jaxxon into a cool character in Star Wars, here he is for the third "May the Fourth" in a row.  If you're interested in the previous cartoons featuring Jaxxon, hit the link on the bottom of this post, or the Label on the side of the Blog.  

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STEP ONE:  Here are the scribbled, digital pencils, which were done in Sketchbook Pro--a new program I am playing with.

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STEP TWO:  And here are the digital inks which, again, were mostly done in Sketchbook Pro.

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STEP THREE:  I am just too used to Photoshop, so I imported the file into Photoshop to finish off the picture's coloration.  Mostly, I did a grayscale painting of Jaxxon, then threw some color over top of a MULTIPLY Layer, followed with lighter colors over a Normal Layer.

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Done digitally in Sketchbook Pro and Photoshop.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Hela

Hela


I've been meaning to draw Hela, Norse Goddess of the Dead, as represented from "Thor" comics, for quite a while.  And, with the release of the "Thor: Ragnarok" a few weeks back, now seemed as good as time as any.

In this case, as much as I liked her appearance in the trailer, I thought I'd bump up the Jack Kirby Quotient about 72%, going for the more classic look for Hela.

And there are sooooo many "Hela Good" and "Hela-va Trailer" puns I'll just leave on the ground and not bother to pick up.  Some are too easy even for me!  Well, not really, since I still mentioned them in the previous sentence...

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STEP ONE:  Here is the super-scratchy, scribbled layout rough for the character.

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STEP TWO:  And here's the black-and-white digital painting, mostly using the chalk brush.

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STEP THREE:  Using a Multiply Layer, I colorized the painting, then added the highlights and additional coloring over top on a new layer.  Since Hela was the subject, I thought I'd keep the highlights and colors muted. 

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Done digitally in Photoshop.

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Friday, March 31, 2017

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2017 - Part 4

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2017
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


Well, another year of March M.O.D.O.K. Madness has come to an end.

From the secret journals of Leonardo da Vinci, it's his true version of the Vitruvian Man!  Yeah, a parody of da Vinci's Vitruvian Man seems pretty obvious, I know, but I've never been much of one to let the obvious stop me!

Originally, I thought about including a Leonardo da Vinci-esque designed chair as part of a two-page spread, but since I barely had time to finish this one, I think I'll set that aside until next year, perhaps.

And, never one to leave a good pun laying on the ground, let me say: Veni, vidi, da Vinci!

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STEP ONE:  Here are the scribbled breakdown for the picture, which I did on a new layer over an old book texture/background I had laying around on a hard drive.  I was going to include a faux script to pastiche Leonardo's handwriting, but later decided to leave that out.

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STEP TWO:  Using a 7pt Pencil brush and a 5pt G7 ink brush in Photoshop, I drew out M.O.D.O.K.'s giant head and smaller, vestigial body.  I set the New Layer property to Multiply, that way I could switch back-and-forth between the sanguine color and white, using the white as an ad hoc eraser for the line work.  I also decided to make him larger on the page and replace the planned, tiny fig leaf with a well-placed Kirby Krackle, instead.  Ha cha cha cha!

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Done digitally in Photoshop.

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2017 - Part 3

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2017
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


It's another submissions to the March M.O.D.O.K. Madness Blog!

This year, I've been trying to do a submission to March M.O.D.O.K. Madness in a different style, and this time it's a pastiche to propaganda posters.

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STEP ONE:  Here is the hastily scrawled layout of the faux propaganda poster.

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STEP TWO:  And, here is the finished piece.  I guess there really wasn't too much to show in the in-between parts... mostly 'cuz I fogot to save them as I went along.  Most of it was boring and tedious digital carving in-and-out between the flat colors used to try and keep a screen printed look to it.  I also kept each element (M.O.D.O.K., A.I.M. Techs, the background, and the lettering) on their own layers so I could work on each separately.

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Done digitally with Photoshop.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2017 - Part 2

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2017
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


It's another submissions to the March M.O.D.O.K. Madness Blog!

This time, it's a parody of those omni-present "Draw Tippy" / "Draw the Pirate" cartoons that used to populate "TV Guide" and other magazines back in the 70's and 80's when I was growing up.  The idea grew out of a series of back-and-forth, joking e-mails between myself and Pedro from the March M.O.D.O.K. Madness Blog.  I sent a series of escalating fake test questions to Pedro, with the last one being a request to draw a "Tippy the Turtle" style version of M.O.D.O.K.  **Ding!**  Hey, there's my next idea!  So, I told Pedro to never mind about that last test question and I was gonna do it as my next submission.


I actually used to draw "Tippy the Turtle" and the "Pirate" when I was a kid (about 6 years old or so), and was morally outraged about being too young to actually qualify for the scholarship.  Of course, I never really got around to sending it in, anyways, but still...  It was mostly the principle of the matter.  And my eventual apathy probably saved me from enrolling into their Art Instruction Schools.  Schooling and I don't usually see eye-to-eye...


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STEP ONE:  Here was the quickly scribbled layout I originally planned.  I thought about doing M.O.D.O.K. versions of all three characters from the ad, above--even though I was never a fan of "Tiny".

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STEP TWO:  I had a paper texture for the background and started using the Pencil Brush in Photoshop for the different M.O.D.O.K.'s, and the one in the lower-corner with a hard round brush.  However, I wasn't very happy with the way they the head-only looked.  I tried to update that a little bit by including a little bit of the Kirby Krackle under Tippy's turtleneck, but it was still less than obvious that it was M.O.D.O.K., though.

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STEP THREE:  After a lot of going back-and-forth trying to save the "Heads Only" design, I just gave up and decided to do full-body of M.O.D.O.K., even though it looked a little off from the original ad.  Also, rather than giant versions of the hats, I thought tiny-hats on M.O.D.O.K.'s head were mildly amusing.  I also finished up all the fake ad typesetting in Photoshop, too.  Join A.I.M., today!

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This was done digitally in Photoshop.

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2017 - Part 1

March M.O.D.O.K. Madness 2017
(Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing)


It's time again for submissions to the March M.O.D.O.K. Madness Blog!

In this case, it is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the March M.O.D.O.K. Madness Blog, and the Fifth Anniversary of me making submissions to the Blog.  Wow!  Has it really been that long?  Yikes!

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STEP ONE:  Here are the scribbled digital pencils, done with a 5pt hard brush.

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STEP TWO:  Here is the quick grayscale underpainting.  Mostly this was done with a 25pt chalk brush.

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STEP THREE:  And here are the rough colors done on a Multiply Layer and New Layer.

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STEP FOUR:  And the final digital painting was done over a series of New Layers.

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Done digitally in Photoshop.

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