Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Twin Many-Winged Hare Dragons

Last week on my Twitch Stream, we did the #DiscoveringDragons Community-Draw-Along! It's a fun event where I welcome all skill levels to push their pencils (or whatever tools they use to make art). It takes place on the first Friday of the month.

I worked on my piece live on my Twitch stream while viewers worked at home and then on the following Monday we shared our finished pieces.

Here is my finished colored Dragon. And below are my steps to create it as well as the community submissions.

For #DiscoveringDragons, I post two or three prompt words for everyone to make into a dragon. It's a nice framework for artists of any skill level to focus some time on an 'assignment' to shake the rust off or get the pencil moving again––all while also being loose enough that there's plenty of room for individual expression and interpretation.

This month the prompt was three words: Many-Winged, Twin, & Hare

I opened several tabs of google image searches of hares boxing each other, twin dragon coils, and various wing shapes.

I started on copy paper with the head of the right hare and then worried about how the two would twist and mirror knot together, so I scanned it into Photoshop and started digitally blocking out a body form and mirroring and moving the other layer until I got a placement that worked.

I printed that version out and on a lightpad and a fresh sheet of paper I redrew the twin's face and designed the bat ear-wings (after a false start with feathered bird wing ears) before scanning it back in to Photoshop to color block the rough you see here.


I printed out the above design at full scale and taped that onto the back of a sheet of Strathmore 300 series bristol. Using a lightpad, I was able to see through the surface of the bristol as I inked the dragon. I used Copic Multiliner 0.7 pen to ink the art.

The inking on this piece was mostly just about respecting the contour lines from the pencils and enhancing them with line-weight, while also not overworking anything to make it muddy. I finished the inks on-stream, but then afterwards decided I wanted to add a little texture inside the bat wings, so I inked those in before scanning it.

Later that same night after some dinner I started the coloring process. After prepping the digital scan of the inks, I established a color hold (an area where I want the ink to be a color other than black)––the overall lines became a dark brown and then a smaller hold on the pupils.

Then it was time to start the color flatting process––basically professional coloring-in-the-lines. Some of this is just to make it easy to re-isolate various parts when doing later painting & rendering. Some of of the colors were established in the rough, but I played with the final value/hue choices for a while before getting to this point.


For the final colors I used the dodge and burn tools to add shadows and highlights to give the dragons some form. Most of the work was getting the shadows where the interwoven knotting is happening.
Below you can again see the final Dragon...


But, as this is a community event, I wanted to share all the other entries posted in the Discord. 



Capt Nemo



Jonathan Towry


88UncleErnie



Nathan Pride



Nuvalo



redSkwrl



ShadowindART


VernNYC


Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Hellboy 30th Anniversary

For Hellboy's 30th Anniversary, I was asked to contribute a piece of artwork for a gallery exhibition at the Copro Gallery in Sherman Oaks, CA to celebrate three decades of Mike Mignola's creation. I've been a fan of Hellboy since the 2nd issue (my local store at the time somehow didn't get enough copies of #1 and I had to hunt it down later) and I've credited Mike's time with Hellboy as a roadmap for my goals for a comics career.

A decade ago I did a 20th anniversary piece: http://davidpetersen.blogspot.com/2014/03/hellboys-20th-anniversary.html. To the left you can see my final colored (just for fun) piece, and below I walk through the steps to creating it as well as showing the inks that will be in the gallery exhibition (and for sale) 

The process started with lots of ruminating over what do do with Hellboy. I've never drawn him for a cover, but between the 20th anniversary piece and the Kickstarter print for the Drawing Monsters Kickstarter I didn't want to repeat myself. I opted for an action pose (this is after discarding a very static sketch of Hellboy with animals from Mouse Guard while holding the Black Axe). I kept the Black Axe in this rough, but I drew and redrew a few variations of his surroundings with iterations of bone-dragon/snakes he was smashing apart before wanting to include a belltower I saw on my trip to Lake Como in May. The crumbling belltower drawing and Hellboy drawing were put together in Photoshop along with some blocked in color and a special clock-face with the hands at 30.

The above layout was printed and taped to the back of a sheet of Strathmore 14" x 17" sheet of bristol. On my Huion lightpad I was able to see through the bristol to use the layout as a guide to ink from. I used Copic Multiliner SP pens to ink with. 

Since the original inked artwork was the piece to be displayed in the gallery show, I focused on making it read clearly without color. That meant adding a lot of tone and texture to all the crumbling bits of tower stones, while leaving Hellboy rather clean line-wise. The framed original will be available for sale through the Copro Gallery.


Just for fun, I wanted to color the inks after I scanned them. It figured it would be good to see the piece in color again (the purpose of the layout's color blocking was to help me see forms as I inked; what was coat or right hand of doom, or stone or beam, or bell, or sky).

This first step of coloring is called 'flatting' and is basically a professional version of coloring-in-the-lines with flat colors to establish each area's base color. At this step I also added color holds (areas where I want the inkwork to be a color other than black) to the entire background as well as the numbers on the clock and the 'US' patch on Hellboy's holster.


Below you can see the finsihed just-for-fun colors (I never make prints of characters I don't have the right for). I did a lot more painting on this piece than my normal coloring process. Rather than using Doidge and burn tools for the majority of the rendering, I painted in shadows with the same color as the dark blue lines of the background, and added in highlights with a lighter warmer color.






 

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Recent Commissions

Here are some Toned Commissions from mostly from Lake Como Comic Art Fest and Heroes Con



A Scouting Mouse

A Fan's RPG Mouse Archer Character


Guardmouse with sword & torch


Raphael, a TMNT



Usagi Yojimbo


Guardmouse with a spear



Traveling Adventurer Guardmouse



Kenzie


Saxon


Lone Wolf & Cub


Beep the Meep



Sci-Fi Mouse



TMNT in Samurai Armor on a Sketch Cover


Lieam with a crab looming


Weasel wearing House of Slaughter Mask
from Something is Killing the Children


urVa the Archer on a sketch cover


A fan's Harengon D&D character


Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Guardmouse in Hawk Nest

Before leaving for Lake Como Comic Art Festival I finished a few inked pieces that would be Mouse Guard inked original Artwork available for sale.

My idea was that these would also serve as pages for the next Mouse Guard sketchbook tentatively titled: 'Past Whereabouts'.

To the left you can see the finished colored piece for the sketchbook, but below I'll walk through the process of creating the artwork.
This piece started with the mouse drawing, a Guardmouse holding on to the edge of something, a high rock face, a tree trunk, or––as I ultimately drew in, a hawk's nest.

As I drew the mouse, I liked the plan that this was a younger patrolling Gwendolyn before her time as a Matrirch (though I forgot to add her normal skirting which would help identify her, but also makes sense not to wear when climbing harrowing heights.)

The pencil sketch was scanned into Photoshop so I could block in some color to help me see what areas where what textures. I also added in a photo of a halberd blade for reference.

The above layout was printed out and taped to the back of a Strathmore 300 series sheet of smooth bristol. On my Huion Lightpad I can see through the surface of the bristol and use the printout as a guide to ink from.

I used Copic Multiliner SP pens to do the linework, most of which was focused on giving the nest and branches texture and depth while leaving Gwendolyn relatively clean so she could be seen.

The original inks for this piece are available for sale in my online store:
https://mouseguard.bigcartel.com/product/guardmouse-in-hawk-s-nest
After the inks were finished, I scanned them into Photoshop and started the coloring process. This first step is called 'flatting' because it's just about adding flat colors to all the various areas (her fur color, her cloak color, the sky, the branches, the nest, etc.) It's a professional version of coloring-in-the-lines. 

At this stage I also added a color hold (areas where I want the inkwork to be a color other than black) to the spots on the eggs. I also end up adding another one to act as a light corona in the final coloring stage)
The final color rendering was done using Photoshop's Dodge and Burn tools (to lighten and darken whatever color is present) and a stock textured brush. I did use the paint brush a bit to make my own blush gradient in the background, and I selected areas with the lasso tool and shifted color balance to give nest twigs different tones and Gwendolyn's nose  bit of pink.

As I said at the start, this will eventually be published in my next sketchbook which may be out at the end of this year or the start of next (depending on timing with getting enough pages done between projects AND convention schedules)

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Morose Wooly Dragon

Last week on my Twitch Stream, we did the #DiscoveringDragons Community-Draw-Along! It's a fun event where I welcome all skill levels to push their pencils (or whatever tools they use to make art). It takes place on the first Friday of the month.

I worked on my piece live on my Twitch stream while viewers worked at home and then on the following Monday we shared our finished pieces.

Here is my finished colored Dragon. And below are my steps to create it as well as the community submissions.

For #DiscoveringDragons, I post two or three prompt words for everyone to make into a dragon. It's a nice framework for artists of any skill level to focus some time on an 'assignment' to shake the rust off or get the pencil moving again––all while also being loose enough that there's plenty of room for individual expression and interpretation.

This month the prompt was two words: Wooly & Morose

I opened several tabs of google image searches of sad dragons, Pokemon's Snorlax, Rams & Sheep, and some Mercer Mayer illustrations


I started on copy paper with the head and then worried about fitting it on the paper, so I drew a small thumbnail of the body below it, scanned it into Photoshop and started combining and digitally drawing over the top until I had the bigger shapes figured out I also used a 3D model of Ram hors rotated to the right angle for reference).

I printed that rough out and on a lightpad drew tighter pencils on a lightpad and a new sheet of copy paper.

Those pencils were then re-scanned and I cleaned up my color blocking to help me see what areas were what colors (what was horn vs wool, etc).


I printed out the above design at full scale and taped that onto the back of a sheet of Strathmore 300 series bristol. Using a lightpad, I was able to see through the surface of the bristol as I inked the dragon. I used Copic Multiliner 0.7 pen to ink the art.

The inking on this piece started with the nose and mouth, but moved quickly to figuring out the texture and line density of the wooly hair so it felt matted and curly, but not heavy. I was unable to finish the inks on-stream, but returned to them later that night off-stream, where the inking continued on the rest of the body and the ankle and tail wool.


The next day, I scanned the inks to I could start the coloring process. After prepping the digital scan of the inks, I established a color hold (an area where I want the ink to be a color other than black)––the overall lines became a dark brown. Most of my #DiscoveringDragon pieces have at least two color holds, I think the is the first where I only needed one.

Then it was time to start the color flatting process––basically professional coloring-in-the-lines. Some of this is just to make it easy to re-isolate various parts when doing later painting & rendering. Most of the colors were established in the rough, but I played with the final value/hue choices.

For the final colors I used the dodge and burn tools to add shadows and highlights to give the dragon some form. Most of the work was in darkening in all the shadows in the wooly bits. and then––I opted to do a 2nd color hold on just the wooly bits. Below you can again see the final Dragon...


But, as this is a community event, I wanted to share all the other entries posted in the Discord. 

druffzilla


jodudeit

Knickolaus





Nate Pride


redSkwrl


88UncleErnie


VernNYC



Kasey Snow


Towry




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