Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Wind in the Willows Models: Badger's Kitchen

My illustrated edition of Kenneth Grahame's classic Wind in the Willows published by IDW has been released! The book has Grahame's original text, with over 70 illustrations by me.

For this week's blogpost I'm going to share a few of the physical models I built to help me visualize & illustrate the book. Below are photos of the models from Badger's Kitchen. I've also included a video of me talking about the models.






BADGER'S HEARTH:
The hearth model itself is made from chipboard with paper printed as brick glued on and basswood & popsicle stick details. The matching settles are basswood and the stand-in hanging hams & braided garlic is tissue & string.








 BADGER'S CUPBOARD SHELVES:
This was made out of basswood (typically used for doll-house parts) I referenced a few Edwardian pieces, and then built this to-scale with quarters as dinner plates. The bowls you see are store-bought doll-house pieces.








Wind in the Willows from IDW is available to order at your local comic or book shop -or-
on Amazon.com:



For all my other Wind in the Willows Process Posts:





2017 Appearances: 
C2E2: April 21-23
Heroes Con: Jun. 16-18
San Diego Comic Con: July 19-23
Baltimore Comic Con: Sept. 22-24


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Wind in the Willows Models: Toad's Caravan & Carriage House

My illustrated edition of Kenneth Grahame's classic Wind in the Willows published by IDW has been released in the direct market (comic shops) and will be in the Book Market Feb. 14th! The book has Grahame's original text, with over 70 illustrations by me.

For this week's blogpost I'm going to share a few of the physical models I built to help me visualize & illustrate the book. Below are photos of the models of the Toad's Caravan & The front facade of his Carriage House. I've also included a few videos of me talking about the models.






TOAD'S CARAVAN:
This model is made of basswood (typically used for doll-houe trim & details). The steps are removable and cam hang from the back, the wheels operate independently, and the axles have working suspension. Details are drawn on by hand in pencil.









TOAD HALL CARRIAGE HOUSE:
This model is all hand-drawn (no printing out duplicates) The wall is made of bristol board and the open doors are chip board (the thicker material on the back of a sketch-pad). The doors are hinged with painter's tape.









Wind in the Willows from IDW is available to order at your local comic or book shop -or-
on Amazon.com:



For all my other Wind in the Willows Process Posts:





2017 Appearances: 
C2E2: April 21-23
Heroes Con: Jun. 16-18
San Diego Comic Con: July 19-23
Baltimore Comic Con: Sept. 22-24

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Wind in the Willows Models: Toad Hall

My illustrated edition of Kenneth Grahame's classic Wind in the Willows published by IDW will be released to the direct market (comic shops) tomorrow and Book stores on Feb. 14th! The book has Grahame's original text, with over 70 illustrations by me.

For this week's blogpost I'm going to share a few of the physical models I built to help me visualize & illustrate the book. Below are photos of the models of the Toad Hall Foyer and Toad Hall's Dining Room. I've also included a few videos of me talking about the models.






TOAD HALL FOYER:
This model is made from chip-board (the stuff the backs of sketchpads are made of) with printed paper details glued on (all the paneling & tile-work) and basswood trim. 










TOAD HALL DINING ROOM:
This model is was almost completely made on the computer first. Not the geometry of the room, but each flat surface (paneling, plank floor with rug, arched door, leaded glass window and banners, etc.) were printed designed and then printed out. Those sheets of paper were then rubber cemented on to sheets of chipboard (the thick backing on sketchpads) and glued together using holt melt glue and basswood for re-inforcement (as well as some trim details) where needed.














Wind in the Willows from IDW is available to order at your local comic or book shop -or-
on Amazon.com:



For all my other Wind in the Willows Process Posts:





2017 Appearances: 
C2E2: April 21-23
Heroes Con: Jun. 16-18
San Diego Comic Con: July 19-23
Baltimore Comic Con: Sept. 22-24

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Wind in the Willows: Butler's Pantry Color Illustration Process

IDW will be releasing my illustrated edition of the Kenneth Grahame classic Wind in the Willows soon. The book will be Grahame's original text, with over 70 illustrations by me.

For this week's blogpost, I'm going to share the process of one of the b&w illustrations from Chapter 9: Wayfarers All:

"The Badger drew himself up, took a firm of his stick with both paws, glanced round his comrades, and cried- 'The hour is come! Follow me!' "

It was very hard to narrow down all the moments in the book to choose to illustrate. Having only 20 color pieces, I had to narrow down eight chapters to have 2, while four of the chapters would have only 1. Here the four main characters have used a secret tunnel to get inside Toad Hall and wage a battle against the weasels who have taken it over and prevented Toad to return to his home. Here are my pencil drawings of the characters as well as the butler's pantry on copy paper. To help with the angle and geometry of the cabinets, I found a pre-made custom cabinet model in Google Sketch-up.



I then scanned those pencil sketches and in photoshop, composited them into a single layout that told the story. I tinted each character a different color...even though Id' drawn them as a group, I cut each one out and placed them on a separate layer so I could nudge them around, resize them, and make little compositional changes without affecting the group as a whole. This also helped when placing them in contact with elements in the background like Toad coming out of the trap-door and Badger's hand on the door ready to fling wide.


The digitally composited sketch was then printed out at-size (about 11" x 7") and then taped to the back of a sheet of 300 series Strathmore Bristol. On a light box I was able to see through the bristol's surface to the printout so I could ink on the bristol using the sketch as a guide. For pens, I used Copic Multiliners (the 0.7 & 0.3 nibs). Here is an in-process photo I took with my phone and posted back when I was inking this piece.


This was one of the illustrations I'd been thinking of for the longest time when getting ready to do this project. E. H. Shepard did a great job with his color version of the scene, and I tried hard to keep the spirit of his while taking a different angle to the events and letting my inkwork and sensibilities get a chance to do the work.

I also wanted to reinforce the idea that while the weasels have been occupying Toad Hall, they haven't taken very good care of it...dishes everywhere, bottle leaving rings on countertops, napkins draped instead of folded, and nothing washed.



The coloring process was as I've detailed it out on my past color blogposts. The first step was to block out all the color areas (each character's skin, each character's clothes, the floor, the pantry cabinets, the dishes, etc.) and then render the image using Dodge & Burn tools with a textured brush (these allow me to highlight and shade while adding a pebbled texture). I added a few color holds to the inkwork for the items behind glass as well as the patterns on Badger & Rat's coats to make the piece feel more painted than a colored drawing.

Here you can see the completed image as it will appear in the book along with 19 other color illustrations and 50 B&W.




Wind in the Willows from IDW and is available to pre-order on Amazon.com:



For all my other Willows Process Posts:






2017 Appearances: 
C2E2: April 21-23
Heroes Con: Jun. 16-18
San Diego Comic Con: July 19-23
Baltimore Comic Con: Sept. 22-24

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Mouse Guard Model Video: Leaf Boat

For the cover of the boxed set of the 2nd Edition Mouse Guard RPG, I built a model of a leaf-boat. With the fan excitement over the video of Adam Savage talking to me about my models on Tested.com I wanted to do some videos where I talk about a specific model, how I built it, what the materials were, and why I built it in the first place.

Below you can watch as I explain how simple this 4-sheets of paper construction was to make:




For a full blogpost on the art process for the RPG 2e Boxed Set cover:

2017 Appearances: 
C2E2: April 21-23
Heroes Con: Jun. 16-18
San Diego Comic Con: July 19-23
Baltimore Comic Con: Sept. 22-24

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Wind in the Willows: Rat & Mole Color Illustration Process

IDW will be releasing my illustrated edition of the Kenneth Grahame classic Wind in the Willows. The book will be Grahame's original text, with over 70 illustrations by me.

For this week's blogpost, I'm going to share the process of one of the color illustrations from Chapter 1: The River Bank:

"..and after a short interval reappeared staggering under a fat wicker luncheon-basket. 'Shove that under your feet,' he observed to the Mole as he passed it down into the boat."

It was very hard to narrow down all the moments in the book to choose to illustrate. Having only 20 color pieces, I had to narrow down eight chapters to have 2, while four of the chapters would have only 1. Here Mole has just made the acquaintance of Rat, and rowed back to his home to pick up a picnic basket so they can enjoy the river bank with an afternoon repast. I sketched out the main characters separately not having them touch to make the compositing of the layout easier. I also drew Rat's front door and dock on a sheet of copy paper.



I then scanned those pencil sketches and in photoshop, composited them into a layout that told the story. I tinted rat and mole different colors to make them easier to spot as well as to make them stand out against the very busy background drawing. The boat is a model I made and photographed. Knowing how many illustrations in this book would require me to draw Rat's boat, I decided to make a model...but that's a post for another time.

You will note that in addition to adjusting the character's angles, positions, and color, I also mirrored Mole from the original drawing.

The digitally composited sketch was then printed out at-size (about 11" x 14") and then taped to the back of a sheet of 300 series Strathmore Bristol. On a light box I was able to see through the bristol's surface to the printout so I could ink on the bristol using the sketch as a guide. For pens, I used Copic Multiliners (the 0.7 & 0.3 nibs). Here I have some in-process photos I took with my phone and posted back when I was inking this piece.










The final inked piece took quite some time to do. I'd planned on the color pieces having less line work and detail than the B&W illustrations, but as I went on with this piece, I didn't see any way to not go into all the detail of the bracken, weeds, grasses, bark, bricks, and wood of Rat's home.

While I knew the added texture linework would only make the illustration process longer on the next 19 pieces, I opted to push forward with the details because it felt the most like my work. I rarely let color do the heavy lifting in my illustrations, and I didn't feel like Wind in the Willows was the right place to start trying out something new in that regard.




The coloring process was as I've detailed it out on my past color blogposts. The first step was to block out all the color areas (Rat's fur, Mole's fur, Rat's clothes, Mole's clothes, the river, the boat, the door, the plantlife, etc.) and then render the image using Dodge & Burn tools with a textured brush (these allow me to highlight and shade while adding a pebbled texture).

Here you can see the completed color image as it will appear in the book along with 19 other color illustrations and 50 B&W.








Wind in the Willows from IDW and is available to pre-order on Amazon.com:


For all my other Willows Process Posts:




2017 Appearances: 
C2E2: April 21-23
Heroes Con: Jun. 16-18
San Diego Comic Con: July 19-23
Baltimore Comic Con: Sept. 22-24

Blog Archive